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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Everything Salvias

We began publishing our Everything Salvias blog in 2010 for your enjoyment and to help you "get it right" when growing sages that are often unavailable at local garden centers.

It seems like there is an endless bounty of stories to be told. But that's to be expected when covering a genus containing an estimated 900 species -- the largest group within the mint family (Lamiaceae). In addition to Salvias, we write about other species that are either mint family members or low-water companions for our many drought-tolerant Salvias. We welcome comments as well as suggestions for future blog posts.

To access articles rapidly based on your interests, please click on the categories below, which include do-it-yourself videos (Views from the Garden). But please note: This is a dangerous place for a sage lover.

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Here are all of our articles:
Sacred Sage: Salvia mellifera -- the Easiest California Native

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Synopsis:

Long before the West Coast was colonized, California Indians used Black Sage (Salvia mellifera Greene) for food and medicinal purposes. Today, it often is bundled in smudge sticks used like incense during purification rituals. Another reason to consider Black Sage sacred is that, among the state’s native plants, it is one of the most important sources of nectar for pollinators. Nineteenth century botanist and clergyman Edward Lee Greene made the plant’s botanical name official in 1892 when he was the first person to publish it in a scientific journal. Among California's native Salvias, it is the easiest to grow in home gardens.



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Celebrity Salvias: Mexican Bush Sage Beauties

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is a garden star, but not a demanding diva. That is why Texas A&M University selected Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) as one of its 50 “Texas Superstar” plants, all of which are highly recommended for flourishing in unpredictable weather and drought. The many varieties of Mexican Bush Sage are garden beauties that need little pampering. Native to hot, dry areas of Mexico and Central America, they are accustomed to tough conditions. Flowers by the Sea carries a number of striking varieties.

 



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Fall Planting: 8 Sages for Fragrance by Your Front Door

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
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.



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Quick Digs: Inventorying Salvias and Tools for Spring Gardening

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This is the first article in our new Quick Digs series about preparing for spring in Salvia gardens. As spring approaches and daylight grows longer, first steps for preparing Salvia gardening include recording sages already planted before planning new purchases, repotting cuttings and seedlings, inventorying garden tools and turning the compost heap. When the first new growth arrives, you'll be prepared to remove weeds before they choke sages and other perennials that are re-emerging.



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Quick Digs: Spring Weeds in Salvia Gardens

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

Weeding is the topic of this fourth article in our Quick Digs series about preparing for spring in Salvia gardens. Getting ready for the emergence of previously planted perennials in spring and for planting new sages (Salvia spp.) requires weeding before amending soil and planting. Then, growing vigorously spreading sages and ones rich in aromatic plant chemicals called terpines can help control weeds.



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Quick Digs: Improving Soil for Spring in Salvia Gardens

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This is the fifth article in our Quick Digs series about getting ready for spring in Salvia gardens. The previous post talked about weed control. Now we dig into soil and amendments, which aren't just additions to legal documents. The word also refers to materials added to soil to improve its structure and chemistry. These include organic matter, such as compost, as well as chemical fertilizers and minerals (lime and crushed rock are examples). Choices depend on the plants you want to grow and the current make-up of your garden soil.



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Salvia Small Talk: Planting a Therapy Garden

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

Salvias are good additions to sensory gardens, because of their fragrance, texture and visual appeal. Plants with sensory appeal stir memory.



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Bedding Plant Royalty: Splendid Salvia Splendens

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

If the world were to coronate a Salvia as its favorite annual, there's little doubt that a deep red variety of Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens) would bear the sceptre. It's a long blooming, global favorite sometimes called Bedding Sage or Red Sage. When it was first introduced to horticulture in 1822, it was known as Lee's Scarlet Sage. Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery explains the growth habits and history of Scarlet Sage and suggests numerous favorite cultivars to add grandeur to your garden.



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Quick Digs: Planning a Salvia Garden Calendar

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This is our second article in a Quick Digs series about preparing for spring in Salvia (sage) gardens. It's easier to succeed at almost anything if you make plans and set goals before beginning a project. This is certainly true in Salvia gardening. Creating a gardening calendar ensures greater success in planning.



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Quick Digs: Using the FBTS Wish List Gift Registry

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This third article in our Quick Digs series about preparing Salvia gardens for spring concerns the Flowers by the Sea Wish List for maintaining lists of plants you want and for use as a gift registry. Our Wish List removes the guesswork from gift giving while allowing givers to surprise recipients.



