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Salvia fruticosa


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Salvia fruticosa
Blue Tag Xeric
Blue Tag Plant
This plant is sensitive to overwatering.

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Description

(Greek Sage) Most of the dried culinary sage sold in the United States is Greek Sage. Frescoes on the island of Crete, dating to 1400 BC, depict this plant used by the Phoenicians and Greeks for cooking and medicine. It is an ancient and beloved friend of mankind.

In the garden, Greek Sage provides a pleasant lavender fragrance, especially on warm days, and has spikes of pink-to-lavender flowers. Similar to most culinary sages, it loves full sun and well-drained soil. However, it tolerates moist ground. This compact plant, which grows 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, is a good choice for fragrant borders and patio containers as well as kitchen gardens.

Grow this drought-resistant, heat-tolerant plant in well-drained soil that is on the dry side.  Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds will thank you with frequent visits.

Although some cooks find Salvia oficinalis culinary sages tastier, Salvia fruticosa is easier to grow. It comprises 50 to 95% of the commercial market. We think it offers an interesting change of taste.

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Common name  
Greek Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
24"/18"/36"
Exposure  
Full sun
Soil type  
Well drained
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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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

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Culinary herb
Culinary herb
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

8 - 9
8 - 9
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
18 inches wide
18 inches wide
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

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

Deciduous, woody stem Salvias

These are species that produce woody stems, but die back to the ground in the winter in all but the warmest climates. In warm winter areas these can become woody shrubs, but they generally benefit from the following pruning methods.

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 or partially remove any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly. This often stimulates fresh new growth and increased flowering


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after first frost, spent stems can be cut to the ground. Some gardeners in cold winter climates say that leaving 3 to 6 inches of the stems intact during the winter improves survivability. They remove the remaining stems before new growth begins in the spring. In warmer areas the stems may never completely die back, but should be cut to ground to allow for new growth.


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

  • Salvia africana-caerulea

    (Blue African Sage or Blousalie) A handsome, densely branched shrub with small, gray leaves, this Salvia puts on a show when in full bloom. The pale blue flowers bloom on foot-long spikes that cover the plant. Each flower has a large, trumpet-shaped, green-and-red bract at its base.

    This plant is widespread on the coastal hills and adjacent rocky hills of the South African Cape where it loves full sun. Used both as a culinary and medicinal herb by the native peoples of this area, it was adopted by Dutch colonials in the 18th century.

    Hardy and drought-resistant, Blue African Sage can be a foundation planting in your garden or an unusual container choice. It is a butterfly favorite that blooms from late spring through summer with abandon. We love this deer-resistant Salvia and believe it should be used more widely.

    Note: We have reason to believe this species may have greater cold tolerance than documented. Also, according to some taxonomists, the correct name for this species is now Salvia africana.

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  • Salvia brandegeei

    (Santa Rosa Island Sage) This is a hardy, California native sage although it is only found in the wild on one of Southern California's Channel Islands. It is drought resistant and forms dense mounds of fragrant, deep green, wrinkly foliage with heavenly clouds of lavender-tinged blue flowers in spring.

    Despite doing a good job of tolerating clay soils, Santa Rosa Island Sage prefers well-drained soil in full sun. Water it regularly to see fast growth or don't water it at all once established. This is a tough, drought-tolerant plant. Either way, it is a charming border shrub, and we highly recommend it.

    Cold weather note: This plant can tolerate a few hours at 0 degrees F, but cannot endure the longer cold spells of Zone 7a winters.

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  • Salvia broussonetii

    (Stiff Canary Island Sage) The large, light green, furry leaves of this water-wise Salvia are beautiful. The plant's lush foliage and stiff, somewhat stocky stems contrast nicely with its branched spikes of small, delicate-looking, white flowers.

    Native to the sea cliffs of two of the Canary Islands off the coast of Northwest Africa, this compact Salvia is shrubby in frost free areas and a herbaceous perennial elsewhere. Its velvety foliage pairs well with Salvia hians and Salvia forsskaolii for a fabulous summer show.

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  • Salvia candelabrum

    (Candelabra Spanish Sage) Tall, well-branched spikes display large two-tone blue flowers above a compact shrubby mass of attractive, furry white leaves. When in bloom, this compact, drought-resistant native of Spain will awe every visitor to your garden.

    Candelabra Spanish Sage is a rare beauty that does well in warm, dry locations and blooms abundantly from mid-summer through fall. It does well as a compact container plant or can grow up to 6 feet tall in the ground. We also highly recommend it as a border plant and for cut-flower gardens.

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  • Salvia canescens var. daghestanica

    (Caucasus Sage) This hardy ground cover sage grows 4 to 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The velvety white fur of its foliage aids moisture retention. Its soft, royal purple flowers make it stand out. We think this Salvia deserves to spread far and wide.

    A tough native of the Caucasus Mountains of central Asia, it survives the freezing temperatures of Zone 5, forming a tight mat that withstands light traffic. It blooms in early summer and again in fall. Plant this beauty in well-drained soil, but don't pamper it; Caucasus Sage grows well in harsh environments.

    This is one of the shortest Salvias we grow and makes a fine border edging or rock garden plant. We highly recommend its use as a ground cover, so we offer a discount for larger orders.

    Here is a great blog article about this plant.

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  • Salvia cedrosensis

    (Cedros Island Sage) From the Island of Cedars off the coast of Baja California Sur comes this delightful xeric sage with deep violet-blue flowers and silvery foliage. The square-shaped, 1-inch-long leaves are densely covered with short white hairs providing moisture retention and a velvety texture.

    This is a gem for xeric, full-sun gardens. It is easy to grow if you understand the conditions on Cedros Island, which are dry, hot and generally sunny. In their mountain-forest ecosystem, the minimal water that these plants receive is largely from occasional fog. So keep this plant mostly dry, give it perfect drainage and don't shade it if possible. Your reward will be a lovely edging plant, small-scale ground cover or a short but dramatic container plant.

    This Salvia is rare to find in cultivation; we are very happy to be able to supply this lovely plant.

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  • Salvia chamaedryoides var. isochroma

    (Silver Germander Sage) With its compact habit, brilliant silver-white leaves and large, sky blue flowers, this is an outstanding heat-tolerant choice for dry, sunny gardens. We consider this to be one of the finest short ground covers for these conditions.

    Grow Silver Germander Sage in full sun and well-drained, loamy soil where you can see it up close.  Expect explosive blooming in the summer and fall when the weather warms and settles.

    We highly recommend this rarely seen variety of the green-leafed Germander Sage.

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  • Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'

    (Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) This drought-tolerant, evergreen, California native is a compact, aromatic shrub with electric blue-purple flowers that bloom in summer. Discovered in a Berkeley, California, garden, Winnifred Gilman is a fine variety of the species.

    We have grown it successfully without watering during the summer. The strongly scented flowers attract honeybees and hummingbirds in abundance.

    As far as we know -- and there is a great deal of anecdotal information about this variety -- this is a true S. clevlelandii, unlike the popular Alan Chickering' or Whirly Blue varieties. Winnifred Gilman is denser in it's growth than either of these cultivars and has darker flowers. A mid-height Salvia, it is attractive as a screen or border shrub and also is a good addition to a cut-flower garden.
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  • Salvia coahuilensis

    (Coahuila Sage) Such a pretty little shrub! Its beet-purple flowers will amaze you from June until autumn frost. Coahuilla Sage is an ideal ground cover or sunny border plant at 24 inches tall and wide. Small, shiny, deep green leaves clothe this densely branched, mounding sage.

    This beauty comes from the mountains of Coahuilla, Mexico. Aside from full sun, a little watering and well-drained soil, it is undemanding. We find it to be most attractive when kept on the lean side. A gentle shearing after blooming keeps it tidy and tight.

    Similar in many ways to Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage), this plant has smaller leaves with a distinct spicy aroma. Coahuilla Sage is generally smaller and has a more intense flower color that S. greggii's just dream of. Obviously, we highly recommend it.

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  • Salvia desoleana

    (Sardinian Sage) This is another must-have Salvia for mild, Mediterraneon climate gardens. It has elegant foliage and lovely, rosy lavender flowers. Sardinian Sage spreads non-invasively as an herbaceous perennial and almost never stops blooming for us on the coast of Northern California.

    When in bloom, this full sun plant is a magnet for honeybees. Historically, it has also attracted followers of folk remedies and has been used in Europe to ease fevers.

    Similar to but denser than Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage), Sardinian Sage is native to the island of Sardinia and was one of our top 10 new plants for 2010. Although our photo doesn't do it justice, this is a lovely plant that looks great in perennial borders, dry gardens and containers.

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  • Salvia keerli

    (Big Grape Sage) This lavender-flowered native of Northern Mexico resembles Salvia melissodora (Grape Scented Sage), but is bigger and also has larger leaves and flowers. It's a great companion plant for its little brother, which shares the same cultural needs and affinity for Zones 8 to 10. Both bloom from summer into fall.

    Similar to Salvia melissodora, this sage is used by the indigenous Tarahumara people of Chihuahua, Mexico, as a medicinal herb. Another commonality is that the flowers smell like ripe grapes, a fact that young children enjoy confirming. In addition to the fragrance of its flowers, Big Grape Sage has appealing leaves with furry, white undersides.

    Give this heat-tolerant Salvia a sunny, warm spot in well-drained soil. Then watch it grow without fuss. Although drought tolerant, it enjoys regular watering. Big Grape Sage is a good choice as a mid-height groundcover or in shrubby and herbaceous perennial borders.

    Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds highly recommend this sage, but deer avoid it.

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  • Salvia melissodora

    (Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

    The indigenous Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico have used this sage for centuries to treat a variety of infirmities. For the gardener today, it offers drought resistance and heat tolerance along with fragrance and color.

    Although it can grow up to 6 feet tall in its native habitat, Grape Scented Sage generally averages growth of 3 feet tall and wide in home gardens. Nevertheless, it is mighty in its ability to ensure pollination in your garden because...
     

    Warning!  This is a powerful hummingbird, honeybee and butterfly magnet!


    Another benefit is that although humans and small wildlife find it intoxicating, deer don't.

    For a lovely combination, group the lavender and green of Grape Scented Sage with other plants that have strong blue or yellow flowers and which bloom from summer into fall. Give it full sun and well drained soil.

    In the home garden, it makes a fine screen, border or background planting. It also does well in containers and cut-flower gardens. Despite its ability to get by on little water, it is adaptable to average water areas of the yard in very well drained soil. It's a winner.

     

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  • Salvia muelleri

    (Royal Purple Autumn Sage) Salvia muelleri is related both to Autumn Sage (S. greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which are closely related species.

    This tough plant is a hybrid that occurred in the wild. Similar to both parent species, it is at its best in fall when it bursts with intensely purple flowers.

    Royal Purple Autumn Sage is small leafed and densely branched. It is a small shrub in USDA Zones 8 and 9, but an herbaceous perennial in Zone 7. The soft look of this sage's foliage looks pretty at the edge of pathways, in mixed borders or in containers where it can be enjoyed close up.

    Native to the mountains of Monterrey, Mexico, this sage is well adapted to dry conditions. However, it also responds well to regular watering. While not picky about type of soil, it needs good drainage.

    Full sun or partial shade both work for Royal Purple, but remember to restrict watering in shady locations. Otherwise lots of growth and few flowers will be the rule. Peak bloom is in the fall, but flowering occurs on and off beginning in spring.

    Try this plant with Salvia x jamensis 'Golden Elk' for an amazing color combo.

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  • Salvia muirii

    (Wildesalie) Dominant white beelines mark the violet-blue flowers of this heat- and drought-tolerant sage from South Africa. Dramatic burgundy bracts surround the flowers, which contrast handsomely with dense, fine leaved, olive-green foliage of Salvia muirii.

    Its Afrikaans, this plant is called Wildsalie, which means “wild Salvia.” Often referred to as having a medicinal mentholatum-like fragrance, it is the focus of cancer research due to the powerful cytotoxins in its foliage.

    Wildesalie was first recorded in 1915 by Scottish physician John Muir, who lived in South Africa for much of his life. As far as we know, Dr. Muir was unrelated to American naturalist John Muir, who was also from Scotland.

    A tidy 24 inches tall and wide, this shrubby perennial looks pretty in borders and containers and as groundcover or edging for pathways. It grows well in USDA Zones 7b to 11. Give it full sun, regular watering and well-drained soil of almost any sort. You can expect a pretty show of flowers from spring into fall.
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  • Salvia namaensis

    (Namibian Sage) Leaves with deeply dentate margins are rare among Salvias. The bright green, toothed foliage of this African sage gives it a loose, feathery look that is dotted all over by tiny, light blue flowers throughout summer.

    This short, shrubby perennial is ideal for hot, dry areas, because it requires little water to survive. Its strong fragrance is reminiscent of some California native Sages and makes it a pleasant groundcover or container plant that doesn't attract deer.


    In its native Namibia and on the East Cape of South Africa, this plant thrives in rocky limestone soil.  However, Namibian Sage isn't picky about soil as long as it is well drained. We find this sage easy to grow when planted in full sun in a warm area and watered sparingly.

    Although recommended for USDA cold-hardiness zones 9 to 11, this tough plant may be hardy to Zone 8 if treated as a herbaceous perennial that dies back to ground in winter. Mulch it during cold weather and make sure its soil isn't soggy.
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  • Salvia pennellii

    (Tamaulipas Sage) Deep purple flowers, strong stems and attractively textured, gray-green foliage make this sage useful in the drought-resistant Salvia garden. Rising up to 5 feet tall and spreading feet wide, it is a fine backdrop.

    Although from Northeast Mexico, the botanical appellation "pennellii" indicates that this sage was named after botanist Francis Whittier Pennell (1886-1952) who specialized in the Snapdragon family and also conducted field work for the New York Botanical Garden in South America.

    This heat-resistant sub-shrub acts like a shrub in areas where winter temperatures seldom sink past about 25 degrees F. In colder areas, it grows like a herbaceous perennial that dies back after a frost.

    Use this plant at the rear of a border or in a dry wild garden.  It's a bit rowdy -- not terribly well mannered about sprawling -- but a vigorous grower. If you value drought resistance, heat tolerance and late-season bloom, this rare plant can do the job. We think it should be more widely grown.

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  • Salvia pomifera

    (Fruit Sage) Also known as Apple Sage, this is an extremely drought-resistant plant. Its common names come from the small round fruit-like galls that an insect creates on its branches on the island of Crete where it is native to dry slopes.

    The galls develop when a small gallfly, also called a gall wasp, invades the sage's branches -- something that also happens to Salvia fruticosa in its Grecian homeland. Some people eat these tart-flavored galls raw and others use them to create a sweet conserve. Herbalists also use the leaves as a folk remedy, such as in tea.

    However, in USDA Zones 8 to 10, this fragrant, heat-tolerant sage is simply an elegant shrub that must be grown in dry soil.  Excess water during the growing season leads to a rapid demise.  Salvia pomifera thrives in full sun, even in dry clay soils. Yet it prefers ground that drains well.

    From summer into fall, its pale white-to-lavender flowers attract honeybees and butterflies to dry gardens. Use it as a groundcover on a slope, as part of a shrub border or an edging for sunny pathways.

    This sage is not common in the United States. We are very happy to be able to recommend it to gardeners in hot, arid regions.

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  • Salvia pratensis 'Lapis Lazuli'

    (Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage) Ethereal, lilac-pink, parrot-shaped blossoms abound on the tall flower spikes of this Salvia pratensis cultivar. So don’t expect a blue as the name indicates, but do expect great beauty during summer bloom time.

    At 18 to 30 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches, this is a good plant for the second row of a layered, perennial border. Gray-green, dense and fragrant, its basal foliage works well as a groundcover in woodland gardens. Or add it as a central element in summer patio containers. Wherever you plant it, expect visits from honeybees and butterflies.

    When first planted, the foliage rosette resembles the leaves of primrose plants.

    Meadow Sages are native to Europe and Asia. The parent of this cultivar was first recorded in the late 17th century in the Kent area of Southeast England. Salvia pratensis is now considered an endangered species in England due to its rarity and decline.

    In 2008, a botanical preserve in Kent reported the theft of all its Salvia pratensis plants, an offense under England’s 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. In contrast, the species is classified as invasive in Washington state. We have not noticed that to be the case in our gardens.

    This is another cold-tolerant Meadow Sage and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Although it can survive drought, Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage needs regular watering for best bloom. Keep it moist but not soggy. Plant it in average garden soil that isn’t too rich, but contains enough organic matter for good drainage. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is best.

    Salvia pratensis is part of a closely connected group of Meadow Sages, including Salvia x sylvestris , Salvia x superba and Salvia nemorosa. As with other sages, in general, Lapis Lazuli’s foliage is safe from deer and rabbits.
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  • Salvia regeliana

    (The Queen's Sage) Regal spikes of lavender-to-purple flowers give weight to this sage's common name. It provides an abundance of blossoms during summer in USDA Zones 6 to 10. Cold hardy and heat tolerant, this impressive perennial comes from the mountains of Turkey.

    Queen's Sage grows quickly into a large clump with tall, branched flower spikes. The fragrant foliage is an attractive gray-green. Although it is also known as Salvia verticillata subsp. verticillata, this seems inaccurate from a gardener's perspective. Queen's Sage tends to be taller and more stately than Lilac Sage.

    This is an attractive plant for perennial borders, large container plantings or path edging. Give it full sun, well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions. Butterflies love it. Hummingbirds also visit, which can't be said for all Old World Salvias.

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  • Salvia sclarea 'Wild Form'

    (Clary or Clear Eye Sage or Eyebright) Pink-purple bracts and violet-purple flowers form a pastel cloud over the large, rumpled leaves of Clary Sage in summer. It is a towering beauty growing up to 5 feet tall. Sacred to some due to age-old use in herbal remedies, it is heavenly to look at.

    Depending on the nose of the gardener, its fragrance is either equally heavenly or hellishly rank like dirty socks. Personally, we enjoy Clary's musky aroma.

    Native to the Mediterranean, Clary loves full sun and works well in dry gardens as a background planting. It's also a good choice for a kitchen garden, because it also has a long history of culinary use. If you enjoy its fragrance, it is a fine choice for borders, cut flower gardens and containers.

    Clary is a biennial that blooms and dies the second year after it is planted. If you can tolerate snipping the lovely flower stalks before they wither, you can increase the plant's bloom. It reseeds, which means that you can expect new plants even though it isn't a perennial. Butterflies and honeybees love it, but deer leave it alone.

    This is seed wild collected in Turkey, and is the most vigerous form we have encountered.

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  • Salvia viscosa

    (Mid-East Sage) Native to the mountains shared by Israel and Lebanon, this fragrant sage is drought resistant, heat tolerant and long blooming. Its tidy, basal foliage rises up and spreads only about 18 inches, but it has tall flower spikes.

    Sometimes called Sticky Sage, its scientific name refers to the stickiness of the plant's calyxes, which cup small, dusky pink flowers that bloom spring into summer. Its strap-shaped leaves form a dense rosette.

    Salvia viscosa is easy to grow. It is an efficient, heat-tolerant groundcover and is perfect for dry gardens in USDA Zones 8 to 10. Combine it in a mixed border with the deep purple flowers of Salvia coahuilensis, which is similarly short and has the same cultural needs of full sun and well-drained soil. Although Salvia viscosa can get by with little watering, it appreciates average moisture based on local conditions.

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  • Salvia x 'Pozo Blue'

    (Grey Musk Sage) Lavender flowered, this is a fast-growing, chance hybrid of California Blue Sage (Salvia clevelandii) and California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    Found at Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery in Southern California, Pozo Blue is tolerant of almost any soil and tolerates both heat and drought. It usually begins its long bloomtime by showing off for a full month in spring.

    If you are looking for a tough, fragrant California native shrub, you've found it. Pozo Blue loves full sun and dry conditions.  Its well-branched stems are covered with richly scented leaves that are so fuzzy with hairs they look white. The hairs help the plant conserve moisture.

    Tolerant of everything but wet feet in the summer, this sage withstands temperatures as low as 5 degrees F for a short time and lows in the 20s for days. 

    Use Pozo Blue in tough soils, on banks and in areas where watering is difficult or undesirable. It is a tall, effective groundcover that also doubles as an excellent cut-flower garden choice. We display the flowers in our kitchen whenever Blue Pozo is in bloom.
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  • Salvia x 'Purple Stem'

    (Purple Stem Sage) Deep purple stems and cobalt blue flowers with pronounced white beelines and dusky gray calyxes cause this sage to command attention.

    Aside from knowing that Purple Stem Sage was collected in the Northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, little can be said with certainty about the taxonomy of this mystery hybrid Salvia. What we can say definitively is that it is easy to grow, flowers abundantly and does well in heat with limited water.

    Purple Stem Sage is a waist-high, upright subshrub that combines tender herbaceous stems with woody growth. It looks particularly pretty planted in front of silvery leafed sages.

    This drought-resistant sage does well in full sun to partial shade. It needs soil with good drainage and fits in nicely with California native sages.

    Highly recommended.

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    New!
  • Salvia semiatrata

    (Pine Mountain Sage) Small but numerous, violet and deep purple flowers surrounded by pink bracts are sprinkled throughout this well-branched,shrubby sage like confections. This is one of the showiest Salvias we grow.

    Pine Mountain Sage blooms from summer into fall and is a treat for honeybees and hummingbirds. It's native to Chiapas, Mexico, where it grows on the edge of pine forests in rocky soil. In the U.S., it is hardy to USDA Zones 8 with protection into 11 and blooms from summer into fall.

    As with most Salvias, this one requires well-drained soil and likes it rich. Although drought tolerant, it appreciates average watering based on local conditions. Full sun is another necessity for maximum development. Average growth is 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Yet when conditions are perfect, it can grow into a 6-foot mound.

    Small, triangle-shaped, gray-green leaves make this shrub attractive even when not in flower. Spring pruning of its woody branches keeps it compact and floriferous.

    Grow Pine Mountain Sage as a large scale groundcover, border, screen or container plant. It excels in dry gardens, and is worth growing as a summer annual in zones outside its temperature range. No need to worry about deer; they avoid it.

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  • Salvia ballotaeflora

    In Spanish, Mejorana means "marjoram”. Similar to oregano-type Marjoram – another Mint family member -- this sage is used to flavor meat dishes. Our cultivar, which is native to Texas and Mexico, has lovely bluish-purple flowers that bloom summer to fall amid fragrant, fine, furry green foliage.

    Don’t give this tough sage fertilizer or too much water. It is adjusted to rocky, gravely limestone soils such as those of the Edward’s Plateau in South Central Texas. However, it can handle a medium loamy soil. In nature, it grows on brushlands, including hillsides and thickets.

