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Salvia praeclara


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Salvia praeclara

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Spring Limited Availability Plant
Spring Limited Availability

This plant is available only in the spring

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Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

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Description

(Bolivian Sage) From early Spring to first frost, brilliant scarlet flowers on spikes up to 18 inches long adorn this Bolivian native in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Even if you live in a zone with colder winters, Bolivian Sage is spectacular as a bedding plant.

This plant has been called "Salvia coccinea on steroids."  Bolivian Sage has smallish leaves but grows up to 8 feet tall in a single season. It blooms constantly from spring into fall, attracting butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds yet deer pass it by.

The flowers of Bolivian Sage are particularly dramatic due to the long anthers reaching out of each blossom. This trait gives Bolivian Sage its scientific synonym Salvia exserta, which means extending outward.

Give this sage full sun to partial shade, regular watering and average to rich garden loam. Aside from being a floriferous screen or background planting, it works well in containers and cut-flower gardens.

Details

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In stock
Spring Limited Availability

Common name  
Bolivian Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
96+/48/96+
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Synonym  
Salvia exserta
Our price
8.00

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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

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
96+
96+
48
48

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

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 - Vivid Reddish Orange
RHS# 43A






Throat color - Vivid Reddish Orange - RHS# 43A




Secondary color - Strong Red
RHS# 53C



Bract color - Dark Purple
RHS# 79A

Leaf color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 137C



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
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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 coccinea 'Brenthurst'

    Tropical Sage is popular as an annual throughout America and as a perennial in warm zones. It is particularly beloved in the Deep South where it withstands heat, wind, heavy rains and excessive humidity to bloom prolifically season after season. Brenthurst is a coral-flowered cultivar with dramatic, dark bracts and bright green, heart-shaped leaves.

    The Desert Botanical Garden of Houston reports that goldfinch enjoy eating the seed of Salvia coccinea. It’s also a favorite with hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies. Fortunately, deer don’t have a taste for it.

    Tropical Sage -- also known as Scarlet Sage -- is native to the American South, Mexico, West Indies and South America. It loves water, but is also drought tolerant; it withers then rebounds following dry spells. Brenthurst, which looks somewhat similar to Coral Nymph Tropical Sage, blooms from spring into fall. A petite plant, it rises up only 12 to 30 inches tall and spreads 18 inches wide. Use it in borders, containers and moist areas.

    7.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'

    (Coral Nymph Tropical Sage) What a cutie! This award-winning cultivar of Tropical Sage is short and compact yet has a multitude of peachy pink-to-white flowers larger than those of its bigger cousins. It is perfect for annual flower beds or patio containers.

    A perennial in mild climates, this plant belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. It loves regular watering and rich soil similar to so many bedding flowers. Plant it in full sun or partial shade.

    Coral Nymph is long blooming and reliable. Plant multiples of this sage where you can appreciate the cool pastel flowers up close. We consider this sage indispensable.

    7.00

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  • Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire'

    (Forest Fire Tropical Sage) Butterflies and hummingbirds love the abundant, fire engine red flowers of this mostly annual sage. It's a popular cultivar of one of the first Salvias used for ornamental purposes -- Tropical Sage. The flowers are dramatically framed by reddish black bracts.

    A tender perennial in mild climates, this compact plant belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. Thomas Jefferson grew this drought-resistant, low-maintenance sage. Today, it is a favorite in borders and containers.

    Plant this long blooming, spectacularly showy sage in full sun or partial shade wherever you need a big splash of color. Give it regular watering and rich soil.

    7.00

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  • Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Red'

    (Summer Jewel Red Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, which is an outstanding choice for bright red color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    Summer Jewel is easy to grow and a great addition to annual flower beds or containers. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. Plant it in full sun or partial shade as a tender perennial in mild climates and as an annual elsewhere. Reaching up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this sage is an ideal border plant. Use it where you want to create intense color and attract pollinators.

    One of our Top 10 Hummingbird Plants, this sage belongs in all gardens regardless of zone. We consider it indispensable due to its long bloom, low maintenance and spectacular show.

    7.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious'

    (Golden Pineapple Sage) The bright crimson flowers of this extremely fragrant, shrubby sage are attractive to both humans and pollinators. However, it is the glowing golden foliage that most distinguishes it from other varieties of its species.

    In cooler parts of its climate range, such as in Zone 9, Golden Pineapple Sage grows well in full sun. In warmer locations, it is a candidate for the partially shaded garden. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is good.

    In areas with colder winters than that of Zone 9, this plant deserves a place in the annual garden where it gives many months of service for a small investment of time and money. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it; deer generally avoid it.

