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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:
Salvia Summit II: An International Gathering of Sage Thought, March 7 to 10

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Synopsis:

Salvias thrive in many different climates and parts of the world. Consequently, those who love the genus are an international tribe stretching from Alaska to Argentina and from South Africa to Southern California. Members of the tribe, from Salvia experts to home gardeners, will gather March 7 to 9 at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, for Salvia Summit II. Speakers will include academics, horticulturists, researchers and a forensic scientist specializing in Salvia chemistry. This event follows up on Salvia Summit I, which was held in 2008 on California's Central Coast at Cabrillo College.



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Pantone Pageant: "Tender Shoots Green" Designer Salvias

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013
Synopsis:

Lime is the kind of bright, cheerful color that practically shouts, “Hey, look at me!” Limelight Mexican Sage (Salvia Mexicana ‘Limelight’) is the kind of plant that makes you say, “Hey, look at that! Let’s plant it.” It brightens the landscape with its startling contrast of chartreuse-lime foliage and deep violet-blue flowers. Among the hundreds of Salvias that we grow at Flowers by the Sea, it is difficult to think of a more dramatic poster plant to illustrate “Tender Shoots 14-0446,” one of the greens that the Pantone color corporation says will be big this year with fashion and industrial designers. Three other lovely, lime Salvias originally from the Mediterranean and the Middle East are also discussed here. Although you may not feel comfortable stepping out in a pair of chartreuse jeans, your garden is a safe place to shout out your love of the color.



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Salvia Small Talk: Sage Remedies in 1814

Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013
Synopsis: In 1814, physician and herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote about ancient remedies made from Sage.

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Pantone Pageant: Emerald Designer Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Synopsis:

Emerald and other cool shades of green are among the hot colors for 2013, according to Pantone, a design-industry leader. Flowers by the Sea doesn't generally think of greens or of any colors in nature as being in or out. However, we think it is fun and fresh to consider garden design from a different perspective. Emerald is Pantone's top color for the year. This article about emerald-colored Salvias begins a pageant of sorts down the runway of our blog, showing how the Pantone color matching system can be used to shape landscaping decisions.



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Salvia Small Talk: Zones & Climate Change

Posted: Monday, December 31, 2012
Synopsis:

Have you double checked your USDA plant hardiness zone. You may be able to grow plants you weren’t possible in your area.



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Salvias Down South: How Salvias Behave in Florida

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Synopsis:

Salvias that grow well in Florida may behave differently from one region of the state to another. This may mystify gardeners who have just moved to Florida or have moved to a different area in the state. Based primarily on seasonal variations in temperature, the four main regions are North, Central, South and Tropical Florida.



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Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Synopsis:

Florida is one of the wettest states in the nation, yet it is a fine place to grow Salvias if you select shade-tolerant, moisture-loving species and ones native to Florida. Gardeners who are accustomed to growing Salvias in a dry climate face a variety of surprises in Florida gardens. These include recurrent periods of drought, many cloudy days and soil that is so poor it has to be amended for Salvias.



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Salvia Small Talk: Salvia Summit II Set for 2013

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Synopsis: Salvia Summit II, a not-for-profit conference designed for Salvia experts and enthusiasts, will be held March 7 to 10, 2013 at Southern California's Huntington Botanical Gardens.

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Xeric Choices: 5 Must-Have Native Salvias for Southern California

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012
Synopsis:

Native plants are the best ones for local conditions. But sometimes boundaries designating what is native may be artificial. Here are five outstanding Xeric Salvias for Southern California, including one, not far over the Baja border, that offers intense drought resistance and violet-blue flowers.



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Xeric Choices: Xeriscape Basics & Ancient Ideas

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Synopsis:

To create a successful xeriscape garden, planning and design are essential. Planning helps you make better choices, which saves time, money and effort as well as water. A little bit of wisdom from ancient Native American practices doesn’t hurt either. While soil improvement is always helpful, it should be moderate for xeric Salvias, such as Autumn Sage and Mealy Cup Sage. Finally, pruning and thinning, strategic groupings of plants for frugal watering and mulching for protection against severe heat or winter chill all were key to ancient Southwestern agriculture as well as modern xeriscaping.



