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Salvia guaranitica 'Argentina Skies'


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  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Attracting Butterflies

  • Deer Tips

Salvia guaranitica 'Argentina Skies'
Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

Shipping Information
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Description

(Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage) PLEASE NOTE: A superior variety, 'Elk Argentina Skies' is now available.
The licorice-like fragrance of its foliage and the big whorls of large, sky blue flowers make this a stand-out sage. Tall and wide, it forms a tidy, long blooming background, screen or border.

Unlike many Salvia guaranitica clones, Argentina Skies clumps but does not grow by runners. This water-loving sage does well in full sun or partial shade and appreciates fertile soil. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it, but deer do not.

Charles O. Cresson, who teaches at Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens and is the author of three books in the Burpee American Garden Series, originated Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage. He first described the plant and published its scientific name in the September 1990 issue of 'The Garden', a publication of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Cresson says he grew his popular sage from seed he received in the 1980s from a light blue flowered S. guaranitica found in the wild near Buenos Aires.

Overall, Salvia guaranitica species are colorful, long blooming, dependable and adaptable to a wide range of regions. Argentina Skies is one of the most cold-hardy varieties.

Details

Product rating
 
(3 reviews)  

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Out of stock

Common name  
Argentina Skies Anise Leaf Sage
USDA Zones  
6 - 10
Size (h/w/fh)  
60"/60"/72"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Any
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
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

6 - 10
6 - 10
60 inches tall
60 inches tall
60 inches wide
60 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

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 - Light Violet
RHS# 94D






Throat color - Very Pale Violet - RHS# 91D




Secondary color - Light Purplish Blue
RHS# 95D



Bract color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 144A

Leaf color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 137C



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous or semi-evergreen, soft stem Salvias

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

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

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

Growing Season Pruning

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

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




Dormant Season Pruning

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


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

  • Salvia rhinosina

    (Confused Argentine Sage) Similar in many ways to the indispensable garden favorites of the Anise Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica spp.) group, this plant is a perfect companion for its better known cousin.

    Both the (S. guaranitica) sages and (Salvia rhinosina) bloom from summer through fall. This Argentinian native has light violet and white flowers that contrast attractively with the deep purples of the anise sages.

    Fountain-like growth and large leaves up to 7 inches long give this lovely South American sage a tropical look in temperate zones. It grows well in full sun to partial shade in USDA Zones 7 to 9.

    Use this plant as you would (Salvia guaranitica spp.) for screening areas or providing a backdrop to other shorter sages in a perennial border. We think it goes especially well with 'Rhythm and Blues'. Together they offer great contrasts in leaf size and flower color.

    As the common name indicates, the scientific naming of this plant is somewhat confused. However, we are confident that ours is correctly identified.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia x guaranitica 'Costa Rica Blue'

    (Costa Rica Blue Sage) Although this handsome plant is often listed as an Anise Leaf Sage (Salvia guaranitica), we think it is a hybrid based on differences in its growth pattern and flowering season.

    Costa Rica Blue Sage is a long-blooming, vigorous plant that can reach up to 6 feet tall. It has large violet-blue flowers with purplish bracts and large, tropical-type leaves. Similar to Anise Leaf Sage, it is a hummingbird magnet.

    This is a sun-loving sage, but also grows well in partial shade in warm climates. Give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. Plant it in a spot where you want to make a bold statement.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'

    (Black & Blue Anise-Scented Sage)  Hummingbirds go crazy for this variety of Salvia guaranitica. The black calyxes contrast handsomely with the rich, royal blue flowers.

    Grow this variety as an aromatic border plant in full sun and well drained soil.  It appreciates regular moisture and fertile soil, but can survive moderate stress from shortages of either.  The thick dahlia-like tuberous roots, which survive well into Zone 7, are reliable and long lived.

    In case you are unfamiliar with anise, it smells like licorice.

    We highly recommend the much improved Salvia BODACIOUS 'Rhythm and Blues' as an alternative to this older variety.

    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign'

    (Green Calyx Anise-Scented Sage) Partly due to its shorter height and moderate spread, this Anise-Scented Sage is the best of any we know for container planting. We love its stunning Cambridge blue flowers, bright green calyxes and the licorice-like scent of its foliage.

