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Salvia 'Blue Chiquita'


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  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Attracting Butterflies

  • Deer Tips

Salvia 'Blue Chiquita'
Degree of Difficulty
Challenging
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is can be challenging to grow in conditions outside those in which it is found in the wild.

Shipping Information
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Description

(Blue Chiquita Sage)  This unusual and now rare variety was first discovered by the Yucca Do Nursery during their 1997 expedition in Mexico.  Growing into a small, tight mound with silvery-blue leaves, it explodes in the fall with pale blue flowers on tall spikes.

Blue Chiquita has been in the nursery trade on and off for many years, and is now quite rare.  It is not particularly easy to grow (for us on the coast of Northern California), needing warm dry days but rich soil and adequate water to be at its best.  At times the name Salvia longispicata has been used in addition to the common name, but we have been unable to verify its authenticity.

When grown well this is nothing short of spectacular in the fall garden, and is well worth a little extra effort.

Details

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Out of stock

Common name  
Blue Chiquita Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
24"/24"/42"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Rich and well drained
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Synonym  
Salvia longispicata (possibly)
Our price
11.50


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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous or semi-evergreen, soft stem Salvias

These are species whose stems never develop a woody character and that either die to the ground or loose leaves and become unsightly at the end of a growing season. This group includes both hardy and tender types. Many of the tender forms are grown as annuals in cold winter areas.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

During the spring and summer, you can completely cut to the ground any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly.

In mild climate areas, growth can be so rapid that the entire plant becomes messy and spent mid-way through the season. In this case, it can be cut back close to the ground – given a short “haircut”. The result usually is fresh, vigorous new growth and another round of flowering.




Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after the first frost the spent stems can be completely removed, cut to the ground. Often these are a tangled mess, and one can get great satisfaction by cutting them all off. This also facilitates good garden sanitation, and will help to control pests over the winter.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Anisacanthus wrightii 'Select Red'

    (Red Texas Firecracker) Hummingbirds and butterflies will thank you with frequent visits if you add this long-blooming plant to your wildlife garden. Its bright red trumpet-type flowers with long, narrow petals are wells of delicious nectar.

    Red Texas Firecracker -- sometimes called Flame Anisacanthus -- is a subshrub, which means that it combines soft, herbaceous perennial foliage with some woodiness. It has slender, lance-shaped, dark green leaves. Trim it back in late winter for better form and fuller spring growth.

    Although related to the Bears Breeches genus (Acanthus), Red Texas Firecracker lacks the thorny sepals of those plants. Anisacanthus is Greek for "without thorns." Wrightii means that this native Texas species is named for American botanist Charles Wright (1811-1885) who, beginning in 1837, spent 15 years collecting extensively in Texas.

    This is a mid-height, heat-tolerant species that loves full sun. Red Texas Firecracker resists drought, but thrives with average watering based on local conditions. For pyrotechnical color in the garden, mix it with the orange flowers of Texas Firecracker (Anisacanthus wrightii) and the pumpkin orange blossoms of Golden Flame Texas Firecracker ( Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii).

    Don't worry about deer; this plant isn't to their taste.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle'

    (Pineapple Popsicle Hot Poker) This genus has become very popular in the last few years - for good reason. They feed hummingbirds and butterflies. And this superior variety from Oregon's TerraNova Nurseries is compact, free blooming and amazingly hardy.

    In 2011 and 2012 we grew dozens of the new Kniphofia varieties, and only a few stood out from the pack. We love this one for its bright, neutral color that goes with anything. One of our nursery friends in Portland, Oregon said that it continued to bloom through January, even though the foliage was covered with a foot of snow.

    We don't grow many non-Salvias, and when we do it has to be special. This is one of those very, very good new plants. A must have plant.

    11.50
  • Kniphofia 'Poco Yellow'

    (Poco Yellow Dwarf Hot Poker) Flowers by the Sea is the first U.S. nursery to grow Kniphofia 'Poco Yellow' -- a dwarf Hot Poker that is several inches shorter than the Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle' when in bloom.



