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Salvia patens 'Large Form'


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Salvia patens 'Large Form'

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Description

(Giant Gentian Sage) "Wow!" is what most people say when they see this large Gentian Sage from Central Mexico. Growing to 4 feet tall, it has long, graceful spikes of 3-inch deep, royal blue flowers that are highly visible and easily accessible to hummingbirds.

This rare, wild form is less orderly yet more dramatic than some of the modern Salvia patens hybrids. Similar to the species overall, it blooms summer into fall. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

This is the largest and most spectacular variety of the species in cultivation -- even bigger than our Guanajuato variety. Grow it as a border, a container plant or a tall, commanding groundcover. It's a good solution for moist, partially shady areas of the yard.

Highly recommended and destined to sell out rapidly!

Details

Product rating
 
(1 reviews)  

In stock
7 item(s) available

Common name  
Giant Gentian Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
48"+/36"+/48"+
Exposure  
Partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Quantity (7 available)

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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

Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
48 inches tall+
48 inches tall+
36 inches wide+
36 inches wide+
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
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 forsskaolii

    (Balkan Sage) Violet-blue whorls of flowers and plentiful, fuzzy, basal leaves that reach an impressive length of 18 inches are two notable features about this hardy, herbaceous perennial, which is native to the Southeastern Balkan Peninsula.

    Balkan Sage is found in coniferous forests, meadows and slopes from Bulgaria to Turkey's Black Sea coast. However, it is named after the 19th century Finnish plant collector Peter Forsskål, who collected botanical samples further south in Saudi Arabia.

    Although deciduous in areas with cold winters, it blooms about nine months a year for us on the Northern California coast beginning in summer. Following a brief winter dormancy, it returns reliably every spring, clumping in a way that makes it look like Hosta from a distance. Yet, unlike that woodland plant, it grows well in full sun as well partial shade. It is a fine choice for a lightly shaded garden or border and is happy in the acid soil under conifers.

    Give it soil with average fertility, occasional water and enough shade to promote lush growth. Your reward will be large flowers with lovely white and yellow bee lines attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees.

    10.50
  • Salvia glechomifolia

    (Ground Ivy Sage) Native to Central Mexico's highlands, this creeping perennial grows at a altitudes of more than 10,000 feet and can handle some chill. Its common name comes from its scalloped yellow-green leaves, which resemble Ground Ivy or Glechoma.

    The wiry stems of this heat-tolerant Salvia sprawl and spread gracefully. Honeybees are attracted by the prominent double beelines on the violet-blue blossoms of its 1-foot-tall flower spikes, which bloom from summer into fall.

    This is an ideal low-growing groundcover that is adaptable to full sun or partial shade. Grow it in full sun in cooler zones and in partial shade elsewhere. We also highly recommend this plant as a groundcover or in mixed containers where it carpets the base of larger plants, conserves soil moisture and spills gently over the pot's edge. Don't be afraid to water and fertilize it regularly. 

    10.50
  • Salvia mexicana 'Ocampo'

    (Ocampo Mexican Sage) Growing from 7 to 10 feet tall each year, this is the largest of our Mexican Sages. Yet due to its erect form, this sage only spreads 36 inches. It has large, deep violet flowers with almost black calyxes that rise up on tall spikes and dark green, heavily veined foliage.

    Collected near the mountain valley town of Ocampo, this Salvia mexicana is native to Mexico's eastern Sierra Madre range in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas on the Gulf of Mexico.

    In its homeland, Ocampo Mexican Sage grows on the edges of oak and pine forests. So it does well under tall, deciduous trees and at the margins of moist woodlands in USDA Zones 8 to 11 where it blooms in fall.

    Give this hummingbird favorite well-drained, rich soil and regular watering. It works well as a screen or background planting or in tall borders and cut flower gardens. Container planting is fine, but limits height.

    10.50
  • Salvia patens 'Blue Angel'

    (Blue Angel Gentian Sage) Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. Blue Angel is one of the smallest of the full-sized varieties.

    Well branched and compact, this variety has 2 1/2 inch flowers that are a deep, royal blue and bloom from summer into fall. It is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, it is so lovely that it is worth growing as a summer bedding plant in colder zones.

    Blue Angel likes regular watering and rich, well-drained soil. It grows in full sun or partial shade and can handle moist corners of the yard. Use it as a path edging, border, groundcover or container plant.

    British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

    Highly recommended by hummingbirds, but not by deer!

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia patens 'Cambridge Blue'

    (Cambridge Blue Gentian Sage) Cambridge Blue is one of the most famous varieties of Salvia patens, which was discovered in Central Mexico in 1838. Its powder blue flowers are delightful and cooling in the landscape.

    This variety grows well in full sun or partial shade. Well branched and compact, it has 2 1/2 inch flowers that bloom from summer into fall. Similar to other Gentian Sages, this is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, all varieties of this species are so lovely that they are worth growing as summer bedding plants in colder zones.

    British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

    Highly recommended by hummingbirds, but not by deer!

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia patens 'Oxford Blue'

    (Oxford Blue Gentian Sage) Only Salvia patens 'Blue Angel' comes close to the rich gentian blue of this sage from Central Mexico. Oxford Blue also grows taller and spreads wider than Blue Angel.



