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Salvia Companions

Salvia Companions

Similar to many members of the mint family (Lamiaceae), sages (Salvia spp.) aren't demanding. Most are low-fuss plants that are easy to grow if placed in the right location. This list suggests Salvia companion plants, many of which are also low-fuss, mint family members. They add attractive variety to the Salvia garden.

The growing requirements for any plant depend on the temperature range, soil, elevation, sunshine, moisture level and other features of the plant's native land. Great companions have similar cultural needs. So when selecting companion plants, it's necessary to consider whether their needs are compatible with those of the sages you plan to grow.

Gardeners and writers often refer to the Salvia genus as being heat tolerant and drought resistant. Although this is true of many species, there are ones that need regular watering and some that like ample moisture.

Similarly, some sages need partial shade at some point during the day whereas others almost seem to shout 'Bring on the sun; bring on the heat!' The moisture level of shady areas is another consideration. Plants that need ample water are unlikely to grow well in dry shade whereas damp shade won't do for dry garden shade plants.

This list of companions contains plants for dry, regular and damp gardens as well as for full sun and partial shade. Compare the plant descriptions -- from cold hardiness to bloom seasons -- with those for your sages and you will create companionable relationships in the garden.

New Arrivals & Recently Back in Stock


  • Acanthus hungaricus

    (Hungarian Bear's Breeches) "Spires" is a word that Garden writers sometimes use to describe the dense, dramatic, vertical flower spikes of Bears Breeches. Acanthus hungaricus is a fine example that doubles in height when blooming.


  • Acanthus mollis 'Hollard's Gold'

    (Golden Bear's Breeches) This gem, one of our best new plants for 2010, has striking, bold golden yellow-green leaves with outstanding large white and purple flower spikes.


  • Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel'

    (Variegated Bear's Breeches) Found in Tasmania, this gem is the first variegated Acanthus! 'Tasmanian Angel' offers striking, bold leaves with white margins and mottling.


  • Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold'

    (Fern Leaf Yarrow) Yarrow is a standby plant in low-water gardens, because of the easy-care species tall, colorful flower spikes. Fern Leaf Yarrow has large, slightly curved umbels of tiny, intensely gold flowers and deeply cut, fern-like leaves.


  • Achnatherum calamagrostis

    (Alpine Plume Grass) Silvery plumes of floral seed heads appear in spring and change to tawny brown in this cool season grass with long, mid-green, needle-like blades. In fact, the plants in this genus are referred to as needle grasses. Alpine Plume is also commonly called Silver Spike.


  • Agastache cana 'Sinning'

    (Sonoran Sunset® Anise Hyssop) An abundance of lavender-rose flowers mark Agastache cana 'Sinning' as being unique from the typical purple-flowered plants of its species. Colorado plantsman Duane Sinning discovered this lovely hybrid.


  • Agastache rugosa 'Heronswood Mist'

    (Anise Hyssop) Although most varieties of Agastache (Anise Hyssop) come from the American Southwest and Northern Mexico, this is an Asian variety that is native to Korea, Japan and China. It is a magnet for butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.


  • Agastache x 'Ava'

    (Ava Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Raspberry calyxes support Ava's rosy-pink flowers, which whorl on tall spikes similar to many Salvias. When the blossoms are spent, the calyxes remain colorful. This long-blooming hummingbird magnet is tolerant of cold, heat and drought.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Coral'

    (Kudos Coral Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of deep coral flowers are accented by mid-green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Coral is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Gold'

    (Kudos Gold Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Compact spikes of burnished gold, tubular flowers attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds to the latest Kudos Agastache from Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries. The dense flower plumes are accented by mid-green, veined, spear-shaped leaves.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Mandarin'

    (Kudos Mandarin Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of creamy orange flowers are accented by deep green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Mandarin is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Yellow'

    (Kudos Yellow Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Flowers by the Sea is one of the first nurseries nationwide to grow Agastache x 'Kudos Yellow'. This is one of the best deep yellow Agastaches we've found, due to its large, dense flower spikes and bushy, upright form.


  • Agastache x 'Violet Vision'

    (Violet Vision Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Wands of deep violet blossoms rise up from heart-shaped, mid-green leaves in this compact, upright Agastache developed by Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries. Flowers and foliage alike have a sweet honey-licorice fragrance.


  • Aloe x 'Pink Blush'

    (Pink Blush Aloe) This hybrid aloe doesn't have the plump, green blades of typical aloe houseplants. Instead, it has a polka-dot look and fleshy yet flatter looking blades combining pale pink, lime green and dark green.


  • Anisacanthus wrightii

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


  • Anisacanthus wrightii 'Pumpkin Orange'

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


  • 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.


  • Anthemis sancti-johannis

    (St. John's Chamomile) June 24 is mid-summer and the day of the ancient summer solstice festival, a feast day which Roman Catholics eventually dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It's also peak bloom time in Europe for the bright orange flowers of the Bulgarian native Anthemis sancti-johannis or St. John's Chamomile.