    Hot Poker is native to southern Africa. Oregon's innovative Terra Nova Nurseries developed both of these hybrids.

    Similar to Terra Nova's Popsicle series of Hot Poker plants, the new Poco series features tidy clumping of grassy, green foliage from which bright, long blooming flower spikes arise. This one is especially attractive to hummingbirds and doesn't appeal to deer.

    We grow a number of Terra Nova Kniphofias and can attest to their super-long bloom times. All are full-sun perennials that appreciate regular watering yet are drought resistant.

    Aside from being wildlife friendly, this easy-to-grow perennial tolerates cold and heat. Poco Yellow Dwarf Hot Poker works well in Salvia gardens due to its low demand for both water and fertilizer.

    Sometimes Kniphofias are referred to as Torch Lilies due to their shape as well as their fiery look, which helps light up the landscape -- especially when mixed with hot-colored Salvias.

    FBTS is growing an increasing number of Salvia companions. Poco Yellow, which forms eye-catching groundcover, is one of our favorites.

    11.50
    New!
  • Salvia reptans

    (West Texas Grass Sage) Small clusters of true blue blossoms are spaced widely along the grass-like stems of this willowy West Texas mountain sage. Like so many American native plants, it is a key food source for honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

    The scientific appellation repens refers to its creeping roots that spread like a mat-forming grass. This densely clumping, heat-resistant sage is spectactular during bloom time in late summer and fall. It is also cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9.

    As a stand-alone accent plant, West Texas Grass Sage is nothing short of spectacular. It also works well in perennial borders with its 4-foot-long flower spikes poking out amidst sages with denser foliage and floral displays.

    This sage grows best in full sun but is adaptable to afternoon shade. It prefers average watering based on local conditions, but also does well in dry gardens.
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Elk Blue Moon II'

    (Elk Blue Moon II Jame Sage) The phrase "blue moon" signifies a rare event. Elk Blue Moon Jame Sage is an unusual combination for a Jame Sage -- dusky violet flowers with pale-blue throats, dark blue calyxes and mid-green foliage.

    Note:  This is a new (2014) cultivar that we chose to replace the original 'Elk Blue Moon'.  It is a superior grower, and otherwise very similar.

    This petite Jame Sage blooms spring to fall and prefers moderate winter temperatures. Use it along a sunny walkway or in a mixed container planting. Elk Blue Moon tends to sprawl and forms a lovely groundcover. It is similar to Salvia 'Mesa Azure', but has larger flowers with better color. Elk Blue Moon is part of our series of Salvia x Jamensis hybrids called the Elk Rainbow Sages.™

    Although heat tolerant and a sun lover, Elk Blue Moon thrives with a bit of partial shade during severe heat. It is also drought-tolerant yet appreciates average watering based on local conditions. Don't forget to give it well-drained soil.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sages occur in areas where the closely related species of Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains or in the test gardens of our Northern California farm. This parentage may include other species of sages as well, so these hybrids come in a broad range of sizes.

    The foliage of Jame Sages can favor any of their parent plants. Elk Blue Moon has the glossy, veined leaves of a Mountain Sage.

    This is an ideal plant for a native garden. Its size and pastel color make it a good choice for an outdoor fairy garden. Wherever you plant it, you can expect honeybees and hummingbirds.

    Elk Rainbow Sage
    A Rainbow of Quality

    At Flowers by the Sea, we regularly develop new cultivars such as our hybrid series of Elk Rainbow Sages™, which are varieties of Jame Sage Hybrids (Salvia x jamensis) in a broad array of solids and bicolors ranging from pastels to brights. Attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees, they are lovely yet tough crosses that include Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). The word Elk in the scientific and common names of the Elk Rainbow choices indicates that you are getting a sturdy, colorful, reliable repeat performer.

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Elk Lemon Light'

    (Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact.  The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.

    Deer avoid this hybrid of Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), but hummingbirds enjoy its nectar from spring into fall.

    Unlike some S. x jamensis, this one doesn't take a summer break from blooming. It flowers for us from May through first frost and is cold hardy to Zone 6. This drought resistant sage is compact, well-branched and thrives in full sun or partial shade. See why we're excited?

    Elk Lemon stays small, making it a perfect choice for containers, and little garden spots, pathway edges and upfront in native plant gardens. It doesn't grow as rapidly as many S. x jamensis types, but it's one tough plant.

    Highly recommended. Availability is limited due to its slow growth.

    Elk Rainbow Sage
    A Rainbow of Quality

    At Flowers by the Sea, we regularly develop new cultivars such as our hybrid series of Elk Rainbow Sages™, which are varieties of Jame Sage Hybrids ( Salvia x jamensis) in a broad array of solids and bicolors ranging from pastels to brights. Attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees, they are lovely yet tough crosses that include Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). The word Elk in the scientific and common names of the Elk Rainbow choices indicates that you are getting a sturdy, colorful, reliable repeat performer.

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Elk Lush Lavender'

    (Elk Lush Lavender Jame Sage) Pale white accents mark the throats of this sage's large, rich lavender flowers. In contrast, the calyxes cupping the blossoms of this sage are a dark blue-green. Overall, the look is serene.

    This is a petite, upright Salvia is part of our Elk Rainbow Series. It is well adapted to winter conditions in USDA Zone 7, blooms from spring to summer and does well in native gardens. You can expect moderately paced growth.

    At 24 inches tall and wide, Elk Lush Lavender is ideal to mix with other short Salvias at front of border or along a walkway where you can enjoy it up close. Elk Lush Lavender would fit well in a pastel-themed garden with apricot, cream, pale blue, pink, rose and salmon Salvias. You'll find many pastels and bicolors among the Jame Sage hybrids.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sages occur in areas where the closely related species of Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains or in the test gardens of our Northern California farm. This parentage may include other species of sages as well, which is why Jame Sages come in a broad range of sizes.

    The foliage of these hybrids can favor any of their parent plants. Elk Lush Lavender has the tiny, smooth, oval-shaped leaves of an Autumn Sage. It is heat tolerant and loves full sun, but can take a bit of partial shade. Although drought-resistant, it appreciates average watering based on local conditions. Don't forget to give it well-drained soil.

    Elk Rainbow Sage
    A Rainbow of Quality

    At Flowers by the Sea, we regularly develop new cultivars such as our hybrid series of Elk Rainbow Sages™, which are varieties of Jame Sage Hybrids (Salvia x jamensis) in a broad array of solids and bicolors ranging from pastels to brights. Attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees, they are lovely yet tough crosses that include Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). The word Elk in the scientific and common names of the Elk Rainbow choices indicates that you are getting a sturdy, colorful, reliable repeat performer.

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Elk White Ice'

    (Elk White Ice Jame Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.

    You'll find whites, brights, pastels and bicolors among the Jame Sage hybrids. This vigorous variety is well adapted to the chill of winter conditions in USDA Zone 7. It is part of our Elk Rainbow Series.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sages occur in areas where the closely related species of Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains or in the test gardens of our Northern California farm. This parentage may include other species of sages as well, which is why Jame Sages come in a broad range of sizes.

    The foliage of these hybrids can favor any of their parent plants. Elk White Ice has the tiny, smooth, oval-shaped leaves of the Autumn Sage side of its family. It is heat tolerant and loves full sun, but can take a bit of partial shade. Although drought-resistant, Elk White Ice appreciates average watering based on local conditions. Don't forget to give it well-drained soil.

    When in bloom, Elk White Ice reaches up to 30 inches tall. Mass this upright plant in in a native garden with other, taller Salvias.

    Elk Rainbow Sage
    A Rainbow of Quality

    At Flowers by the Sea, we regularly develop new cultivars such as our hybrid series of Elk Rainbow Sages™, which are varieties of Jame Sage Hybrids (Salvia x jamensis) in a broad array of solids and bicolors ranging from pastels to brights. Attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees, they are lovely yet tough crosses that include Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). The word Elk in the scientific and common names of the Elk Rainbow choices indicates that you are getting a sturdy, colorful, reliable repeat performer.

    10.50
    New!
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I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.

Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.