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Salvia x 'Big Swing'


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  • Pruning

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  • Additional Information

  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Attracting Butterflies

  • Deer Tips

Salvia x 'Big Swing'

  • What a spectacular addition to your garden



See other plants with similar colors
Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.
Best of Class
Best of Class
We believe this to be the best of the S. macrophylla types.

Shipping Information
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Description

(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.

Details

Product rating
 
(3 reviews)  

In stock
6 item(s) available

Common name  
Big Swing Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
36"/24"/48"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Water loving
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

Options

Quantity (6 available)

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Cut flower
Cut flower

Growing Habit

8 - 9
8 - 9
36 inches tall
36 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant

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 Violet - RHS# 99D




Throat color - Light Purplish Blue - RHS# 98D

Primary color - Vivid Violet - RHS# 99D




Bract color - Grayish Purplish Blue
RHS# 103A

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 143B



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
See other plants with similar colors
See other plants with split complementary colors
See other plants with triadic colors
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 adenophora

    (Oaxaca Red Sage) This rare sage has small, furry, bright orange-red flowers in abundance. It grows nicely in containers or, in mild climates, can become a large shrub in the ground. Attractive, bright green foliage and winter-to-summer blooming make it a desirable choice.

    It may not be scientific, but the best way to describe this plant is "cute."  Buds that look like little balloons ready to burst are followed by furry, tubular flowers. This water-loving Salvia does best in partial shade. Even though Oaxaca Red is a tender perennial, it's well worth the effort to grow this gem.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia arborescens

    Whether you call it a shrub or a tree, Salvia arborscens rises up to an impressive 12 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Commonly known as Sage Tree, this Salvia grows well in full sun, but prefers partial shade.

    It is the size of this plant more than its floral display that is its main attraction. Cream to yellow and tiny, each flower has long, graceful anthers that extend far beyond its corolla. The foliage is bright green to forest green with lance-shaped leaves.

    Sage Tree works well as a screen or background planting In rich, well-drained soil. It also looks handsome in shrubby borders and is a good solution for moist areas of the yard. You can even grow it in a large container, but expect it to rise to a shorter height than it would in the ground. Deer mostly avoid Salvias, so this is one tree they likely won’t nibble on.

    Swedish botanist Erik Ekman collected Salvia arborscens during the 1920s in the Caribbean. Commonly known as Sage Tree, it was one of more than 2,000 species that he introduced to science during his 14 years of research in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    The Dominican Republic’s Partners for Rural Health organization notes that the leaves are used as a folk remedy for diarrhea. However, it warns that they may be dangerously narcotic. So don’t cook with this sage.

    11.50
  • Salvia caymanensis

    (Cayman Island Sage) Compact and intensely fragrant, this shrubby sage is excellent for containers or the edge of a pathway. Small blue and white flowers mass about its densely branched foliage. It loves rich, moist soil and warm weather.

    Cayman Island Sage does well in full sun or partial shade. However, it goes semi-dormant during cool weather, so in colder zones it should be grown as an annual or a greenhouse container plant. In warmer areas, it makes a fine ground cover or woodland garden plant.

    When children visit FBTS, this rare Salvia always wins the "What smells strongest in the nursery?" contest. It has quite a history. Read all about it at London's Royal Botanic Gardens website. 

    11.50
  • 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 discolor

    (Peruvian Sage or Concolor Sage) Native to the high Andes of Peru, this is a distinctive Salvia with apple-green leaves that are smooth on top and silver-haired fuzzy on the bottom. The flowers are such a dark purple that they almost look black.

    Large and showy, the flowers of Peruvian Sage -- also known as Concolor Sage for its bicolor leaves -- bloom from spring through autumn.  They continue blooming during the chill of winter if kept in a greenhouse. Peruvian Sage does best if watered regularly and given shade for part of the day, but cannot tolerate wet soils.

    The plant's wiry stems are scandent, which means that they climb upward like vines but without tendrils. When planted in the ground, its stems arch and form ground cover. This dramatic plant looks lovely in a hanging basket or in a container with a light trellis or bamboo poles supporting its sprawling growth.

    Situate Peruvian Sage where it will delight you with its black currant fragrance that makes all seem well in the world. This is one of our favorite plants, and we are glad to report that deer don't seem to like it!

     

    10.50
  • Salvia glabrescens 'Elk Yellow & Purple'

    (Makino) The unusual flower color and short, mounding growth of this clone of Salvia glabrascens -- a woodland Japanese native -- make it distinctive. The blossoms are nearly clear yellow with striking purple beelines.

    This is a good choice for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. Makino cultivars are hardy as long as they receive plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short flower spikes rise out of compact, basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.

    This herbaceous sage should be seen up close both for its extraordinary flowers and lush foliage. Plant it in a container, along a shady pathway or as a woodland groundcover. Although slow growing, this tough yet lovely sage is worth the wait. Fortunately, deer don't like it.

    15.00
  • Salvia lineata

    (Oaxaca Orange Wooly Sage) Tall, eye-catching spikes of dusky red-orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall make this one of our most impressive Salvias. Plus it's cold hardy into Zone 7.

    Even in a fully blooming border, this native of Southern Mexico's cloud forests is the plant that draws the eye.The flowers harmonize with deep blues, such as the gentian of Salvia patens 'Patio Blue,' and bright yellows, including Salvia nubicola.

    It is Oaxaca Orange's hairy foliage that gains it the description of being 'wooly' and helps it survive drought and heat. This sage works well in herbaceous perennial borders and container plantings or as a small-scale groundcover in the broad range of climates from Zones 7 to 11. We highly recommend it.

    10.50
  • Salvia macrophylla 'Short Form'

    (Creeping Big Leaf Sage) Cobalt blue flowers float in airy clusters on 12-inch spikes above the velvety, green leaves of this South American native from summer into fall. Short and spreading by woody rhizomes, it is an ideal groundcover.


    The foliage of this herbaceous, perennial sage looks similar to sweet potato leaves. It is dramatic in a container or as the border of a raised planter with its giant, heart-shaped leaves cascading over the sides. Some gardeners grow it as a houseplant.

    Fast-growing, it is adaptable to full sun and full shade. However, a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade may be more to its liking. Heat tolerant and water-loving, this sage is an ideal choice for a humid climate such as Florida's. But don't forget to give it rich, well-drained soil.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia praeclara

    (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.

    8.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia rypara

    (River Sage) Native to partially shaded stream-sides in Argentina and Bolivia, this is one of the few Salvia species that can tolerate wet soil.  It makes a fine filler plant in a group of other partial shade growers, its wirey thin stems sending up floral displays here and there, much to the gardener's delight.

    In contrast with some of the flashy, brilliantly colored Mexican Sages River Sage is small and quiet.  It is a perfect filler lant in containers, and brings together more distinctive elements in a mixed border.

    The variety we offer is clonal, a selection from the subspecies rypara 'Cuesta del Obispo strain collected in Northwest Argentina by Rolando Uria.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    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 stolonifera

    (Creeping Mexican Sage) Thick, heavily textured and nearly round, the foliage of this gently creeping perennial is as showy as its tall spikes of large orange flowers that bloom in fall. This is a water-loving species from Oaxaca, Mexico.

    The appellation "Stolonifera" in its scientific name refers to above-ground runners called stolons, which cause the plant to spread and gradually form a dense mat. This makes it a fine groundcover.

    Creeping Mexican Sage also looks pretty in a container or along a pathway -- places where you can appreciate its beauty up close. Even if this sage didn't flower much we would grow it for the handsome leaves.

    Although tolerant of full sun, this species appreciates partial shade. Give it ample water and rich, well-drained soil. It is ideal for damp woodland gardens in mild climates.

    Although we know that Creeping Mexican Sage does well in USDA Zones 9 to 11, we have also received reports of it surviving winters in colder areas. If you try it in a region with chillier winter weather, please let us know the results.

    Highly recommended.

    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 cardiophylla

    (Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

    Heart Leaf Sage needs fertile soil that is rich in humus and well drained. It grows well in the ground or in a container. Site it in a warm, sunny spot where it can receive partial shade and no reflected heat. Water and fertilize well. Be patient, as it seems to take a year or more to settle in and become robust. Then sit back and enjoy the lovely foliage and 1-inch-long, striped flowers.