    At 72 inches tall and wide, this heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plant makes a fine screen or border in a dry garden or a woodland setting with dry shade. It also does well in full sun. Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees love its nectar. Although deer have been known to nibble on Mejorana, it is not one of their favorite foods.

    One of Mejorana’s other common names is Shrubby Blue Sage, but there are also white- and purple-flowering varieties. Salvia ballotaeflora is also known botanically as S. ballotiflora . Rock Sage (S. pinguifolia) is a purple-flowering relative that is native from Arizona into Texas and is sometimes referred to as S. ballotaeflora or S. ballotiflora .

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  • Salvia dominica

    (Dominican Sage) Native to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, this candelabra-shaped, perennial sage may have inspired the design of the menorah, (Exodus 37:17). It is a tough, drought-resistant plant with silver-haired foliage and bright white flowers that seem to blaze.

    The specific epitaph dominica means "belonging to the Lord."  This medicinal sage has a heavenly fragrance and is used in perfumery, cosmetics and the production of a rare essential oil. Plant it in full sun as a compact border or in a dry garden. It makes a fine groundcover.

    Dominican Sage thrives in poor yet well-drained soil and doesn't require much water.  We have found it to be durable, but it does not tolerate wet, cold winters.  However, the fragrance of this plant on a warm day makes it worth growing as an annual.

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  • Salvia lasiantha

    (Wooly Multicolor Sage) In Greek, "lasiantha" means "wooly flower." The flowers of Salvia lasiantha are surrounded by wooly bracts, but are even more notable for transforming from apricot-orange in the morning to reddish-purple later in the day.

    The bracts are also dramatic -- a fuzzy white overlaid with pink, orange, violet and cream. The large flower clusters bloom from mid-summer until the onset of cold weather. Large wrinkled foliage and white wooly stems are other distinctive features of this large, shrubby sage. All that wooliness helps this native of Mexico and Costa Rica to conserve moisture during drought and extreme heat.

    At 5 feet tall and wide, this fragrant butterfly magnet makes a good screen, background planting or addition to a shrubby border. It can even be grown in a large patio container.

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  • Salvia chamaedryoides x ‘Marine Blue’

    (Marine Blue Sage) The name and origin of this fine cultivar has long been in dispute. It may be a clone or hybrid of the Mexican plant Salvia chamaedryoidesvar.isochroma. It is one of the prettiest, strongest sages we grow.

    Our Marine Blue Sage blooms almost nonstop, producing long spikes of small dark blue flowers marked with bee lines that help lead pollinators into the blossoms. The leaves are small, wrinkled and wooly with silver-white tops and greenish undersides. In a sunny spot, the plant forms a tidy mat of ground cover 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

    Grow Marine Blue Sage in hot, somewhat dry locations where you can see it up close. It's guaranteed to attract the eye. We predict that the popularity of this drought-resistant sage will increase as it becomes more widely known.

    10.50
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Sassy Sage Holiday Cooking

Sassy Sage Holiday Cooking


Category: Culinary Sages
Posted: Dec 25, 2014 10:36 AM
Synopsis: Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.
Salvia Small Talk: Summer Squash Sage Sauce with Pasta

Salvia Small Talk: Summer Squash Sage Sauce with Pasta


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Jul 26, 2014 03:17 PM
Synopsis: Every now and then, we visit other websites for promising recipes containing sage. For this post, we dropped in at food writer Claire Adas’ Out of the Ordinary cooking website for a sauce of summer squash and sage.
Ask Mr. Sage: What Kinds of Salvias Are Edible?

Ask Mr. Sage: What Kinds of Salvias Are Edible?


