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Salvia stepposa


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Salvia stepposa
Time to think about Fall Planting
This plant is
Ideal for Fall Planting

Limited Availability Plant
Limited Availability

Available April to August only.

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Description

(Siberian Sage) Deep violet flowers surrounded by burgundy bracts form a handsome contrast with the pebbly, mint green foliage of this drought-resistant sage. It comes from the Central Asian steppe, which is similar in climate and geography to America’s high plains.

Cold and heat tolerant, this is an ideal plant for semi-arid, high-altitude areas such as the Rocky Mountain West. It is native to lands stretching from Eastern Europe into Central Asia. You can find Salvia stepposa in countries such as Afghanistan, China’s Xinjiang province, Iran and Kyrgyzstan.

Garden writer and researcher Noel Kingsbury describes Kyrgyzstan’s steppe country as being an ocean of Salvia, containing violet waves of Salvia stepposa. Kingsbury says it’s “like a vast garden border on a kind of overdrive.”

Also known as Salvia dumetorum and Siberian Sage, this summer bloomer is adaptable to both full sun and partial shade. It grows in almost any kind of soil that drains well and reaches sizes up to 48 inches tall and 24 inches wide, which makes it just right for butterfly-attracting borders on overdrive in your garden.

Details

Product rating
 
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In stock
Limited Availability

Common name
Siberian Sage
USDA Zones
5 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)
24"/24"/48"
Exposure
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type
Well drained
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 sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Partial shade
Partial shade

Growing Habit

5 - 9
5 - 9
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Spring blooming
Spring blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
  • Salvia cadmica

    Whorls of deep violet blossoms are cupped by dark bracts on the flower spikes of this mid-height herbaceous sage from Turkey. Its bright green foliage is thick, corrugated and fragrant. This plant is lovely and hardy, so it is surprising that it wasn’t introduced to commercial cultivation until 2007.

    Salvia cadmica is an adaptable, heat-tolerant perennial that grows well in partial shade to full sun and blooms from late spring through early summer. It does well in USDA Zones 7 to 10, either in dry conditions or with regular watering due to its ability to tolerate drought.

    In its homeland, it thrives in rocky, well-drained soil at altitudes of about 3,000 to 5,000 feet. It is endemic to Turkey, which means that is the only country where it grows wild without human intervention. There are nearly 100 species of salvia native to Turkey, of which more than 50 percent are endemic.

    This colorful sage sometimes is mistaken for a neighboring plant, Salvia smyrnea and is occasionally referred to by the synonym Salvia conradii Staph .

    Use it in perennial borders, along pathways and in dry gardens. Honeybees and butterflies will soon discover it and aid pollination throughout your gardens. Deer, however, will leave it alone.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia caespitosa

    (Anatolian Cushion Sage) Rising up only 6 to 8 inches, this is a pixie-sized sage that loves gritty soils. It is perfect for dry gardens with gritty soils in USDA Zones 5 to 9. In fact, it seems to love the colder zones best. We think it is particularly fond of frozen ground in winter, because that helps keep its roots from getting too damp.

    Salvia caespitosa is a challenging plant to photograph. Actually, its flowers are a translucent pale pink with rosy, golden bracts. Blooming from spring into summer, they are surprisingly large and angle upwards, rising above fine, gray-green leaves with serrated margins.

    Native to the steppe lands of Southern Europe, this sage can be found in the Anatolia region of Turkey where winters are chilly and it grows in full sunshine. Plant it as a slow-growing groundcover, path edging or rock garden feature. As its name indicates, it forms a cushion-like mound.

    $12.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia canescens var. daghestanica

    (Caucasus Sage) This hardy ground cover sage grows 4 to 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The velvety white fur of its foliage aids moisture retention. Its soft, royal purple flowers make it stand out. We think this Salvia deserves to spread far and wide.

    A tough native of the Caucasus Mountains of central Asia, it survives the freezing temperatures of Zone 5, forming a tight mat that withstands light traffic. It blooms in early summer and again in fall. Plant this beauty in well-drained soil, but don't pamper it; Caucasus Sage grows well in harsh environments.

    This is one of the shortest Salvias we grow and makes a fine border edging or rock garden plant. We highly recommend its use as a ground cover, so we offer a discount for larger orders.

    Here is a great blog article about this plant.

    $9.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia hians

    (Himalayan Sage or Kashmir Sage) The word "hians" in Salvia hians means "gaping" and refers to the hanging lip of this sage's flowers, which are a dusky violet and bloom from late spring through early fall.

    This hardy, easy-to-grow species is a heat-tolerant native of Pakistan and Bhutan where it is found at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 ft. Sticky and fragrant, the foliage features heart-shaped leaves.

    Himalayan Sage grows in woodlands and on slopes in its native environment. Give it sun in cool climates and part shade in warm areas. This water-loving, herbaceous sage also needs soil rich in humus.

    Please note: the "true identity of this plant is in question.  We offer it as is, with no certainty as to whether it is the real Salvia hians.

    Himalayan Sage is a good border plant for shady walkways. Although deer don't like it, our customers do. Consequently, it is usually in short supply.

    $9.50
  • Salvia pachyphylla 'Blue Flame'

    (Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.

    Fragrant, drought resistant and heat tolerant, this is a sage that isn’t particular about soils as long as they drain well. Give this shrub lots of sunshine and little water for best performance.

    Blue Flame’s improbably lush flowers are offset by mid-green foliage. It does well in dry, gravelly gardens as a groundcover, border or pathway edging and is just right for a native garden focusing on the Southwest or a wide variety of American native species.

    Expect Blue Flame to grow up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide and to flower from summer to fall. Expect to fall in love with it; certainly butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds do. Luckily, deer avoid it.

    Thanks for the beautiful photo go to high-altitude plant expert Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens.

    $12.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia pachystachys

    (Caucasian Mountain Sage) The lavender, almost translucent flowers of this short Turkish sage bloom in summer and are surrounded by pale pink and green bracts. The combination looks fancy, like a summery party dress.

    However, this is a tough plant with sturdy, thick flower spikes as indicated by the botanical appellation “pachystachys.”

    This cold- and heat-tolerant sage is well adapted for the widely varying winter temperatures of USDA Zones 5 to 9. Native to the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas, it is a common sight in the East Anatolia region of Turkey.

    Also drought tolerant, this species is a good choice for full-sun, dry gardens where it can be used as a groundcover, path edging and shrub border. Similar to many Turkish sages, it does well in poorer soils as long as they are well drained.

    Although it looks yummy, deer leave it alone.

    $12.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia pratensis 'Lapis Lazuli'

    (Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage) Ethereal, lilac-pink, parrot-shaped blossoms abound on the tall flower spikes of this Salvia pratensis cultivar. So don’t expect a blue as the name indicates, but do expect great beauty during summer bloom time.

    At 18 to 30 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches, this is a good plant for the second row of a layered, perennial border. Gray-green, dense and fragrant, its basal foliage works well as a groundcover in woodland gardens. Or add it as a central element in summer patio containers. Wherever you plant it, expect visits from honeybees and butterflies.

    When first planted, the foliage rosette resembles the leaves of primrose plants.

    Meadow Sages are native to Europe and Asia. The parent of this cultivar was first recorded in the late 17th century in the Kent area of Southeast England. Salvia pratensis is now considered an endangered species in England due to its rarity and decline.

    In 2008, a botanical preserve in Kent reported the theft of all its Salvia pratensis plants, an offense under England’s 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. In contrast, the species is classified as invasive in Washington state. We have not noticed that to be the case in our gardens.

    This is another cold-tolerant Meadow Sage and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Although it can survive drought, Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage needs regular watering for best bloom. Keep it moist but not soggy. Plant it in average garden soil that isn’t too rich, but contains enough organic matter for good drainage. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is best.

    Salvia pratensis is part of a closely connected group of Meadow Sages, including Salvia x sylvestris , Salvia x superba and Salvia nemorosa. As with other sages, in general, Lapis Lazuli’s foliage is safe from deer and rabbits.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia recognita

    (Turkish Cliff Sage) Spring into early summer, Turkish Cliff Sage produces erect, branching flower spikes 24 to 36 inches long that rise from basal foliage. They’re covered with whorls of pale pink blossoms with delicate white markings.

    Salvia recognita is endemic to Central Turkey, which means that is the only place where it originates in the wild. It's found at the base of cliffs at altitudes up to 4,000 feet where heat tolerance and drought resistance are necessary for survival. Long silky hairs give the plant’s light green leaves a grayish cast and help them conserve moisture. The leaves vary in size from 3 to 12 inches long.

    As a cliff dweller, this heat-tolerant sage is adjusted to rocky, dry soils. However, we’ve found that it can handle regular watering and isn’t picky about soil types except for requiring good drainage. It does well in either full sun or partial shade.

    Although deer don’t consider Salvia recognita a good snack, honeybees and butterflies love it. In the ground, it can grow from 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. So it works well as a background or border planting. With careful trimming, it also looks lovely in containers.
    $8.50
  • Salvia regeliana

    (The Queen's Sage) Regal spikes of lavender-to-purple flowers give weight to this sage's common name. It provides an abundance of blossoms during summer in USDA Zones 6 to 10. Cold hardy and heat tolerant, this impressive perennial comes from the mountains of Turkey.

    Queen's Sage grows quickly into a large clump with tall, branched flower spikes. The fragrant foliage is an attractive gray-green. Although it is also known as Salvia verticillata subsp. verticillata, this seems inaccurate from a gardener's perspective. Queen's Sage tends to be taller and more stately than Lilac Sage.

    This is an attractive plant for perennial borders, large container plantings or path edging. Give it full sun, well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions. Butterflies love it. Hummingbirds also visit, which can't be said for all Old World Salvias.

    $8.50
  • Salvia staminea

    (Iranian Sage) Mixed in with short perennials that bloom over a wide range of seasons, Salvia staminea makes an attractive contribution to short borders during its summer bloom time. Our strain has dark bracts surrounding pastel white-to-blue-to-lavender flowers. The dark green, branching foliage has oblong to oval-shaped leaves.

    This high-altitude sage from Western Asia is commonly called Iranian Sage. It likes regular to light watering and adapts to almost any well-drained soil. Heat tolerant and drought resistant, it grows well in USDA zones 7 to 11. In addition to borders, this petite sage looks pretty as edging on a sunny pathway where its delicate-looking blossoms can be viewed up close.

    As its botanical name indicates, the flowers of Salvia staminea have pronounced stamens, which project from the upper lip of their blossoms. Put a little imagination to work, and they look a bit like forked serpent tongues, only pale pink.

    Similar to many Salvias, this one is the focus of medical research. In particular, studies have concerned its phytochemicals, such as Taxodone, that appear to fight cancer and have antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal and insecticidal properties. We just focus on how pretty and resilient it is in the garden.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia transsylvanica

    (Romanian Sage) Here's a great selection for mixed Salvia borders in zones with colder winters. This herbaceous perennial features deep violet flowers in large whorls atop tall, branched spikes.

    As its name indicates, Romania is a homeland. This cold- and heat-tolerant sage is also native to Northern and Central Russia.

    The stems of this sage are lax; they trail across the ground rooting as they go and forming small clumps. Flowering begins in early summer and continues until first frost. Lovely and long-blooming, this Salvia deserves to be planted in more gardens.

    Place Romanian Sage where you can also enjoy the prominently textured, yellow-green leaves, such as front of border or edging a pathway in a cottage garden. Give it full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    Although this sage probably is hardy to temperatures below 0 degrees F, we haven't yet been able to verify this hunch. If you live in Zone 5 or a colder area and decide to give it a test run, we would love to hear about the results. Remember that winter mulching usually improves chances of survival.

    Highly recommended by people but not by deer!

    $8.50
  • Salvia verticillata

    (Lilac Sage) We try not to brag too much, but this is our own variety of Salvia verticillata from home-grown seed, and we think it is spectacular. Butterflies and honeybees also are in love with this long-blooming, heat-tolerant perennial.

    Spring into summer, dense whorls of blue-to-smoky lavender flowers cover 3-foot-tall spikes arising from fragrant, mint-green, basal foliage. This native of Europe and Central Asia is lovely when mixed in cut-flower arrangements.

    Although it only needs average watering based on local conditions, Lilac Sage works well in moist areas. It looks pretty in borders and containers and as a pathway edging. Give it full sun or partial shade in USDA Zones 5 to 9.

    We offer this plant at a very reasonable price in order to encourage its widespread planting. When you grow Salvia verticillata, you help us help the honeybees and other beneficial insects pollinating gardens.

    $8.50
  • Salvia x superba 'Adora Blue'

    (Adora Blue Meadow Sage) Adora Blue’s upright flower spikes are profuse with deep violet blossoms shaped like parrot beaks. They bloom all summer long on this deciduous, perennial Salvia native to Europe and Asia.

    Densely branched with multiple flower spikes, Adora Blue has fragrant foliage. The hairy, basal leaves of this clumping sage are green and are oblong to lance shaped.

    This petite Meadow Sage grows 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads only 12 inches. It is ideal for massing with other short Salvias along walkways or at the front of mixed border plantings. Due to its vertical habit, it works well as the centerpiece in a container of mixed plants. Cottage, cut flower, rock and woodland gardens are also good venues for this drought-resistant but water-loving sage. Locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best.

    Similar to other Meadow Sages, Adora Blue is cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Although it can survive drought, this sage needs regular watering for best bloom. Keep it moist but not soggy. Plant it in average garden soil that isn’t too rich, but contains enough organic matter for good drainage. If you live in a coastal area, part of the great news about this plant is that it can handle salty air and soil.

    Salvia x superba cultivars are related to Salvia x sylvestris, which is a hybrid of two other Meadow Sages. They are Salvia pratensis, which was first reported in England in 1696, and its relative Salvia nemorosa. The Meadow Sages are a closely connected group.

    Butterflies love Adora Blue; similar to other kinds of Salvia it is rich in nectar. However, the plant’s foliage isn’t tasty to deer and rabbits.
    $6.50
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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.
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.


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This was my first time ordering from Flowers by the Sea. I had read great things about "Wendy's Wish" and couldn't find it locally so searched the internet which led me to FBTS. I ordered 3 plants, and they arrived in great condition and were lar...
P. Cooperman
Sep 20, 2014