    This perennial sage was found by Rolando Uría in Chaco, Argentina in 2009 and is one of the rarest Salvias in the world. It is quite slow to increase, but we highly recommend its beauty.

    15.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia macrophylla 'Purple Leaf'

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

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

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

    10.50
  • Salvia oxyphora

    (Fuzzy Bolivian Sage) Large, bright and fuzzy, the cherry-licorice red flowers of this sage top what at first glance appears to be smooth, glassy green foliage. Up close, the large, lance-shaped leaves are velvety with clear-to-white hairs.

    This tropical perennial is slow to start growing in spring, but takes off as the days get longer and warmer.  Then it blooms from summer to fall, attracting hummingbirds. It grows well in USDA Zones 7 to 9, but needs winter mulching in the cooler part of that range. Well-drained, loose soil and mulch help the plant's underground runners survive to grow new stems in the spring.

    Salvia oxyphora is from middle elevations in the Bolivian Andes, where it grows on the edge of moist, warm forests.  It loves rich soil, lots of moisture and full sun to partial shade.

    We enjoy growing this dramatic, heat-tolerant plant in containers where its showy flowers can be enjoyed close up. Moist woodland gardens are another good setting. One last tip: The branches of Salvia oxyphora tend to be somewhat brittle. Pinching it back encourages good branching and protects it from breaking in strong winds.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia vitiifolia

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

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

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

    11.50

    OUT OF STOCK

Average customer rating:
 
(3 reviews)  



3 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Ying G.
Oct 31, 2015
I grow my Big Swing in a container on my patio and love its large leathery leaves and incredibly long flower stalks with the multiple smaller off shoots always busy with emerging flowers! Although each flower seems to bloom and shed within 1.5 days, the high activity and volume of flowers per stalk make up for it. Hummers love this one too
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Marilyn
Apr 7, 2014
I love Big Swing and it has gorgeous blue flowers! if you love blue flowers, then you'll love this one.

I've grown it for a few years and it's always a standout in the garden. Here, in KY, I pot it up into large mixed containers with other Salvias and make sure it gets plenty of water.

Everything about this Salvia is great.

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elk54
Mar 19, 2017
Arrived in perfect condition, great packing. Thank you. I love this salvia. Last year it was 4'x4' in pot. The color is amazingly. It's easy to grow. Hummers love it once they find it. I had the honor of meeting Betsy a few years ago, & saw her garden in winter.
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True Blue Salvias You Can Rely On for Garden Serenity

True Blue Salvias You Can Rely On for Garden Serenity


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 07:28 PM
Synopsis: Forget all the mournful music telling you that blue is the color of sadness. In a Salvia garden filled with hot colors, true blue is a peacemaker -- a reliable harmonizer that commands peace in the garden. This article talks a tiny bit about football, Madonna and the chemistry of true blue flowers. Then it offers a lot of true blue sages for gardens coast to coast from our Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery catalog.
Portraits in Gardening: Michael and Kathi Rock's Hummingbird Journey

Portraits in Gardening: Michael and Kathi Rock's Hummingbird Journey


Category: Portraits in Gardening
Posted: Nov 26, 2014 03:59 PM
Synopsis: A wedding gift led to Kathi Johnson Rock and Michael Rock's passion for hummingbirds. These Wisconsin birders offer tips and plant suggestions for hummingbird gardeners at FBTS. Although now known as Madison's "Hummingbird People," the Rocks aren't ornithologists or biologists. They are home gardeners and customers of Flowers by the Sea who discovered the power of nectar-rich Salvias and companion plants to fuel hummingbird migration. This article includes a list favorite hummingbird plants found in the Rocks' gardens.
Sage Words About Wildlife: Hummingbirds Love Lobelias

Sage Words About Wildlife: Hummingbirds Love Lobelias


Category: Sage Words About Wildlife
Posted: Aug 4, 2014 03:30 AM
Synopsis: Top-10 lists of hummingbird favorites almost always contain Salvia and Lobelia, because each genus is nectar rich and offers many species in bright reds, oranges and pinks. Hummingbirds have a weak sense of smell, but bright colors, such as those of Lobelias, lure them to flowerbeds. They are particularly devoted to the four types grown at Flowers by the Sea.
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.