Category: Ask Mr. Sage
Posted: Jun 14, 2014 05:49 PM
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This post concerns Salvias that are edible and tasty. Although we are unaware of any Salvia species (true sages) that contain poisonous parts, we are cautious about which ones to recommend for culinary use. A link to our culinary species is included along with links to our blog posts about cooking with sages.
Fall Planting: 8 Sages for Fragrance by Your Front Door

Fall Planting: 8 Sages for Fragrance by Your Front Door


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Sep 29, 2013 02:08 PM
Synopsis: Colorful plantings make entryways attractive. Even better are pretty plantings that are fragrant and provide a sensory lift before you journey indoors. Scent wakes up memories and makes us see in a different way. Here are eight sensible suggestions for adding lovely scents to your landscape.
Salvia Small Talk: Cooking with Salvia Flowers

Salvia Small Talk: Cooking with Salvia Flowers


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: May 6, 2013 07:47 AM
Synopsis: Some kinds of Salvia flowers make good additions to foods ranging from breads to salads. Growing the Salvias yourself is a good way to avoid toxins.
Salvia Small Talk: Sage Remedies in 1814

Salvia Small Talk: Sage Remedies in 1814


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Jan 5, 2013 12:11 PM
Synopsis: In 1814, physician and herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote about ancient remedies made from Sage.
Garden to Kitchen: Holiday Scent of Sage

Garden to Kitchen: Holiday Scent of Sage


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Nov 29, 2012 09:11 PM
Synopsis: Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.
Salvia Small Talk: Sage-Crusted Tofu Patties

Salvia Small Talk: Sage-Crusted Tofu Patties


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Nov 28, 2012 10:13 AM
Synopsis: Sage-crusted tofu patties are a good vegetarian main course for the Holidays.
Salvia Small Talk: Making Sage Pesto

Salvia Small Talk: Making Sage Pesto


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Nov 8, 2012 05:57 PM
Synopsis: Fresh Sage gives a simple pesto recipe new zing.
Garden to Kitchen: Cooking and Baking with Sage

Garden to Kitchen: Cooking and Baking with Sage


Category: Culinary Sages
Posted: Oct 16, 2012 06:29 PM
Synopsis: Thanksgiving is no longer the only time of year when Americans cook and bake with sage. Recipes and suggestions for cooking with fresh Sage abound on the Internet. You don't have to be a meat eater to enjoy the wild, musky, minty aroma of Culinary Sage. America is adding it to quick breads and yeast breads, omelettes, pastas including macaroni and cheese, pesto sauce, sweet potato gnocchi, soups, salads and vegetarian pizzas. Landscaping with attractive varieties of Culinary Sages makes it easier to experiment in the kitchen
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.
It's dry out there

Xeric plants are excellent for water conservation. They grow well in dry gardens with little to no supplemental watering once established. In fact, overwatering can harm these plants, which are native to dry environments such as deserts and chaparral.

At Flowers by the Sea, we identify all xeric plants with a blue plant marker that warns against overwatering. Here are some tips for growing and understanding our xeric, or blue tag, plants:

1) In a humid region, you may find it difficult to grow plants native to semi-arid and arid environments. Yet xeric plants may succeed if you have a persistently dry area, such as under a roof overhang or in the shelter of a tree.

2) Xeric plants are excellent for locations far from garden hoses, such as along sidewalks -- areas often referred to as "hellstrips."

3) Shipping is hard on xeric plants, which suffer from confinement in small containers as well as boxes. You may see some mold, spots on leaves or withered foliage when they arrive. But xeric plants perk up with proper care while hardening off in partial shade before planting.

4) When amending soil before planting, remember that xeric plants not only need excellent drainage but also flower better in low fertility soil. Fertilize sparingly and use a mix with more phosphorous than nitrogen to encourage flowering and discourage lax overgrowth of foliage.

5) Organic matter, such as compost, is an excellent soil amendment for xeric plants, because it keeps their roots healthy by improving aeration and drainage.

6) When your xeric plants are established, water infrequently to encourage deep root growth and to avoid fungal problems. However, it's a good idea to gently spray dust off foliage about once a week.