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Salvia rubescens


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Salvia rubescens




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Description

(Venezuelan Red Sage) Purple stems and calyxes so dark that they almost look black contrast dramatically with the deep red-orange flowers of this South American beauty. This tall, spectacular sage has been in cultivation for decades but is still rare in gardens. We'd like to see that change.

The heavily textured leaves are large, growing about 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. They are hairy, which gives the foliage a silvery appearance. The flower spikes grow up to 2 feet tall.

This is a robust shrub that requires full sun to partial shade, average watering and rich, well-drained soil. Plant it in a prominent place so you can enjoy its long bloom throughout fall as well as the hummingbirds who use it regularly.  At our farm its flowering synchronizes with the Dahlias. Garden uses include shrub borders, cut-flower gardens, background plantings and patio containers.

Rubescens refers to the reddish color of the flowers. This native of Venezuela was first described by Reinhard Gustav Paul Kunth in 1817.

Although we list this species for USDA Cold Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, we believe it may be hardy to Zone 8 winters if treated as an herbaceous perennial and well mulched.

Highly recommended.

Details

Product rating
 
(2 reviews)  

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2 item(s) available

Common name  
Venezuelan Red Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
48"+/48"+/60"+
Exposure  
Full sun
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 (2 available)




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

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
48 inches tall+
48 inches tall+
48 inches wide+
48 inches wide+
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

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# 44B



Throat color - Strong Red - RHS# 53C

Primary color - Vivid Reddish Orange - RHS# 44B



Bract color - Dark Red
RHS# 187A

Leaf color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 138B



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
See other plants with similar colors
See other plants with split complementary colors
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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 blepharophylla `Diablo'

    (Diablo Eyelash Sage) Small, eyelash-like hairs on the edge of its leaves give this Mexican native part of its name. It earns "Diablo," which means "devil" in Spanish, from the two yellow stamens that stand up out of each flower like horns.

    This compact, gently mounding Salvia spreads gradually by underground stolons. Its rich red flowers are darker in full sun and paler in partial shade. It blooms from early summer to late fall and is a delightful addition to a mixed border.

    10.50
  • Salvia blepharophylla `Old Form'

    (Eyelash Sage) Small, eyelash-like hairs on the edge of its leaves give this Mexican native part of its name. A compact, gently mounding Salvia, it spreads gradually by underground stolons.

    'Old Form' was collected in the wild and is a vigorous variety. All clones of this species vary in color depending on the light in which they grow as well as variations in ambient temperature and time of year. It is, at times, a rich reddish-orange as the photo indicates. However, instead of trying to describe all its color variations and compare them to the flowers of the other Eyelash Sages we offer --'Painted Lady' and Diablo' -- we suggest that you try all three!

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia blepharophylla `Painted Lady'

    (Painted Lady Eyelash Sage) Small, eyelash-like hairs on the edge of its leaves give this Mexican native part of its name. A compact, gently mounding Salvia, it spreads gradually by underground stolons.

    Similar to Diablo Eyelash Sage, the richly colored flowers of this variety are darker in full sun and paler in partial shade. It's red-orange flowers are brighter than those of "Diablo' and often cover the plant in large clusters from early summer to late fall. Enjoy it in a mixed border.

    10.50
  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia fulgens

    (Cardinal Sage) Aptly named for its cardinal red, 2-inch-long flowers that glisten in the autumn sun, this full-sun sage blooms from fall into winter. Hummingbirds love it, but deer resist its charms. Growing up to 5 feet tall, it makes a fine screen.

    Cardinal Sage is another Salvia of uncertain nomenclature. Some sources identify it as Salvia fulgens, while others say it is Salvia cardinalis or S. fulgens var. cardinalis.

    Cardinal Sage is native to elevations up to 11,000 feet in Central Mexico. It is a shrub in Zones 8 and 9 or an herbaceous perennial in Zone 7.  Plant it in a warm spot with fertile, well-drained soil. Although it loves water, it also does well in dry conditions. We highly recommend this adaptable beauty.

    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 regla 'Royal'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) Coahuila, Mexico, is home to many fine Salvias, including the smallest variety of Salvia regla that we grow. This one averages about 3 feet tall and wide.

