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Salvia greggii 'Stormy Pink'


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Salvia greggii 'Stormy Pink'




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Description

(Stormy Pink Autumn Sage) The dramatic name of this floriferous Autumn Sage is due to the calyxes cupping its smoky apricot-pink blossoms. Some gardeners report gray calyxes and others say dark plum. But for whatever reason, the Stormy Pink that we grow on our Northern California coastal farm has green calyxes with dark stripes.

Different soils and local conditions can create mysterious differences in the same Salvia species.

American expatriate and horticulturist Derry Watkins discovered Stormy Pink as a chance seedling at her Special Plants nursery in England. Similar to all Salvia greggii, it is a sturdy, long-blooming plant with a froth of fragrant green foliage made up of tiny, elliptical leaves.

Autumn Sage is native to America and Mexico. Stormy Pink is one of its taller varieties unless it gets too much partial shade and becomes lax. It grows best in full sun, which helps to limit the branches tendency to laxness.

This heat-tolerant perennial also needs well-drained soil but isn't picky about its composition. Although it thrives with average watering based on local rainfall, Stormy Pink is drought tolerant.

This is an Autumn Sage to mass, because butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it.

Details

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Common name  
Stormy Pink Autumn Sage
USDA Zones  
7 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
48"/36"/48"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
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
Partial shade
Partial shade

Growing Habit

7 - 9
7 - 9
48 inches tall
48 inches tall
36 inches wide
36 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
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

Colors

Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Moderate Purplish Pink
RHS# 186D



Secondary color - Pale Purplish Pink
RHS# 65D






Throat color - Yellowish white - RHS# 155D




Tertiary color - Deep Pink
RHS# 185D



Bract color - Dark Red
RHS# 187B

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 143B



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
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 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.

    10.50
  • Salvia greggii 'Cherry Chief'

    (Cherry Chief Autumn Sage) With hundreds of varieties of Autumn Sage on the market, there is much confusion as to which ones to plant.  This red-flowered cultivar, developed by Richard Dufresne of North Carolina, is a top choice.

    Cherry Chief has flowers of an almost translucent red, a color that is difficult to capture in photographs but eye catching in the garden.  It is one of the larger Salvia greggii types we grow, but can easily be kept smaller by pruning. Undemanding, it grows well in full sun or partial shade and with little water.

    Autumn Sage was discovered in Northern Mexico by pioneer and plant explorer Josiah Gregg during the 19th century Mexican American War. Now it is one of the most popular Salvias grown in the world due to its many colors, tidy foliage, adaptability to heat and cold, drought resistance and long bloom times.

    Hummingbirds and humans alike enjoy Cherry Chief's flowers from spring into fall. We highly recommend it.
    10.50
  • Salvia greggii 'Playa Rosa'

    (Pink Beach Autumn Sage) When it blooms from spring into fall, this heat- and chill-tolerant sage is covered with large, two-tone pink flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. This compact, drought-tolerant beauty also features small, shiny, bright green leaves.


    Pink Beach was selected and developed by Paul Bonine and Greg Shepherd of Xera Plants in Portland. This sun-loving sage tolerates partial shade and greatly appreciates settings with morning sun and afternoon shade. It is an excellent groundcover, border or container plant.

    The first person to bring Autumn Sage to the notice of the horticultural world was Josiah Gregg, after whom the species is named. A pioneer and plant explorer, Gregg discovered the species in Northern Mexico in the mid-19th century.

    Pink Beach is our best small-growing, pink Autumn Sage. Big thanks go to Paul and Greg of Xera as well as Josiah, because we appreciate plant explorers and developers.

    10.50
  • Salvia greggii 'Texas Wedding'

    (Texas Wedding White Autumn Sage) This is our best white-flowered Autumn Sage. It is compact, hardy and blooms abundantly. We love it as a contrast to the generally bright colors of its group. Texas Wedding seems to always be blooming, with massive displays in spring and fall.

    The flowers are small but so profuse that they seem to outnumber the leaves.

    This variety of Salvia greggii makes a great, small-scale groundcover when each plant is spaced two feet apart. Although it tolerates some shade -- especially in hot climates -- it needs full sun. Good drainage is another necessity, but it doesn't require much watering.

    Texas Wedding is reliably hardy to 10 degrees F, but can tolerate colder temperatures with mulching. Here's some other good news: Deer don't much care for it.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia greggii x karwinskii 'Brent's'

    (Brent's Fall Hybrid Sage) Although hybrids involving Salvia gregii (Autumn Sage) are common, but this one is exceptionally tall, attractive and long blooming. Its other parent is the tall, tubular-flowered Roseleaf Sage.

    We have California botanist Brent Barnes to thank for developing this handsome, drought-resistant hybrid that is a hummingbird favorite. Its leaf and size characteristics are somewhere between those of its parents and include 2-inch, tubular, hot pink flowers that make viewers pause for appreciation.

    Brent's Fall Hybrid Sage begins blooming in late summer, then continues into spring. It takes a break from flowering during the hot season.

    This upright plant resembles it's half-sister, Mulberry Jam.  The flowers are more red, the plant less upright and its leaves less leathery. Situate it where a tall, strong accent plant is needed.  We highly recommend it.

    10.50
  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Scorcher'

    (Scorching Pink Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    Hot pink flowers contrast prettily with the sage's well-branched, dense green foliage. The leaves are heavily veined and aromatic.

    At 2 feet tall and wide, this sage is also just the right for a container or edging a pathway. It looks lovely in a short shrub border and is ideal for dry native gardens. The Mountain Sage species is native to the semi-arid lands of the American Southwest and Mexico.

    Although heat tolerant and drought resistant, this sage appreciates regular watering and can handle partial shade. It is adaptable and grows well in many kinds of soil as long as it gets good drainage. Butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to it at bloom time, which is spring to fall with lightest production in summer. Deer, however, leave it alone.

    For the record, Scorching Pink Mountain Sage also grows well in cooler regions and coastal climates.

    10.50
  • Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

    (Hot Lips Sage) What a winner for fascinating flowers! Hot Lips Sage has solid red, solid white and two-tone combinations all on the same plant and often at the same time. The variations are random. You might say that this shrubby sage is mixed-up, but its confused coloring makes it highly desirable.

    The flowers, which primarily bloom in spring and fall, flower more during cool weather and when regularly watered and fertilized. We have never determined any reason for its color variations or any conditions that standardize their pattern.

    This Mountain Sage has a tightly branched form. Often, it is covered with so many flowers that they seem to outnumber the small, green leaves.

    Depending on local climate, Hot Lips works well in either a perennial or shrub border. It's a fine addition to a dry garden. We love and highly recommend this mountain treasure from Oaxaca, Mexico.

    10.50
  • Salvia microphylla 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mirto de Montes Sage) Over the years, we have seen a number of variegated varieties of Mountain Sage. None have been as lovely and sturdy as this one, from botanist Brent Barnes of the University of California at Riverside.

    It blooms heavily and for a long time, producing crimson flowers that form a lively contrast with the small green and cream leaves from spring into fall. The variegations and coloring of the handsome foliage are stable from one growing season to the next.

    This tightly branched sage is so floriferous that its flowers seem to outnumber the small leaves. Mountain Sages, including hybrid varieties, can grow from 18 to 48 inches tall and wide. None are picky about soil type, but all need good drainage. Most are equally adaptable about growing in locations ranging from full sun to partial shade

    Similar to other Mountain Sages, which are native to the American Southwest and Mexico, this variety appreciates regular watering yet does well in dry gardens. Salvia microphylla 'Variegata' is colorful in borders, containers and along walkways. We highly recommend this unique plant as do hummingbirds.

    10.50
  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.

    Harvard University botanist and professor Merritt Lyndon Fernald (1873-1950) was the first person to publish a description of the plant, which he named Salvia neurepia. It was later reclassified as a Mountain Sage. Fernald authored a number of scholarly works, including a monograph on Mexican and Central American Salvia.

    At 48 inches tall with a spread of 48 inches or more, this pretty sage makes a long-blooming hedge or tall groundcover. It is also a good choice for a shrubby border. Give it full sun to partial shade and regular watering. Although it isn't particular about soil type, good drainage is necessary. Hummingbirds love it, but deer do not.

    10.50
  • 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.

    10.50
  • Salvia Raspberry Delight®

    (Raspberry Delight Sage) Dark raspberry-red flowers, burgundy stems and calyxes and deep green foliage make this one of our most attention-grabbing varieties.

    We also appreciate Raspberry Delight for its superior cold hardiness, heat tolerance, drought resistance, tightly branched form and pleasant fragrance. Hummingbirds love its long-blooming flowers.

    Raspberry Delight is spectacular when massed in a large group, so it is a dramatic as well as effective groundcover. Salvias with deep purple flowers harmonize well with this perennial sage that looks equally pretty in patio containers.

    Autumn Sages are native to the American Southwest and Mexico. They do well in full sun, but can handle some partial shade. They appreciate average watering based on local conditions, but can get by on much less. This makes them good choices for dry gardens.

    Raspberry Delight® is a registered trademark of Plants for the Western Garden, Inc.

    10.50
  • Salvia texana

    (Texas Blue Sage) This is a cutie and a tough customer once established. It even grows well in caliche soils. Although Salvia texana typically blooms only during spring in Texas, it has a longer season stretching into fall up north.