  • Arum italicum 'Pictum'

    (Lords and Ladies) Large, glossy, arrow-shaped leaves with marble-like cream-colored variegations are one of the major attractions of Arum italicum 'Pictum'.


  • Asclepias curassavica 'Orange Form'

    (Orange Bloodflower) Vivid orange and gold clusters of tiny, star-shaped flowers contrast handsomely with the dark green, lance-shaped leaves of Orange Bloodflower. Other common names include Tropical Milkweed and Mexican Butterfly Weed.


  • Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Gold'

    (Golden Bloodflower) Easy to cultivate, whether as an annual or tender perennial, Golden Bloodflower is a South American native that Monarchs and other butterflies love. Unlike Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), this species doesn't have a taproot. This means that it is easier to control the plant's spread.


  • Asclepias eriocarpa

    (Indian Milkweed) It's the hairy, minty green foliage of Asclepias eriocarpa -- not its star-like, pink and cream flowers filled with nectar -- that is most valuable to Monarch butterflies.


  • Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella'

    (Swamp Milkweed) The light green of this Milkweed's slender, lance-shaped leaves compliment its rose-pink umbels of tiny, star-shaped flowers that smell like vanilla. As its common name implies, this plant is a great solution for saturated soils, such as in rain gardens and the edge of ponds. Yet it can get by on average watering based on local conditions.


  • Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'

    (Swamp Milkweed) Umbels of tiny, star-shaped flowers bloom from summer into fall forming clouds of white amid the dark green, slender, lance-shaped leaves of Ice Ballet. Although this is a water-lover comfortable in rain gardens and by the side of ponds, Ice Ballet can get by with average watering based on local conditions.


  • Asclepias physocarpa

    (Swan Plant) Elegant white flowers with purple inner markings change into lime green-to-gold balloon-shaped seedpods in this South African milkweed that Monarch butterflies love. The seedpods are 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.


  • Asclepias speciosa

    (Showy Milkweed) Milkweeds (Asclepias spp. ) are must-have, nectar-rich plants in the butterfly garden. They're the only species on which the endangered Monarch butterfly lays eggs. It is urgent that we offer this pretty, fragrant wildflower.


  • Asplenium bulbiferum

    (Mother Fern) Ferns are low-maintenance plants that add a tropical look to the Salvia garden. This one grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Mother Fern, which has a graceful, arching look and finely cut fronds, loves partial to full shade and lots of water. This makes it an excellent choice for damp, shady Southeastern gardens.


  • Bergenia cordifolia 'Winter Glow'

    (Heartleaf Bergenia) Big leaves, large and richly colored pink flowers, tough, tolerant of sun and shade, pest free, drought tolerant and cold hardy. Hummm . . . What more can you ask of a perennial?


  • Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'

    (Blonde Ambition Blue Grama) Tiny, horizontal plumes of floral seed heads look like flags when topping the gray-green blades of this warm season grass during bloom time. Chartreuse at first, the seeds eventually turn blonde.


  • Brugmansia sanguinum 'Inca Queen'

    (Tricolor Angel Trumpet) Brugmansia are show stoppers, no matter who you are or how many you have. Something about this genus, which has been cultivated in South America for thousands of years, is impossible to ignore.

    Far superior to the common red B. sanguinum.


  • Butterfly & Hummingbird Lobelia Love Mix

    (Butterfly & Hummingbird Lobelia Love Mix) Lobelias look juicy in all their many colors, including the bright red, pink and purple selections of our Lobelia Love Mix. It contains 12 Cardinal Flowers at a lower price per plant than if you ordered them individually.


  • Calceolaria integrifolia 'Kentish Hero'

    (Kentish Hero Pouch Flower) Do you like orange flowers? How about orange flowers that look like balloons - lots and lots of balloons? If you say, "Yes", then you will love this sun-to-shade perennial that is a perfect companion to Summer blooming Salvias.


  • Cantua buxifoloa

    (Sacred flower of the Incas) Long reddish blossoms with flared, trumpet-like corollas and bright blue pollen contrast with mid-green foliage in the long-blooming, South American species Cantua buxifolia.


  • Cantua buxifoloa 'Golden Inca'

    (Golden Sacred flower of the Incas) Long, golden yellow flowers with a rosy blush to their flared, trumpet-like corollas contrast with mid-green foliage in this long-blooming variety of the South American species Cantua buxifolia.


  • Centaurea gymnocarpa

    (Velvet Centaurea) Lacy, velvety foliage gives this tough shrub its common name. The globular, thistle-like flowers are lavender to fuchsia pink and contrast elegantly with the silvery green of the leaves.


  • Centradenia floribunda

    (Spanish Shawl) This is one of these plants that stops most people in their tracks. The deep purple/pink, standout flowers are show stoppers in and of themselves - but the furry leaves, which start green and mature to a bronze red are unique and unforgettable.


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I was sent this plant by mistake ( I had ordered the Coral Nymph). I planted my 3 plants in a large container with rich organic soil. I wanted to be able to move it in the shade if the Texas summer sun was too much for them. They started bloomin...
Bonnie Bell
May 27, 2015