    This fragrant, compact Salvia regla has tidy foliage and large, orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall in USDA Zones 7 to 10. The absolutely unique characteristic of this variety is its bright orange bracts that even turn the heads of longtime Salvia enthusiasts.


    A native of the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca, Salvia regla is powerfully heat tolerant and fragrant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens. Give it full sun and well-drained soil. Grow it as a screen, shrub border or background plant. This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. Butterflies also visit. So it's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.

    NOTE: Theses are slow to propagate, and generally take at least 8 weeks for an appropriate plant to be grown.

    10.50
  • Salvia retinervia

    (Bolivian Lace Leaf Sage)  A large decidious woody shrub, this is a distinctive and somewhat unique Salvia species.  The large clusters of deep blue flowers appear in the spring and again in the fall. A native from a tropical savanna climate in Bolivia, this species grows best in climates with year-round warmth.

    Growing six feet or more tall and across, give this species adequate space to develop.  The true blue flowers are quite abundant during bloom times, and the attractive grey-green leaves make this a handsome background plant.  Good drainage is essential, and rich soil is appreciated but not required.

    New for 2017.

    14.50
    New!
  • Salvia sagittata

    (Arrowleaf Sage) Brilliant royal blue flowers and unusual foliage attract the eye to Arrowleaf Sage. This large herbaceous perennial is found at elevations up to 10,000 feet in the Cordillera de los Andes of Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

    Sagittata refers to the arrowhead shaped leaves, which are deeply textured, lime-green and woolly on the undersides. The flowers rise up 1 to 2 feet on dark, leafy spikes from summer into fall.

    This sage is adaptable about settings ranging from full sun to partial shade, but needs at least a few hours of strong sunlight daily to bloom well. It also likes well-drained soil that’s high in organic matter, regular watering and a light feeding once or twice a month during rapid growth.

    Arrowleaf Sage's habit of spreading via suckers makes it a good groundcover. However, it needs some partial-shade time to do this. It also works well in perennial borders and containers as well as along pathways.

    For the best shape and most profuse bloom, cut this sage down to its lowest few active growth nodes in March.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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 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 '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
  • 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
  • Salvia carnea

    (Temascaltepec Sage) In full bloom, which is all year in mild climates, this mid-sized, shrubby Salvia has far more flowers than foliage. Each 1/2-inch-long, bright pink bloom has two dark pink/purple spots and a pair of white stripes. The small, slightly furry leaves add to its soft, pleasing look.

    Temascaltepec Sage is new to the United States and comes from the Valle de Bravo Lake region of Central Mexico. It is a tender perennial affected by frost, but so fast growing that it is ideal as an outdoor summer bedding plant. Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies love this sage, which grows well in full sun to partial shade.

    This Salvia is a favorite in cut-flower gardens and a superior container plant in a greenhouse or sunroom. We rate it "best of class" for being our top performer among large summer bedding Salvias.

    10.50
Average customer rating:
 
(2 reviews)  



2 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Kathi Johnson Rock
Jun 1, 2016
Fabulous late blooming plant for hummingbirds. It easily grew to 6 feet in a container, even in Madison. We hope to get it blooming much earlier this season (it was a free plant with a late season order last year.) We would never be without this plant for our hummingbirds---love the distinctive and brilliant red flowers and so do our hummingbirds!!
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Ms. Cynthia Kerr
Apr 29, 2016
Looking happy and content. Arrived in great shape. Can't wait to see those black stems and hot red blossoms emerge.
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Cultivating Color: New FBTS Tools Aid Garden Design

Cultivating Color: New FBTS Tools Aid Garden Design


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: Apr 25, 2015 01:16 PM
Synopsis: Have we got tools for you! No, we aren't selling Ginzu clippers, rust-free shovels, a miraculous compost-in-minutes machine or anything requiring payments. We're talking about a set of color tools for accurately visualizing and comparing the floral and foliage colors of Salvias. As you wander through the riot of hues in our online catalog at Flowers by the Sea, these tools aid plant selection and landscape planning. Beginning in fall 2014, we began identifying the colors of all FBTS plants based on the internationally standardized color system published by the U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society. This improves descriptions of plant colors and makes color comparisons of plants easier for garden design.
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.