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Quick Digs: Wintering Over Salvias Indoors

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

For some gardeners, bringing outdoor plants inside during winter is a practical matter. You want to save money. For others, plants are a bit like pets. You feel tender about your tender perennials and can't bear to think of a lovely sage dying from exposure to harsh weather. For both there is also the challenge of attempting to win against nature. This is the fourth article in our current Quick Digs series on preparation for winter in the Salvia garden. This article suggests ways to deal with overwintering sages indoors.



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

Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Synopsis:

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 properly from the outer soil. Flowers by the Sea Nursery outlines a process for diagnosing dry root ball and combating it.



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Meet Salvia rosmarinus: A New Addition to the Sage Genus

Posted: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Synopsis: Bees adore rosemary, the powerfully resinous Mediterranean native known both as a groundcover spilling over garden slopes and as an accent or tall hedge plant.  Plant scientists who closely examined its DNA suggest moving the Rosmarinus genus into the Salvia genus. Flowers by the Sea now grows two kinds of Salvia rosmarinus.

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

Posted: Friday, December 8, 2017
Synopsis:

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 and emails received by FBTS. This article details how to use our redesigned preorder process and other catalog tools for making sure you get the plants you want when you want them.



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September in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Synopsis:

Depending on where you live, September may be a time to keep busy planting perennial Salvias or to hunker-down and plan garden recovery following storm damage. Each month, FBTS publishes a list of tips suggesting ways to maintain and beautify your Salvia garden. New plantings and transplanting of sages in autumn works well; dividing or pruning them doesn't.



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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants for Garden Triumph

Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2017
Synopsis: Planning for Salvia garden success requires following the rule of selecting the right plant for the right place. Desert sages aren't appropriate for the damp Southeast. Moisture-loving ones aren't right for desert climates where they need lots of watering to survive. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery offers tips for selecting plants based on local climate. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog.

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Add Pale Dreamy Sages to Your List of Moon Garden Plants

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017
Synopsis: Moon gardens contain plants with pale flowers -- especially whites -- and silvery or variegated foliage that shine in moonlight. Some gardeners plant them to glow from afar when peering into the dark through a window. Others design these gardens for nighttime rambles. A number of white-flowered sages would be excellent additions to the dreamy design of a moon garden.

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August in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Synopsis:

August is a time when many sages grow rapidly and feed a frenzy of pollinators in need of rich nectar and pollen. It's hot, so you have to be careful not to let plants or yourself wilt.

Here are some tips for tasks from watering to planning when tending your garden this month.



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July in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017
Synopsis:

July is a time of lush plant growth and pollinator activity in Salvia gardens. Aside from weeding and taking breaks to watch bees, hummingbirds and other small wildlife, there are many tasks to attend to in the sage garden during July. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery offers a list of midsummer tasks to keep your garden buzzing and blooming.



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We've Made Shipping Changes to Simplify Your Life & Ours

Posted: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Synopsis:

To improve our ordering process, Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery no longer accepts split orders. Dividing an order for delivery on more than one date created confusion and errors.



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Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Prune my Salvias?

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery specializes in Salvias and often receives questions about how to prune them. Although getting good at pruning takes practice, Salvias rebound quickly if you make mistakes. A key to successful pruning is understanding the varying needs of four main categories of sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping?

Posted: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Synopsis: 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 how FBTS sets fair shipping prices. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers.

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Sacred Sage: Salvia coccinea -- An American Subtropical Treasure

Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017
Synopsis:

Although it probably originated somewhere in Mexico, Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea) existed in the American Southeast prior to European exploration of the New World, so it is considered an American native. It's also native to Central and South America and has naturalized in parts of Europe and Africa. Medical researchers think its phytochemicals may fight illnesses caused by inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals.



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Getting Started: Salvias for the Rocky Mountain West

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Synopsis:

High altitude, distance from large bodies of water and powerful chinook winds make the Rocky Mountain West a dry gardening environment even in years of higher than average rain and snow. The region's steep mountains have a major impact on where and how precipitation falls. Instead of a single mountain chain, the Rocky Mountains are made up of 100 separate ranges. Similarly, the Salvia genus contains a broad range of sages, many of which thrive in the climactic extremes of the Mountain West.



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A Community of Anise Scented Sages We Adore

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2017
Synopsis:

You might expect the foliage of a plant called Anise-Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica) to smell robustly like licorice, which shares the same fragrance as anise. Some gardeners detect a hint of licorice after crushing a leaf, but many say the foliage merely smells sweet. These popular sages are native to Brazil where indigenous peoples used their leaves as a medicine. Flowers by the Sea grows many varieties in a wide range of sizes and flower colors



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