    Flower colors are in the blue range and include purple and violet. Our strain could be described as having the violet of Scarlet O’Hara eyes as well as pronounced white beelines. Its deep green, oblong leaves and bracts are covered with silky hairs so long that they look like eyelashes.

    Although short at 12 to 24 inches tall, Texas Blue Sage is so charming that we like to crouch down to get a closer look. In Northern California, it thrives in full sun, but in Texas, it appreciates a bit of shade on the hottest days. This drought resistant Texas perennial does well in a dry garden, but also accepts regular watering in well drained soils.

    It can be temperamental outside its native range, so please take special care with this species.  Not a good plant for moist or humid parts of he country.

    Grow it as a groundcover or in borders, native plant gardens and prairie-type landscapes. We agree with the butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees that visit this beauty: What’s not to love about it.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Maraschino'

    (Cherry Red Mountain Sage) This isn't just another red sage. Brilliant cherry-red flowers with dark purple bracts and cold weather tolerance to USDA Zone 6 make this a valuable landscaping plant.

    Cherry Red is an easy-to-grow sage with a vertical habit that is useful for filling narrow spaces in shrub borders. Thanks go to North Carolina plantsman Richard Dufresne for this fine hybrid of Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) and another form of that species called Graham's Sage (S. grahamii).

    The parents of Cherry Red are native to the American Southwest and Mexico. Graham's Sage was named for George John Graham (1803-1878), a plant collector from England who explored Mexican flora.

    Heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming, this is an important sage in wildlife habitat and native gardens where it attracts butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds, but not deer.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x jamensis 'Yellow Pink'

    (Yellow Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Dusty pink with pale yellow throats, the bicolor pastels of this Salvia x jamensis are especially charming up close. 'Yellow Pink' is a compact sage with tiny, smooth foliage.

    Jame Sage (S. x jamensis spp.) is a hybrid member of the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) group of closely related Salvias. However, unlike its parent species, Jame Sage often is pastel.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sage occurs in areas where Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains or at private nurseries and universities involved in botanical research.

    Every year, many new Jame Sages enter commercial horticulture. We grow as many as we can, looking for exceptional varieties, but only a few make the cut. Yellow Pink is a petite favorite that comes from one of our Salvia gurus, professional plant breeder Brent Barnes of Riverside, Californiae.

    Yellow Pink Jame Sage is fragrant, long blooming, vigorous, heat tolerant and drought resistant similar to other members of the Autumn/Mountain Sage group.

    Highly recommended!

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Stachys albotomentosa

    (Hidalgo or 7-UP Plant) I love to ask people what the smell of these leaves remind them of. Almost no one gets it on the first try, but when I say, "7 UP", their eyes light up, heads nod and the resounding answer is, "Yes!"

    This mounding small perennial is native to shady mountain canyons in Arizona and Texas.  The flowers glow on tall spikes above the furry, light green above, silvery underneath leaves.  This is an outstanding perennial for shady spots.  It can stand drought when established, but does very well with regular garden water.  The apricot-coral flowers age to a reddish tint, and are quite long lasting. This plant blooms for us April - October!

    This is another Salvia-like perennial that deserves much greater prominence in our gardens.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Texas Drought Action Pack

    (California Drought Action Pack) The drought in Texas is a real challenge to gardeners and to the wildlife that depends increasingly on us for survival. We want to help.

    This package consists of Salvias, Agastache, Kniphofia, Asclepias and other wildlife-friendly & drought resistant plants that will grow, bloom and be happy in dry gardens. We will personally select three each of four different plants, taking into account your particular climate and location. These are some of our top sellers, offered as a discounted group. As much as possible we'll use Texas native plants.

    We're all concerned about the declining habitats and food sources for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees - and by planting these in your garden you will be doing a great service to our animal friends that being stressed by the lack of flowers. Because of the large number of suitable varieties we grow, we'll plan to send along a balanced, long blooming mix. You can plant now and enjoy these beauties for years to come, even if the drought continues.

    NOTE: This package is not available year-round,

    Some of the plants in this package
    Some of the plants



    We also include a detailed Planting Guide, to insure your success.

    We offer this for the Fall planting season only, now through November 1st, with free shipping anywhere in Texas. We suggest that you plant these between October 1st and November 15th, the easiest time to establish plants in the garden. You can choose your desired shipping date during checkout.

    Please let us know in the "Customer Notes" section of the shopping cart if you have any color preferences or blooming season restrictions. We guarantee to pick out some of the very best drought tolerant varieties we grow for you. Please, this is for Texas residents only.

    139.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Tweedia caerulea

    (Blue Milkweed) It's not unusual to see the sky-blue, star-shaped flowers of Tweedia caerulea tucked into bridal bouquets. Yet they are members of the humble milkweed family Asclepiadaceae.

    Blue Milkweed is a heat-loving species that grows best in a location with full sun and access to a bit of shade. It is native to Uruguay and Southern Brazil and can be planted as a perennial in USDA Cold Hardiness Zones with moderate winter weather. However, it works well as an annual in other zones. You can encourage branching by pinching the flower buds back when growth is young.

    Other common names for Blue Milkweed include Southern Star, Star of the Argentine, Silkpods and Star Flower. Another scientific synonym is Oxypetalum coeruleum. Sometimes its petals have lovely purple speckles.

    This milkweed is widely grown in New Zealand to provide nectar and host caterpillars for Monarch butterflies.

    Caerulea is Latin for blue. In contrast, the genus name honors James Tweedie (1775-1862), the Scottish gardener and plant explorer who found the species in South America during the first half of the 19th century. At the age of 50, Tweedie immigrated to South America and traveled throughout the continent collecting plants to send back to Scotland. He is best known for introducing wild petunias to Europe, which became wildly popular hybrids worldwide.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl'

    (Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage) The brilliant red flowers of Vermilion Bluffs bloom abundantly from August to October. This variety of the Mexican native Salvia darcyi is cold hardy to Zone 5b at altitudes up to 5,500 feet.

    Salvia darcyi comes from Mexico's eastern Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range where it grows at altitudes up to 9,000 feet. Denver Botanic Gardens developed Vermilion Bluffs to withstand the colder winter weather of the Rocky Mountain region. It is a welcome substitute for Salvia microphylla or Salvia x jamensis , which struggle in cold weather.

    This sun-loving sage likes loamy soil. Plant it in shrubby borders, dry flower gardens and containers. Its underground runners form a tough mat that blocks weeds.

    The wrinkly, soft green foliage forms a graceful mound that glows against the bright flowers, which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. After frost, the foliage dies to the ground like an herbaceous perennial. Then it returns in spring.

    We can't help but highly recommend this easy-care plant. 

    Vermilion Bluffs is a registered trademark of Plant Select.

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Christine Yeo'

    (Christine Yeo Sage) A chance hybrid of two Mexican sages --Salvia microphylla and S. chamaedryoides -- Christine Yeo Sage is long blooming and features deep purple flowers with white eyes.

    Heat tolerant, cold hardy and drought resistant, this well-branched subshrub blooms like crazy and has deep green, rose-like leaves. It originated in horticulture writer Christine Yeo's garden in England. 

    This is an ideal Salvia for borders, edging, groundcover or entryway containers. Honeybees love Christine Yeo Sage, but deer avoid it.

    Highly recommended!

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'John Whittlesey'

    (John Whittlesey Sage) Hardy, vigorous and long blooming, John Whittlesey Sage is a hybrid of D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) -- a native of Mexico -- and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which is native to the American Southwest and Mexico.

    The long flowering season of this sage makes John Whittlesey Sage a garden favorite; it begins bursting with salmon-red blooms early in the growing season. You can grow it as a bedding plant in areas with winters cooler than those of USDA Zone 7. In warmer zones, this tidy sage is an herbaceous perennial.

    In coastal areas, John Whittlesey Sage is a great stand-in for the plethora of little-leaf species -- Mountain Sage, Autumn Sage (S. greggii )and Jame Sage (S. x jamensis) -- that often struggle with humidity. 

    Hummingbirds love the bright red flowers of this full-sun, heat-tolerant plant that makes a tall but effective groundcover. However, it is generally used in mixed borders. 

    Horticulturist Mike Thiede of Chico, California, developed this sage and named it for John Whittlesey of Canyon Creek Nursery in Oroville, California.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Scarlet Spires'

    (Scarlet Spires Sage) This is a brilliant cross between the sturdy D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) and the beautifully colored 'Raspberry Delight' Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Raspberry Delight').

    Sometimes children exceed the success of their parents, and that is the case with Scarlet Spires. This is one of our top hummingbird plants as well as one of our best Salvias for cut-flower gardens. It is a long-blooming choice with foot-tall spikes of large, scarlet flowers and attractive gray-green foliage.

    Drought tolerant and dramatic, it is ideal for massing, mixed borders or patio containers. Give it full sun and well-drained soil.

    Highly recommended!

    10.50
Average customer rating:
 
(1 reviews)  



1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Mrs. Carol Moreno
Mar 30, 2017
This is also a lovely plant. I am sure the bees will go nuts over it.
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22 Salvias and Companions for Dry Shade

22 Salvias and Companions for Dry Shade


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Jun 5, 2014 06:10 PM
Synopsis: Dry-shade gardening is challenging. Drought-tolerant Salvias and companion plants, including ornamental grasses, can play a role in conquering dry shade, which mostly occurs under and near shady trees. We suggest 22 plants here that do well in dry, partial shade. First, though, you need to understand how to work with the condition and improve the soil for plant survival.
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.