    For in-ground plantings, we recommend it as a mid-border choice where it can be massed in front of the larger, light-blue flowered 'Argentine Skies' to create a hummingbird frenzy and attract butterflies as well. Both plants tolerate the cooler winter temperatures of Zone 6.

    Place Blue Ensign in full sun to partial shade and in soil that has average to rich fertility. Bloom time is from summer into fall.
    10.50
  • Salvia x guaranitica 'Purple Majesty'

    (Purple Majesty Sage) This exceedingly long blooming hybrid is a cross between Salvia guaranitica spp (Anise-Scented Sage) and Salvia gesneriiflora (Mexican Scarlet Sage).

    Purple Majesty has fragrant, lush, mint-green foliage and a profusion of deep purple flowers that bloom from early summer until frost. We also love its lush, mint green foliage.

    Its height (up to 5 feet), upright habit and long, tubular flower clusters (8 to 12 inches) make it an obvious choice for back of border. However, planted in mass, it also makes a good screen in moist soil areas.

    Give Purple Majesty full sun to partial shade. It should be pruned nearly to the ground in late winter to maintain a tidy, shapely appearance and to encourage vigorous new growth in spring.

    We highly recommend the much improved Salvia guaranitica 'Purple Haze' as an alternative to this older variety.

    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Sapphire Blue'

    (Sapphire Blue Anise-Scented Sage) The large, sapphire blue flowers of this Anise-Scented Sage glow in the full-sun or partial-shade garden from summer into fall. Similar to Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign', this is a shorter variety of the water-loving species.

    Hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies all enjoy Sapphire Blue. Group it front of border with the taller Blue Ensign in the middle and Argentine Skies Anise-Scented Sage at the back for an intensely blue display.

    Sapphire Blue also looks handsome paired with its cousin, Salvia rhinosina, another sage from the plains of Argentina.

    Limited availability.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x guaranitica 'Jean's Purple Passion'

    (Jean's Purple Sage) If you are looking for a deep purple perennial for accenting an entryway or back of border in flower beds, Jean's Purple Passion may be the right choice.

    This spectacular hybrid crosses Anise Leaf Sage (Salvia guaranitica) and Big Mexican Scarlet Sage (S. gesnerifolia). Jean's Purple Passion most closely resembles Anise Leaf Sage, but has much larger flowers.

    Often starting its flowering cycle in June, this sage blooms until hard frosts send it into winter dormancy. It is so long blooming that we often send visitors home with bouquets of its fragrant flowers. Butterflies and hummingbirds are equally appreciative of its charms.

    Jean's Purple Passion prefers full sun, rich, well-drained soil, ample water and moderate winter temperatures. Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, developed it and named the hybrid for Jean Coria, a gardening enthusiast who propagated many Salvia species at San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum.

    We highly recommend the much improved Salvia guaranitica 'Purple Haze' as an alternative to this older variety.

    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Omaha Gold'

    (Variegated Anise-Scented Sage) Rumpled and lance-shaped, the spectacular leaves of this sage are yellowish-lime with splotches of emerald. Rub them and you smell anise, a licorice-like scent. The bountiful, cobalt blue flowers cover the plant from summer into fall.

    One of the larger varieties of Anise-Scented Sage, Omaha Gold needs some support, especially in windy areas. Planting it at the base of a climbing rose can lead to lovely peek-a-boo surprises. It also does well in borders, woodland gardens and moist parts of the yard. Full sun is okay, but it enjoys morning sun with afternoon shade.

    This is an excellent candidate for a container in a protected area as it tends to be more tender and a little less vigorous than other members of its species. When new growth begins in early spring, cut the old growth down to the ground for a more pleasing shape and profuse bloom.