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Xeric Choices: How Xeriscape Won the West

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Synopsis:

How Xeriscape Won the West: Feast or famine: that’s the water situation out West. Unexpected torrential rains, flash floods and long periods of drought are acts of God that people can partially control through water diversion and storage as well as strategic conservation. Low-water landscaping -- coined as "xeriscape" by a Denver environmental planner -- has become popular in the West in the last 30 years.



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Xeric Choices: Salvias in the Waterwise Garden

Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Synopsis:

Lush but not lushes - that's one way you might sum up the majority of Salvias. Despite their long bloom times and bushy foliage, Salvias don't generally belly up to the water hose. Overall, they are perfect for xeriscape gardening -- the art of creating great beauty in the garden while conserving water.



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Salvia Small Talk: Zone Variations

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Synopsis:

Sometimes USDA plant hardiness zones are more flexible than they seem if local microclimates allow a broader range of cold tolerance.



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Sage Words About Wildlife: Do Deer Devour Salvia?

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Synopsis:

Salvias are not a favorite food for deer. However, they will eat some when plants they consider tasty are in short supply. There is no such thing as deer-proof plants, but you can limit deer damage to your landscaping and vegetable garden by planting lots of sages and other plants that aren't among deer favorites.



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Garden to Kitchen: Holiday Scent of Sage

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Synopsis:

Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.



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Salvia Small Talk: Sage-Crusted Tofu Patties

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Synopsis:

Sage-crusted tofu patties are a good vegetarian main course for the Holidays.



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Salvia Small Talk: Excel in the Garden

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Synopsis:

An Excel spreadsheet can be helpful in tracking Salvia plantings.



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Channel Island Sages

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea grows a number of native California sages, including threatened species such as the woody perennial shrubs Santa Rosa Island Sage (Salvia brandegeei) and Island Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans). Elusive is one adjective to attach to both plants, because they are rare in their native Channel Islands homelands off the coast of Southern California where they are endangered.



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Salvia Small Talk: Botanical Plant Names II

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Synopsis:

The conclusion of this series on plant names.



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Salvia Small Talk: Botanical Plant Names I

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Synopsis:

Latin became the language of botanical plant names more than 250 years ago to clear confusion about scientific reports concerning plants. Theophrastus got this all started in the 4th Century B.C.



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Salvia Small Talk: Researching Before Ordering

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Synopsis: Researching a Salvia before buying it means considering its traits and seeing if it fits your climate and proposed planting site. I know Aristotle did his research!

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Salvias Down South: Tough Texans Sing the Blues

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Synopsis:


Blue Salvias bring peace to flower gardens. True blues, such as West Texas Grass Sage (Salvia reptans), are especially eye-catching. The same anthocyanins that make berries a healthy dietary choice also give them their colors. Similarly these chemicals create the wide variety of blues, purples and reds in the petals of flowers such as Salvias. Flowers by the Sea offers six varieties of tough Texas sages that can help you create a soulful garden bursting with blue. Drought-resistant and long-blooming, they grow happily in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 9, with some flourishing in areas as cool as Zone 4 and as hot as Zone 11.



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Salvia Small Talk: Garden Diary

Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Synopsis: Keeping track of plantings from one season to the next can help you improve choices and repeat successes. One way of doing this is to keep a casual garden diary. No, I don't believe Samuel Pepys kept one.

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Salvia Small Talk: Making Sage Pesto

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Synopsis:

Fresh Sage gives a simple pesto recipe new zing.



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Salvias Down South: Texas Butterfly Favorites

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Synopsis:

Wildscaping is a way to landscape to attract pollinators. Butterflies are one of the most important. In Texas there are 463 species. Steering some of this herd of Lepidoptera toward your yard is easier if you know what butterflies frequent your region and which plants they favor for nectar and for laying their eggs, including Salvias. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Flowers by the Sea all can help Southwestern butterfly gardeners.



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