    Give this flavorful culinary sage well-drained soil rich in humus. Compact and thrifty, it is an outstanding accent plant in borders, cut-flower gardens and containers.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    10.50

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  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Dancing Flame'

    (Variegated Scarlet Sage) Crimson flowers topping bright yellow foliage mottled with deep green make this one of the most spectacular Salvias we grow. There are numerous clones of this variety of the tender perennial throughout the U.S. nursery trade, but we consider ours to be the best, as it originated in our nursery.

    Meet its needs and Salvia splendens van houttei 'Dancing Flame' is easy to grow. Plant it in partial to full shade where you can give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering.

    Although short and compact, this Scarlet Sage is dramatic in woodland gardens and annual flowerbeds as well as in patio containers and indoors as a houseplant. Outdoors, it is an annual in colder zones and a tender perennial in warmer ones where it can bloom 12 months a year.

    Seasonally available and limited.

    10.50

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  • Salvia splendens ‘Sao Borja’

    (Sao Borja Scarlet Sage) Three-inch-long, smokey purple blossoms that bloom from spring to fall are a major clue that this heat-tolerant perennial is not your grandmother's Scarlet Sage.

    Even when grown as an annual, Salvia splendens 'Sao Borja' brings a tropical look to any garden by reaching an impressive height of 6 feet or taller in one season.

    This Brazilian native grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11 where it is a tender perennial that may return yearly to the warmest parts of its range. 

    Sao Borja was discovered in the port city of Sao Borja, which is named after Spain's Saint Francis Borgia. The city is located on the Uruguay River, across from Argentina and in Rio Grande do Sul, which is the southernmost state of Brazil and borders the Atlantic coast.

    To succeed, Sao Borja Scarlet Sage needs partial shade all day or a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. It also requires rich soil and ample water for a spring surge of growth that needs to be seen to be believed. Use it as a screen, an accent plant or in a container, which will limit size.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

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  • Salvia subrotunda

    (Giant Brazilian Sage) Yes, this one is gigantic. The first season we grew this heat-tolerant sage, it reached 8 feet tall by July! Masses of small, red-orange, trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and honeybees to long, upward curving flower spikes towering over heart-shaped foliage.

    Giant Brazilian Sage is difficult to beat for attracting pollinators. Its flowers are similar to those of Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea), which is like a dwarf compared to this grand plant. Giant Brazilian Sage flowers from mid-spring until frost and loves rich, well-drained soil. Although average watering is all that is necessary, it can handle excessive moisture.

    This statuesque beauty makes a fine screen or background planting, but also does well in containers. It comes from the Iguazu Falls region that forms a border between Brazil and Argentina. In the U.S., it is surprisingly hardy and reliably perennial in mild climates such as Zone 9 and, perhaps, the warmest reaches of Zone 8.

    Plant this lush sage where you can stand back and appreciate its mass of blooms. It does best with regular water and some shade in the hottest areas, very much like Tropical Sage. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.

    Seasonally available.

    Thank you Russ Thompson for the additional pictures.

    8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Big Swing'

    (Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Big Leaf Sage (Salvia macrophylla).

    Garden writer Betsy Clebsch developed Big Swing, which is a cross between Big Leaf Sage and Arrowleaf Sage (S. sagitata). Its flower spikes rise well above handsome foliage with large, furry, arrowhead-shaped leaves that look almost tropical.

    Use this heat-tolerant plant to bring a lush look to a damp corner of your garden or in mixed patio containers.  Give it rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water for a long bloom season.

    Big Swing comes highly recommended by butterflies, but deer leave it alone.

    10.50
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Big Orange Bedding Plant Beauties for Hummingbirds

Big Orange Bedding Plant Beauties for Hummingbirds


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Mar 14, 2015 10:50 AM
Synopsis: You'll hear a lot about red when planting annuals for wildlife gardens, because hummingbirds garden love red, tubular, nectar-rich flowers. But orange is another hummingbird favorite not to be neglected. Flowers by the Sea suggests five long blooming species for your landscape that begin shouting "Orange, orange, orange" in spring when hummingbirds are big-time hungry now, now, now as they head north for the nesting season.
Blazing Red Sages for Sun and Partial Shade

Blazing Red Sages for Sun and Partial Shade


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Jun 16, 2013 09:44 AM
Synopsis: Warm colors tend to take center stage in a landscape as well as brightening the shade. Yet warm colors generally aren't associated with shady sage (Salvia) gardens, because there are far more shade-tolerant sages in the blue to purple range. So we decided to poke around our catalog and pull together some hot choices that thrive in partial shade.
To make landscaping even easier, you may want to limit your choice of plants to one color. Massing is dramatic.
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.