    Well branched and compact, this Gentian Sage is reliably perennial in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Its lustrous, true blue flowers are 2 1/2 inches long and bloom from summer into fall. They make it a worth growing as a summer bedding plant in areas with colder winters.

    Oxford Blue likes regular watering and rich, well-drained soil. It does fine in full sun or partial shade and can handle moist corners of the yard. Use it as a path edging, border, groundcover or container plant.

    German botanist Karl Hartweg discovered the Salvia patens species in 1838. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas later called it "the best plant in cultivation."

    True blue is not a part of the color spectrum that hummingbirds favor, but they do love the rich nectar of the Gentian Sages. To ensure that hummingbirds stop by to tank up, mix Gentians with red flowered species.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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
    New!
  • Salvia clinopodioides 'Michoacan Blue'

    (Michoacan Blue Sage) This unusual and distinctive Mexican sage grows from tuberous roots. It is compact and decidedly vertical with strong, square, winged stems that rocket upward and are topped with clusters of rich blue flowers in large rosy bracts come autumn.

    In Zone 7 and above, you can leave the tubers in the ground or dig them up and divide them as you would dahlias to extend their growing range in your yard. Due to this plant's drought tolerance, we have been able to grow it without watering in summer. It needs full sun to partial shade and does well in containers, border plantings, cut-flower gardens and woodland-style gardens.

    The identification and nomenclature of this plant have been confusing at best. However, one thing is certain: If you grow it, you'll love it!

    10.50
  • Salvia macrophylla 'Purple Leaf'

    (Purple Leaf Tall Big Leaf Sage) Bright green on top, the long leaves of this distinctive sage are a dark, furry purple on the undersides. Like the more typical green form of Salvia Macrophylla, this variety has cobalt blue flowers that seem to float in airy clusters on 12-inch-tall branching spikes.

    This fast-growing, herbaceous perennial from Peru is adaptable to full sun and full shade. However, a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade may be more to its liking. Heat tolerant and water-loving, it is an ideal choice for a humid climate such as Florida's. Try it in a container indoors or on a patio. It's also a good choice for borders and background plantings.

    Salvia Macrophylla 'Purple Leaf' grows in a tidy, upright fashion, producing 2-inch-long flowers without pause from summer through early fall. Hummingbirds love it, but deer resist its charms.

    10.50
  • Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'

    (Guanajuato Giant Gentian Sage) At 3 inches long, the flowers of this Gentian Sage are the largest of any we grow. Guanjuato Giant is also unique for its tall, upright growth and heavily textured foliage.

    Spikes of deep, true blue flowers that rise up to 48 inches tall make this perennial sage a standout in the garden from summer into fall. This Gentian Sage is reliably perennial in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Its spectacular flowers also make it a fine choice as a summer bedding plant in areas with colder winters.

    Guanjuato Giant likes regular watering and rich, well-drained soil. It does fine in full sun or partial shade and can handle moist corners of the yard. Use it as a path edging, border, groundcover or container plant.

    German botanist Karl Hartweg discovered the Salvia patens species in 1838. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas later called it "the best plant in cultivation."

    Although, true blue is not a part of the color spectrum that hummingbirds favor, they are attracted to Gentian Sages especially when mixed with red-flowered sages.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia patens 'White Trophy'

    (White Trophy Gentian Sage) White Trophy loves partial shade and is the finest white Salvia patens available, with very large flowers that age to pale blue.

    Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

    Well branched and compact, this shade-loving variety has 2 1/2-inch flowers that bloom summer into fall. It is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, it is so lovely that it is worth growing as a summer bedding plant in colder zones. Whether grown as a perennial or annual, it is a perfect companion to any of the blue-flowered Gentian Sages.

    White Trophy can handle moist corners of the yard. Water it regularly and provide rich, well-drained soil. It looks pretty edging a shady path and in border, groundcover or container plantings.

    Highly recommended by butterflies, but not by deer!
    10.50
  • Salvia vitiifolia

    (Grape Leaf Sage) Tall spikes of intensely blue flowers bloom summer to fall and emerge in profusion from handsome, furry foliage. The leaves are grape green on top and purplish on the bottom. This water-loving sage grows rapidly into a spreading mound.

    Grow this one in full sun in cooler areas or in partial shade where summers are hot.  Good drainage is essential along with rich soil for best results. This showy sage from Oaxaca, Mexico, is ideal for patio planters and damp woodland gardens in USDA Zones 9 to 11.

    We highly recommend this sage, which is relatively new to the horticultural trade in the US. There is, however, some confusion about its identity. Some sources say it should be called Salvia serboana.

    11.50
Average customer rating:
 
(1 reviews)  



1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Mrs. Judith Hobbs
Jun 27, 2014
Finally getting to tell you how pleased I am with the Salvias I ordered. They were better than I expected.Packed beautifully to make the cross country trip. I have planted them in my garden and am patiently waiting for them to bloom. One has started Salvia macrophylla Tall Form. The color is beautiful. My only fear is living in the Northeast our weather can be unpredictable and fall sometimes comes early and might not allow them to bloom as much as I'd like. I will definitely order early next year.
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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.
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.