Available March to May only.
(Forest Fire Tropical Sage) Butterflies and hummingbirds love the abundant, fire engine red flowers of this mostly annual sage. It's a popular cultivar of one of the first Salvias used for ornamental purposes -- Tropical Sage. The flowers are dramatically framed by reddish black bracts.
A tender perennial in mild climates, this compact plant belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. Thomas Jefferson grew this drought-resistant, low-maintenance sage. Today, it is a favorite in borders and containers.
Plant this long blooming, spectacularly showy sage in full sun or partial shade wherever you need a big splash of color. Give it regular watering and rich soil.
(Congo Cockatoo) Busy Lizzie this is not! Vivid candy-corn colors and nectar spurs arched similar to cockatoo beaks make Impatiens niamniamensis 'African Queen' an unusual sight.
Except for its glossy, deep green, veined leaves, you might not identify this unusual plant as being related to the flat-petaled Impatiens walleriana that began taking over the shade in home gardens beginning in the 1950s. Congo Cockatoo comes from the flashier side of the family.
This tall Impatiens has dark succulent stems. As the stems darken and thicken over time, it begins to look like a tiny tree.
Congo Cockatoo was first collected in South Sudan where the Niam-Niam tribe live and once practiced cannibalism. It's one of about 1,000 Impatiens species and is native to a broad swath of Central Africa from Kenya west to Cameroon. In the U.S., it grows best as a houseplant or in patio containers in warm-winter areas.
Similar to many members of its genus, this is a long-blooming plant. It tolerates heat, but needs lots of water as well as partial to full shade. For in-ground planting, this is one to consider if you live in a hot, humid area and have damp shady spots in your yard.
(Oaxaca Red Sage) This rare sage has small, furry, bright orange-red flowers in abundance. It grows nicely in containers or, in mild climates, can become a large shrub in the ground. Attractive, bright green foliage and winter-to-summer blooming make it a desirable choice.
It may not be scientific, but the best way to describe this plant is "cute." Buds that look like little balloons ready to burst are followed by furry, tubular flowers. This water-loving Salvia does best in partial shade. Even though Oaxaca Red is a tender perennial, it's well worth the effort to grow this gem.
(Snow Nymph White Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this award winner, which is an outstanding choice for pure white color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.
Snow Nymph is easy to grow and a great addition to annual flower beds or containers. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. Plant it in full sun or partial shade as a tender perennial in mild climates and as an annual elsewhere. Reaching up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this sage is an ideal border plant. Use it where you want to create intense color and attract pollinators.
This sage belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. We consider it indispensable due to its long bloom, low maintenance and spectacular show, especially mixed with the bright red 'Summer Jewel Red'.
(Summer Jewel Pink Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, which is an outstanding choice for bright pink & white color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.
Summer Jewel is easy to grow and a great addition to annual flower beds or containers. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. Plant it in full sun or partial shade as a tender perennial in mild climates and as an annual elsewhere. Reaching up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this sage is an ideal border plant. Use it where you want to create intense color and attract pollinators.
One of our Top 10 Hummingbird Plants, this sage belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. We consider it indispensable due to its long bloom, low maintenance and spectacular show.
(Variegated Scarlet Sage) Crimson flowers topping bright yellow foliage mottled with deep green make this one of the most spectacular Salvias we grow. There are numerous clones of this variety of the tender perennial throughout the U.S. nursery trade, but we consider ours to be the best, as it originated in our nursery.
Meet its needs and Salvia splendens van houttei 'Dancing Flame' is easy to grow. Plant it in partial to full shade where you can give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering.
Although short and compact, this Scarlet Sage is dramatic in woodland gardens and annual flowerbeds as well as in patio containers and indoors as a houseplant. Outdoors, it is an annual in colder zones and a tender perennial in warmer ones where it can bloom 12 months a year.
Seasonally available and limited.
(Lighthouse Red Scarlet Sage) This Scarlet Sage is raring to bloom and often begins flowering when less than 6 inches tall. That is a major reason why it is the only one of the many truly red varieties of this species that we grow.
Here are more reasons for our choice: Lighthouse Red never stops blooming all season and is tough enough to grow in severe Texas heat, torrential Florida rainstorms and California humidity. Also, the tall clusters of large crimson flowers do remind us of a lighthouse --something you can see from a great distance.
Lighthouse Red is a tender perennial that may return yearly to the warmest parts of its range, which encompasses USDA Zones 9 to 11. Aim for success by providing partial shade, rich soil and ample water for this Brazilian native. However, this variety is more tolerant than most. A combination of morning sun and afternoon shade works well, but it can also flourish in full shade.
Grow this dramatic variety in a container or mass it for a spectacular color statement. We highly recommend it and so do hummingbirds.
(Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Big Leaf Sage (Salvia macrophylla).
Garden writer Betsy Clebsch developed Big Swing, which is a cross between Big Leaf Sage and Arrowleaf Sage (S. sagitata). Its flower spikes rise well above handsome foliage with large, furry, arrowhead-shaped leaves that look almost tropical.
Use this heat-tolerant plant to bring a lush look to a damp corner of your garden or in mixed patio containers. Give it rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water for a long bloom season.
Big Swing comes highly recommended by butterflies, but deer leave it alone.
(Elk Orange Amaryllis) This is a Flowers by the Sea hybrid that we bred from Hippeastrum blossfeldiae and complex, modern hybrids. It is a hardy Amaryllis meant for life outdoors as well as indoors among houseplants.
Unlike the tall, showy Amaryllis plants grown indoors during winter, this isn't a variety that fades away with the holidays. Its bulbs multiply, produce lots of green, strappy foliage and send up petite flower spikes with large, spicy orange, trumpet flowers that bloom over more than one season.
You can grow Elk Orange as an evergreen in the warmest USDA zones and as an annual or houseplant in chilly winter areas. Whether in ground or in a container, hardy Amaryllis need to be divided and replanted once they become crowded. It's well worth the effort for these exquisite flowers.
Hippeastrums are native to South America. This one needs average watering based on local conditions as well as rich, well-drained soil. Indoors, place it in a sunny window. Outdoors, it does well in locations ranging from partial shade to full sun.
Planting a hummingbird garden filled with nectar-rich, long-blooming Salvias aids preservation of hummingbird species that migrate each year throughout North America. It also gives you a front-row seat to a fascinating aerobatics show. Backyard islands of colorful sages are like gas stations for hummingbirds' long-distance journeys. Salvias can keep your garden whirring with the helicopter-like flight of hummingbirds from spring through autumn and -- in warm climates -- into winter.
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.
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: