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Salvia spathacea


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Description

(Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) No sage we grow is more attractive to hummingbirds than this one. Spectacular in all ways, it is one of our favorite Salvias with its fruity smelling, evergreen foliage and jewel-like flowers and bracts.

Salvia spathacea is easy to grow, drought tolerant, heat resistant and adaptable to a broad range of light conditions from full sun to full shade. It blooms reliably from late winter into spring, sometimes stretching into summer and blooming again in fall.

Our strain is a rich rose red and doesn't go dormant in summer. It comes from the northern end of a native range stretching from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California's Central Coast south to Orange County. The flowers of all varieties of this species grow in large clusters on tall spikes that rise up from sticky, basal foliage.

Hummingbird Sage develops into a mound that spreads gently with underground runners. It's hardy to USDA Zones 8 to 11 and, in favorable conditions, can spread 4 feet. However, average growth is 24 inches tall and wide. 

We sell out in a heartbeat when we offer these sages in bloom at our local Markets.

Details

Product rating
 
(1 reviews)  

In stock
Out of stock

Common name
Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage
USDA Zones
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)
24"/24"/42"
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
Our price
$8.50

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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 shade
Full shade
Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Winter blooming
Winter blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
  • Salvia apiana

    (Sacred White Sage) Bees, hummingbirds and spiritual blessings are all connected to this elegant shrubby sage, which is an important herb to indigenous Californians and deserves a place in every salvia garden. Stiff and almost fleshy, its leaves are tight rosettes of brilliant, silvery white. The flower spikes soar above the foliage, with hundreds of small white-to-lavender flowers that are one of the most important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinators. This Salvia is also the source of leaves for Native American smudge sticks used in purification rituals.

    Slow growing but not difficult, this California native requires good drainage and full sun. In its dry-summer/wet-winter range, it often grows on rocky, south slopes.  Very little water is needed once the plant becomes established.

    Our strain is well adapted to the moist environment of coastal Northern California, and performs well in a wide variety of climates.  We select only the whitest and most compact plants for vegetative propagation, insuring a tidy shrub that will not overgrow its space.

    Historically, Sacred White Sage has been used in medicinal teas and ground into flour for cooking.  We burn the leaves in our home to sweeten and purify the air.  This is a beautiful and powerful plant.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia arizonica

    (Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched.

    Highly recommended.

    $8.50
  • Salvia cleistogama

    (Closed Sage) Yellow flowers are rare among Salvias. So this elegant European sage is greatly appreciated. It is an herbaceous, summer-flowering perennial that has become naturalized in eight states in the U.S. The common name refers to its flowers self-pollinating before opening.

    Closed Sage is an introduced species in Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia where it survives cold winter zones as well as ones with mild weather.

    Although it requires well-drained soil, this drought-resistant sage is a candidate for less-than-perfect growing conditions. It thrives on neglect and full sun. Use this adaptable sage in wild parts of the yard where it will attract honeybees and hummingbirds. It also adds a wildflower touch to border plantings.

    The nomenclature of the species is confusing. S. cleistogama seems to be the proper name for what was previously S. verbenacea. We think it is a different plant. In fact, one grower calls it the "Mystery Sage."

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia clevelandii 'Whirly Blue'

    (Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) A California native plant garden is not complete without a Cleveland Sage. This particular cultivar has deeper blue flowers with a purple overlay as well as deep purple calyxes. Due to its height and drought resistance, it is ideal for back of border in a dry garden.

    At 5 feet tall and wide, this plant is also a good xeric screen for fences, boundary lines and separations in your yard. Its tidy dome of fragrant leaves and flowers is rarely without honeybees, butterflies or hummingbirds.

    There is much confusion in the naming and identification of Salvias native to California, especially Cleveland Sage. However, we have done our due diligence and believe that the plant we offer under this name is the one first grown by the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation in 1990.

    $8.50
  • Salvia leucophylla

    (California Purple Sage or California Gray Sage) This California native is commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety, foliage. Due also to its hardiness, drought tolerance and ability to attract small wildlife, it is a joy in the dry garden.

    Salvia leucophylla is highly aromatic and grows gradually into a dense, silver mound. Its fragrant flowers last from late winter to spring, welcoming honeybees and hummingbirds with nectar. Songbirds are drawn to the tasty seed it produces and the insects it attracts. 

    All this sage requires to thrive in Zones 8 and 9 is well-drained soil and full sun. Salvia leucophylla likes ocean breezes as well as the heat of inland canyons. Being hardy to at least 15 degrees F, it is worth a try in some Zone 7 areas.

    We would use this heat-tolerant shrub in the landscape even if it didn't flower, because its long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves with serrated edges are so appealing. Aside from being a handsome screen or border plant in the dry garden, it makes a great large-scale ground cover that takes minimal care.

    Our stock was originally raised from seed collected at the far northern end of its range.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia leucophylla 'Amethyst Bluffs'

    (Giant Spreading California Purple Sage or Giant Spreading California Gray Sage) Looking for a large scale ground cover? One for poor soil, little to no water, howling winds or seriously hot sun? This Salvia leucophylla variety, collected in the wild and close to the ocean at Point Sal near Santa Barbara, may just be the plant for you.

    Commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety, foliage, Salvia leucophylla is a hardy Salvia species that is highly regarded for attracting small wildlife including songbirds, which love its tasty seed and the insects it attracts.

    Amethyst Bluffs, which can grow up to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide, is the largest clone of this species in cultivation. In most gardens it can be counted on being 6 feet tall and wide. It has dark pinkish-purple flowers that bloom in spring.

    Amethyst Bluffs was collected in the wild, close to the ocean at Point Sal near Santa Barbara. It has a wider gardening range than the species, being cold hardy to at least 15 degrees F, it is worth trying in some Zone 7 areas. All this tough & hardy sage requires is well-drained soil and full sun.

    We would use this shrub in the landscape even if it didn't flower, because its long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves with serrated edges are so appealing. Aside from being a great large-scale ground cover that takes minimal care, it is a handsome screen or border plant for dry gardens.

    $8.50
  • Salvia mellifera

    (Black Sage or Honey Sage) One of the most common and fragrant native shrubs in Central California's Coast Ranges, Black Sage is ideal for dry gardens. Admirably adaptable, it tolerates soils ranging from the most marginal to ones that are loamy and provide excellent drainage. It is a survivor.

    The elegant long wrinkled leaves are powerfully aromatic. Its small white-to-lavender whorls of flowers, which bloom from summer into fall, are vital sources of nectar and pollen for honeybees and hummingbirds.

    Use this garden workhorse for a large scale groundcover, as a background planting for other more dramatic Salvias or as a vital plant in a wildlife garden. It likes full sun and is heat tolerant.

    Our strain is originally from seed collected at the far northern edge of its range, and is hardy to at least 20 degrees F.
    $8.50
  • Salvia munzii

    (Munz's Sage) Densely branched and fragrant, this drought-resistant shrub is named for botanist Philip Munz (1892-1974) of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College. It is native to northern Baja California and the coastal mountains of San Diego.

    Large, lavender-to-violet flowers bloom from June through August amid the extremely aromatic, bright green foliage. Munz's Sage is widely adaptable, but excels in warm, semi-arid places that emulate its homelands. It is an attractive plant for native gardens or dry areas in USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    At 48 inches tall and wide, it is much larger than its relative Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), another powerfully aromatic plant of the coastal shrublands. Grow this heat-tolerant summer bloomer as a groundcover, screen or background planting. It also works well in a shrub border.

    We highly recommend Munz's Sage as do honeybees and hummingbirds.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia sonomensis 'Mrs Beard'

    (Mrs. Beard Creeping Sage) In 1963, Dr. Helen-Mar Wheeler Beard, a botanist from the University of California at Berkeley, found an accidental hybrid in her private garden. It developed into a mid-height, wide-spreading groundcover with gray-green foliage and tiny, lavender flowers.

    The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley has grown Dr. Beard’s surprise Salvia since 1965. It is a hybrid of Salvia sonomensis – known commonly as Creeping Sage or Sonoma Sage – and Salvia mellifera (Black Sage). As to why the cultivar name uses the honorific “Mrs.” Instead of “Dr.”, that remains a mystery.

    Although Mrs. Beard Creeping Sage can tolerate some shade, it prefers full sun. This durable plant is drought resistant and ideal for dry gardens where it is idea for preventing erosion on slopes and for planting in a mixed shrub border with other native sages. However, it looks best when it receives occasional summer watering. It does well in the winter conditions of USDA Zones 7 to 9, growing up to 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Although not picky about soil type, it needs good drainage.

    This fragrant sage blooms from spring into summer, attracting honeybees and hummingbirds. It is a close cousin of Salvia Bee’s Bliss (Bee’s Bliss Sage), which is always humming with honeybees when flowering.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia spathacea 'Avis Keedy'

    (Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden introduced this rare yellow variety of fragrant Hummingbird Sage. Similar to other varieties of this species, Avis Keedy is alluring to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    In addition to large clusters of canary yellow blossoms that light up the shade, Avis Keedy has bright green bracts and basal foliage. The flowers age to white, making for a soft blend of colors. The leaves are less lobed than those of the rose-colored species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    Avis Keedy can spread up to 3 feet across by underground runners in favorable conditions. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.

    We sell out of this Hummingbird Sage in a heartbeat when we offer them in bloom at our local farmers' markets.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia spathacea 'Cerro Alto'

    (Apricot Hummingbird Sage or Cerro Alto Pitcher Sage) Large clusters of warm, apricot-colored blossoms top the tall, thick flower spikes of this sage. It is named after a peak in the mountains behind the crashing waters of Big Sur on California's Central Coast.

    The flowers darken as they age atop mid-green bracts. Cerro Alto's basal foliage mounds and spreads by underground runners. In favorable conditions, it can spread 3 feet across. The leaves are less lobed than those of the species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    This is the strongest growing, most vigorous clone of Hummingbird Sage we have seen. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders and containers. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia spathacea 'Las Pilitas'

    (Little Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) At one-fourth to one-half the size of our other Hummingbird Sages, this is the smallest variety of Salvia spathacea that we grow.

    Topped with deep pink flowers and lighter rosy bracts, this one is also a hummingbird favorite. Its short flower spikes are numerous. From winter into spring, they blossom abundantly in large clusters about 12 to 24 inches above the plant's sticky, sweetly fragrant, basal foliage.

    Little Hummingbird Sage spreads slowly with underground runners. It is the most adaptable of the varieties we offer for less-than-perfect conditions, because it tolerates heat, clay soils and extreme drought.

    This is a fine choice in USDA Zones 8 to 11 for use as a groundcover, edging or part of a perennial border. It fits well in woodland, native plant and cut-flower gardens. Although this sage likes average watering based on local climate and weather, it is also ideal for dry gardening.

    We sell out in a heartbeat when we offer any kind of Salvia spathacea in bloom at our local farmers' markets. Also, no other sages we sell are as attractive to hummingbirds.

    $8.50
  • Salvia spathacea 'Topanga'

    (Topanga Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) Rich pink flowers surrounded by fuzzy, burgundy and green bracts are two of the reasons why this is one of our favorite kinds of Hummingbird Sage. We also love its vigorous, wide-spreading growth.

    This is our best Hummingbird Sage for groundcover use. Originally collected in Los Angeles County's Topanga Canyon, it grows well in locations with partial to full shade. The flower spikes are tall with thick, jewel-colored clusters of blossoms. The foliage is sticky and delightfully fragrant.

    Characterized by mounding growth that spreads gently by underground runners, a single plant of Topanga Hummingbird Sage can grow up to 12 feet across. Similar to other varieties of the species, it is heat tolerant and drought resistant. Add up all Topanga's qualities and you have an excellent plant for weed control in dry shade.

    This shade-loving variety works well in woodland, native plant and dry gardens. Heat tolerant and drought resistant, it is also invaluable for attracting and feeding hummingbirds. During bloom time, which is winter to spring, Topanga and all our Salvia spathacea sell out in a heartbeat.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • x Clinadina 'Desi Arnaz'

    (Desi Arnaz Mint Bush) Butterflies and honeybees enjoy the nectar of this accidental hybrid. Double-lipped, the pale lavender flowers with purple speckled throats are set amid glossy green, slender foliage. It's the offspring of two mint-family members native to the American Southeast.

    Desi Arnaz Mint Bush is a cross between Georgia Calamint or Clinopodium georgianum and an unidentified species of False Rosemary (Conradina). The chance hybrid appeared in Robert Mackintosh's South Carolina garden and was introduced by Woodlanders nursery.

    Plant Delights of North Carolina combined the two genus names to arrive at (Clinadina). Woodlanders credits Mississippi's Flowerplace Plant Farm with popularizing the plant and dubbing it Desi Arnaz.

    Tolerant of heat and drought, Desi Arnaz Mint Bush does well in full sun and well-drained soil. It is a long-blooming, peppermint-fragrant, petite perennial that works well as groundcover in a broad range of winter climates. Give it full sun and well-drained soil or, like Lucille Ball, you might have some explaining to do.

    $8.50
  • Salvia x 'Waverly'

    (Waverly Sage) A pale pink to lavender blush adds delicate color to the white flowers of Waverly Sage, which are supported by plum-colored calyxes. Its mid-green leaves are lance shaped and veined.

    This is a tender, woody shrub that may remain evergreen or an herbaceous perennial that dies to ground, depending on the winter temperatures where you live.

    First called "Mark's Mystery White," this long-blooming, sun-loving plant that can tolerate some shade. It appears to be related to Mexican Bush Sage (S. leucantha), but it's likely we'll never know all the details of its heritage.

    Waverly Sage has a fountain-like form with long stems that rise up from the base and then arch downward. Height varies depending, once again, on local growing conditions. On our farm, it tends to reach about four feet high and six feet wide. However, it does well in a large container.

    Deer avoid this shrub, which is popular with butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Heat tolerant and drought resistant, it is a great choice for dry landscapes.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

Average customer rating:
 
(1 reviews)  



1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Mrs. Lisa Harshman
Mar 9, 2014
I was very impressed by the size and vigor of the salvia spathacea plants I received. They were between eight and nine inches tall which is huge for mail order plants. They appeared to be very healthy and ready to grow.
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In the Native Garden: 25 Colorful California Salvias Plus a Cousin

In the Native Garden: 25 Colorful California Salvias Plus a Cousin


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Jun 17, 2014 11:22 PM
Synopsis: Native plants, including California's many indigenous sages, are like the boys or girls next door who were overlooked until outsiders discovered their good looks and other fine attributes. For the longest time, native species didn’t get respect in home gardening – a sizeable oversight considering that California alone has more than 5,500 native plants. Natives are roughly defined as species that were growing in America before European colonization. Flowers by the Sea cultivates hardy, drought-resistant California Salvias that are native to a broad swath of the West Coast ranging from Northern Baja to Southern Oregon. The 26 California natives detailed here are all drought resistant and many tolerate heat. They are well suited to waterwise, xeriscapic landscapes, including dry gardens in which plants must survive despite almost no supplemental watering.
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 08:51 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 08:51 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.

Fall Planting: 8 Sages for Fragrance by Your Front Door

Fall Planting: 8 Sages for Fragrance by Your Front Door


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Sep 29, 2013 05:08 PM
Synopsis: Colorful plantings make entryways attractive. Even better are pretty plantings that are fragrant and provide a sensory lift before you journey indoors. Scent wakes up memories and makes us see in a different way. Here are eight sensible suggestions for adding lovely scents to your landscape.
Salvia Small Talk: Texas Hummingbird Roundup

Salvia Small Talk: Texas Hummingbird Roundup


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Apr 21, 2013 04:50 PM
Synopsis: Head 'em up; move 'em out. Texas birders participate in an annual Hummingbird Roundup to gather information about the state's 18 species.
Hummingbirds in the Garden: Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Hummingbirds in the Garden: Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden


Category: Hummingbirds in the Garden
Posted: Feb 24, 2013 09:54 PM
Synopsis:

Planting a hummingbird garden filled with nectar-rich, long-blooming Salvias aids preservation of hummingbird species that migrate each year throughout North America. It also gives you a front-row seat to a fascinating aerobatics show. Backyard islands of colorful sages are like gas stations for hummingbirds' long-distance journeys. Salvias can keep your garden whirring with the helicopter-like flight of hummingbirds from spring through autumn and -- in warm climates -- into winter.

Salvias Down South: Southern California Butterfly Favorites

Salvias Down South: Southern California Butterfly Favorites


Category: Butterflies in the Garden
Posted: Nov 5, 2012 07:36 PM
Synopsis: Wildscaping a butterfly-friendly garden in Southern California is an act of kindness, especially toward imperiled species. Gardeners from Santa Barbara southward may want to group coastal sage and chaparral plants in their butterfly gardens, because those are among favorite sources of nectar for adult butterflies and host plants for caterpillars. Sages are popular nectar choices. Plants, such as Milkweeds and Impatiens, that work well both as nectar providers and caterpillar hosts are important additions.
The Power of Scent

The Power of Scent


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 12:15 AM
Synopsis: While it's true that not all Salvias smell, well, pleasant, many varieties are grown specifically for the pungent or even sweet aromas that they release into the air. These ten Salvias are our "text-decoration: underline;">top picks for the best-smelling varieties in the garden.
A Gardeners Guide to Hummingbird Sage

A Gardeners Guide to Hummingbird Sage


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 21, 2012 11:55 AM
Synopsis: Among the hummers' favorites: "font-style: italic;">Salvia spathacea, commonly known as Hummingbird Sage. As it name suggests, this California native produces the hummingbirds' flower of choice, blooming from late winter through summer -- and sometimes again in Fall -- with rose-pink to magenta blossoms. Available in six varieties, this robust perennial not only attracts hummers with its abundant nectar, it's easy to grow and enhances any landscape with its aromatic blooms and fragrant evergreen foliage.
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.