    The nomenclature of this plant is confusing. Some say it is a hybrid; some call it a sport of Salvia guaranitica 'Costa Rica Blue'. Of course, some say Costa Rica Blue is a hybrid. Go figure. In any case, this is a fine Anise-Scented Sage.
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

Average customer rating:
 
(3 reviews)  



3 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Mrs. Julie McAlvey
Sep 16, 2016
Healthy, good size plant! In full bloom just weeks after receiving.
Packaging was amazing. Great nursery
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Ms. Carolyn Greenberg
Jun 22, 2016
Ordered Salvia/Argentine Skies, my favorite and the hummingbirds too. It is the prettiest sky blue, and is a real statement in my garden. Everything arrived packed with the up most care. Nothing was broken, and the soil was even still moist. Amazing coming all the way across to New Jersey. Would highly
recommend and use FBS again. Can;t wait for them to bloom.
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Mr. Al Robinson
Sep 18, 2014
This customer purchased the item at our site.
Argentina Skies is a large blooming salvia... very similar to Black and Blue Salvia (which, in my opinion... is the showiest of all the salvias.) Argentina Skies has big light lavender-blue blooms! Like Carolina Blue with a touch of purple.
Fast grower!... and hardy to zone 7a. I stepped it up from the four inch pot that it came in... to a gallon pot and it doubled in size in two weeks!
Once again, I got this salvia for it bloom size...and unique light blue color... and it delivers! Very Happy!!
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A Community of Anise Scented Sages We Adore

A Community of Anise Scented Sages We Adore


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Jan 27, 2017 04:07 PM
Synopsis: You might expect the foliage of a plant called Anise-Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica) to smell robustly like licorice, which shares the same fragrance as anise. Some gardeners detect a hint of licorice after crushing a leaf, but many say the foliage merely smells sweet. These popular sages are native to Brazil where indigenous peoples used their leaves as a medicine. Flowers by the Sea grows many varieties in a wide range of sizes and flower colors
Getting Started: Salvias for the Coastal Southeast

Getting Started: Salvias for the Coastal Southeast


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: May 2, 2015 12:44 PM
Synopsis: True sages are members of the Salvia genus and number in the hundreds. They are native to a wide variety of environments worldwide, which is why some are ideal for the dry gardens of California and others can handle the abundant moisture of the American Southeast. Flowers by the Sea raises many sages that grow well in the Southeast, including some that are either native to the region or have jumped fences from gardens into the wild.
Sage Experts: Meet Professor Rolando Uria of Argentina

Sage Experts: Meet Professor Rolando Uria of Argentina


Category: Sage Experts
Posted: Jun 22, 2014 11:23 AM
Synopsis: Sage Experts is a new feature on our Everything Salvias blog. It focuses on horticulturalists -- both amateurs and professionals -- in settings ranging from botanic gardens to universities. All have expertise in cultivating plants in the Salvia genus. This first profile talks about Argentina's Rolando Uria, an agronomy professor at the University of Buenos Aires and a presenter at the 2013 Salvia Summit II. Uria is well known for discovering Salvia 'Amistad'.
Sage Words about Wildlife: 4 Seasons of Hummingbird Salvias

Sage Words about Wildlife: 4 Seasons of Hummingbird Salvias


Category: Sage Words About Wildlife
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 05:51 PM
Synopsis: Regional differences in seasonal temperature and humidity affect the choice of Salvias to plant in hummingbird gardens. The varying seasons in which particular sages bloom and the part of the world where they originated also determine whether they attract hummingbirds. Flowers by the Sea offers suggestions based on regions and seasons.
Ask Mr. Sage: What Sages Grow in Clay Soils?

Ask Mr. Sage: What Sages Grow in Clay Soils?


Category: Ask Mr. Sage
Posted: Apr 2, 2014 05:51 PM
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives, such as concerns about what Salvias will grow in clay soils. This article talks about specific plants for dry and wet clay conditions, how to improve soil drainage and planting on slopes in wet areas.

 

Sage Words About Wildlife: Do Deer Devour Salvia?

Sage Words About Wildlife: Do Deer Devour Salvia?


Category: Sage Words About Wildlife
Posted: Dec 4, 2012 06:46 PM
Synopsis:

Salvias are not a favorite food for deer. However, they will eat some when plants they consider tasty are in short supply. There is no such thing as deer-proof plants, but you can limit deer damage to your landscaping and vegetable garden by planting lots of sages and other plants that aren't among deer favorites.

7 Anise Leaf Sage varieties we love

7 Anise Leaf Sage varieties we love


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Apr 5, 2011 07:33 PM
Synopsis: Anise Leaf Sage, Salvia guaranitica varieties, are hardy herbaceous perennials native to Argentina. They also are magnets to hummingbirds.  Which ones are the best growers?  What colors are they?  Here is a simple guide to this lovely Sage.
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.