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Mr. Sage

The genus Salvia is our specialty, and we have the largest selection in the United States. We currently offer 378 Salvia species, hybrids and varieties - along with numerous outstanding hummingbird, butterfly and bee plants. Our focus is on plants for pollinators.

Each and every one has been extensively tested & evaluated before we list them here. We're proud of the quality of what we grow, and Unconditionally Guarantee your complete satisfaction with everything we sell.

We are now taking orders for spring delivery. Doing your shopping now will insure you have the widest selection, and you choose when your plants will be delivered. We sell out of some of our most popular varieties early every year, so act now to get exactly what you need.

Read what our customers say about our service, quality and selection.

Mr Sage speaks up on Shipping Charges

What is the real cost of shipping?

Dear Mr. Sage,

I'm new to Flowers by the Sea and really like your catalog. But while looking at another online nursery's catalog, I saw that they offer free shipping. But they also charge more than you do for the Salvias I want to buy. Why don't you offer free shipping?

Sincerely,
Careful Shopper

Dear Careful Shopper,

You know what they say about there being no such thing as a free lunch. It's also true that free shipping doesn't exist. We like the New Yorker cartoon published here, because -- pardon the wordplay -- it sums up the myth of free shipping.

Mail order retailers all must find a way to cover the cost of shipping. To paraphrase Shannon Wheeler's cartoon caption, some online nurseries fold the expense of shipping into the cost of they charge for their plants.  We don't do that.

Another survival technique is to decrease shipping costs by severely trimming plants to make more fit in small boxes. We don't do that because it harms the quality of plants.

Instead, we created a customized delivery rate schedule with our shipper, UPS. To minimize plant prices for everyone, FBTS shipping fees increase as order size grows and delivery distance from our farm increases. Yet the larger your order is, the smaller our shipping fee is per plant.

FBTS doesn't make money on shipping and tries not to lose it either. "Free shipping" would force us to significantly increase plant prices, because we would never decrease the quality of our plants or delivery system.

We like to think that our solution is a formula for fair pricing.

Thanks so much for your question,

Mr. Sage


Everything Salvias Blog

How do you grow Salvias?
Read our Everything Salvias Blog!

Our Everything Salvias Blog offers hundreds of detailed articles about sages. You'll find: how-to articles, interviews with Salvia gardeners and experts, landscape design ideas, plant profiles, stories about cooking with sage, shade gardening suggestions, video tutorials and wildlife habitat advice, including tips for bee, butterfly and hummingbird gardening. Getting Started is one of 18 categories you can click on.

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Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias

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Ask Mr Sage is one of the most popular categories in our Everything Salvias blog. Here are a few of the latest posts:
Ask Mr. Sage: What Tropical Sage Should I Select?:

Selecting the right types of Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea) can be confusing when viewing them in a catalog and seeing similar flower colors. Yet they may differ in cultivation needs,...

Ask Mr. Sage: How to Buy Salvia Alert Plants:

Competition to buy unusual, limited-supply Salvias through the FBTS Salvia Alert newsletter can be fierce and frustrating. Mr. Sage offers tips for succeeding through patience and...

Ask Mr. Sage: Which Milkweed Is Right for My Garden?:

Although America has many native milkweeds, choosing the right one for your garden partly depends on plant and seed availability. Limitations sometimes cause gardeners to select nonnative Tropical...

Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping?:

Like free lunches, free shipping is a myth. Flowers by the Sea doesn't offer free shipping, because it would require increasing plant prices to cover the cost of shipping. Read more to learn...

Ask Mr Sage: What do I with a dry root ball?:

Plants may wither even if you regularly water them. When the ground surrounding a new planting's root ball is moist but the roots remain dry, that indicates moisture isn't transferring...

Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS:

Flowers by the Sea is a mail-order nursery eliminating craziness from garden planning with advance orders and customer selection of shipping dates. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls...