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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 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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Leaving the Light on for Butterflies at the Leaf Litter Motel & Wood Pile Lodge

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Synopsis: If you want to invite butterflies to lodge in your backyard overnight or during winter, building pretty butterfly houses won't succeed. They need all kinds of messy hangouts to ride out a rain storm, sleep through the night safely and endure winter in your garden. You can build a butterfly hostel without hammer and nails.

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Salvia Small Talk: Raised Beds for Sage

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Synopsis:

Raised bed gardening can help Salvias winter over in cold climates.



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Sacred Sage: Pineapple Sage

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Synopsis:

Many kinds of Sage were considered sacred in ancient times due to their soothing, medicinal qualities. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans), which is native to Mexico and Guatemala, is still a highly regarded folk remedy for relieving anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. It is also one of America's most popular culinary sages and is a highlight of the USDA's National Herb Garden.



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Salvia Small Talk: What Does Half-Hardy Mean?

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Synopsis:

Half-hardy or tender perennial Salvias are ones that must winter over indoors to avoid frost.



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Salvia Small Talk: Botrytis Blight

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Synopsis:

If grey, moldy Botrytis Blight attacks Salvia, whole plants may need to be discarded.



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Sacred Sage: Soothing Grape Scented Sage

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Synopsis: Salvias are well known for their aromatic foliage. However, Grape Scented Sage (S. melissodora) has fragrant blossoms as well that are edible. Both the plants leaves and flowers are used in soothing teas. The powerfully perfumed flowers have been described as smelling like freesia and lavender as well as grapes. In parts of Mexico, Grape Scented Sage is used in herbal remedies to treat diarrhea.

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Salvia Small Talk: Slugs & Snails

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Synopsis: Cleaning up leaf litter, weeds and mulch around Salvias can greatly reduce snail and slug attacks.

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Sacred Sage: Giant Bolivian Sage

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Synopsis: Of all the mint family's more than 6,500 species worldwide, Giant Bolivian Sage (Salvia dombeyi) has the longest blossoms and tallest growth. Each tubular crimson flower grows up to 5 inches long and has a burgundy calyx at its base.The plant's bright green, heart-shaped leaves are equally long. In South America, the flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds with extremely long beaks. However, Giant Bolivian Sage don't need pollination to flower beautifully for many seasons if growing conditions are right.

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Buying Salvias Online from FBTS: Unpacking and Planting

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Synopsis:

When your order arrives from Flowers by the Sea, open it up right away. What will you see? No plastic wrapping, that’s for sure. At FBTS we think plastic wrap is a poor packaging choice, because it speeds decomposition. Sending you plants that are beginning to mold and rot is the last think we want to do.



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Cleanup in the Garden: Healthy Pruning and Mulching of Salvia

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Synopsis:

Sometimes it’s wise not to get too tidy in the garden. When preparing Salvias for Winter dormancy, moderation is the rule. Regional climate affects how much trimming and mulching are necessary in late autumn.



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Fall Cleanup: Plant Placement and Pesky Problems

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Synopsis:

You don’t usually have to fuss over Salvias to give them what they need. Yet the end of fall and other growing seasons are good times to seek solutions to problems that affect plant vigor. It is a time for a call to attention as well as a cleanup call to action.

 



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Happy Hybrid Surprises from Salvia greggii and microphylla

Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Synopsis:

Sometimes surprises occur in the garden, especially if you plant Salvias. Sages in the Salvia greggii and Salvia microphylla Group are particularly inclined to hybridize naturally.



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Salvia x jamensis: Painting the Landscape with Pastels

Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Synopsis:

Planning a flowerbed with pastel bicolored Salvia x jamensis is a bit like organizing a fancy sweet 16 birthday party. It takes finesse and the right guest list of complementary perennials and annuals for fun and harmony. These Salvias are colorful, but not boisterous flowers.



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Seeing Red and Loving It: Hummingbirds and Salvia microphylla

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Synopsis: As with so many aspects of life, the hummingbird-Salvia relationship is circular. It is difficult to have one without the other. Unfortunately, many species of hummingbirds are threatened or endangered. By planting Mountain Sage, you invite hummingbirds into your garden, expand their habitat and ensure pollination for abundant blossoming.

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Salvia greggii: Discovering a Riot of Color

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012
Synopsis:

It would be inaccurate to refer to the woody perennial Autumn Sage, or Salvia greggii, as coming in a rainbow of colors, because there is no true blue in the bunch. However, S. greggii cultivars form a riot of lipstick-intense reds, pinks, corals, apricots, oranges, lavenders and purples. Whites, pale yellows and bicolors also are members of the vivid species discovered in the dry, rocky landscapes of Texas and Northern Mexico by 19th century frontiersman, doctor, trader, writer and amateur botanist Josiah Gregg.



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Drought-Resistant Beauties: A Guide to the Salvia greggii and S. microphylla Group

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Synopsis:

It can be a long journey from discovery to popularity for a plant. Currently, the most widely sought group of Salvias is the one encompassing S. greggii, and S. microphylla, which are commonly known as Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage. They caught the eye of naturalists traveling the American Southwest and Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains in the mid-to-late 1800s. However, they didn't take root in garden catalogs for well over 100 years.



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Salvia Soothes Eye, Heart and Honeybees in Remembrance Gardens

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Synopsis:

In the days following the terrorist destruction of New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, one article in The New York Times focused on the recovery of 30 acres of gardens of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy a few blocks south of where the Twin Towers once stood.



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The Power of Scent

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Synopsis:

While it's true that not all Salvias smell, well, pleasant, many varieties are grown specifically for the pungent or even sweet aromas that they release into the air. These ten Salvias are our top picks for the best-smelling varieties in the garden.



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Six Herbaceous Chinese Salvias for Shady Summer-to-Fall Bloom

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Synopsis:

Creating a flower garden in partial shade is not as challenging as planting in full shade, yet it requires selecting the right plants. Herbaceous Chinese Salvias can form a harmoniously composed partial-shade garden that soothe the eye with calming pastels.



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Fall Planting is Superior for Salvias

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Synopsis:

Fall is the best time to plant many Salvias. Read on to find out why . . .

This picture, "Autumn", was painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo in 1573.



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A New Category - Autumn Sage & Mountain Sage

Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2012
Synopsis: Without a doubt, this group of closely related plants are the most widely grown of the genus. From 'Hot Lips' to 'Texas Wedding', there is something here for everyone.

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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part III)

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Synopsis:

Small Flowered Pink & Purple Species


Part I of this series took up some of the early Winter bloomers, Part II the blue and dark purple flowered varieties. Here we look at four of the small flowered, purple to violet varieties.

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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part II)

Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Synopsis:

The Blue Species


When I think of Winter blooming "font-style: italic;">Salvias, the warm colors – red, orange and pink – come to mind first. Possibly because THE most spectacular Sage of all, "font-style: italic;">Salvia gesneriifolia 'Tequila', is a presence to contend with, growing for us over 16 feet tall and 30 feet across! But looking around our gardens this cool day, there are a number of very fine blue and purple Sages in bloom now. So in Part 2 of the Winter "font-style: italic;">Salvia series, we’ll discuss these fine plants.

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