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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea /

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:
Sage Words about Wildlife: 4 Seasons of Hummingbird Salvias

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020
Synopsis:

Regional differences in seasonal temperature and humidity affect the choice of Salvias to plant in hummingbird gardens. The varying seasons in which particular sages bloom and the part of the world where they originated also determine whether they attract hummingbirds. Flowers by the Sea offers suggestions based on regions and seasons.



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Container Gardening Basics: Selecting and Arranging Pots

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020
Synopsis:

Assembling a new planter with fresh potting soil and young plants is a feel-good activity similar to moving into a new home. Each pot and property is full of promise. Placing a single plant or a grouping in the right size of pot is like selecting a starter home for it that will encourage healthy growth. The type of material a pot is made from also affects development. Flowers by the Sea Online Salvia Nursery explains how to choose correct pot sizes as well as pot styles, sizes, colors and arrangements. Don't miss The Flowerpot Men music video!



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6 Indispensable Hummingbird Flowers for Long, Easy Bloom

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020
Synopsis:

Hummingbirds are like tiny combat jets dive bombing each other when staking claim to the nectar-rich flowers they need for survival. Fights over nectar habitat can reduce hummingbird gardens to single occupancy. FBTS Farm and Online Nursery details and tells stories about its top six hummingbird flowers. Plant lots of them to accommodate a village of hungry hummers.

 



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Salvias Down South: 15 Thirsty Salvias for Florida

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea grows Salvias that are already popular in the Southeast as well as others we would like to introduce to gardeners seeking thirsty flowering plants that can also adjust to dry spells. Many are fine choices for Florida hummingbird gardens. Our suggestions are organized into categories based on moisture tolerance – average and ample -- as well as sun requirements.



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New at FBTS: Ember's Wish & Love and Wishes Salvias

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Synopsis:

Plants contribute to our lives in many ways -- as sources of beauty, building materials, clothing, food, fragrance, medicine and oxygen. Add hope and fulfillment to the list, because that is what three abundantly blooming Salvias from Australia add to the lives of seriously ill children. These plants form the Wish Collection -- Wendy's Wish Sage, Ember's Wish Sage, and Love and Wishes Sage. Flowers by the Sea is one of the first online nurseries in America to sell all three. Although we have grown and sold Wendy's Wish for a number of years, Ember's Wish and Love and Wishes are new at FBTS.



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Book Review: Stop. . .and Smell the Mints

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Synopsis:

Randy Collins was surprised when he got hooked on horticulture following retirement. But after a move to South Carolina, he was even more surprised at how deer destroyed his gardens until he began growing lots of mint family (Lamiaceae) plants like Salvias. It inspired him to write Stop...and Smell the Mints.



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6 Salvias for Shade

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Synopsis:

Most gardeners associate plants in the genus Salvia with full sun, rocky soil, drought and semi-arid native lands. Although a number of sages fit this picture, far more appreciate loamy, fertile garden soil. Some require lots of water. Also, a large number of sages thrive in partial shade, and some tolerate full shade. Here are six of the many shade lovers that Flowers by the Sea grows.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Why Cheap Shipping Is No Bargain

Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020
Synopsis:

Shipping charges are expensive. Flowers by the Sea can't compromise plant quality, so it can't charge fake bargain rates on shipping. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of our Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Can I Get Coronavirus From FBTS Shipments?

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020
Synopsis:

Just like other people worldwide, customers of FBTS Farm and Online Nursery want to know if Coronavirus can be transmitted via mail-order packages. Researchers from the National Institures of Health say it is unlikely. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog and is based on inquiries from customers.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping?

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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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A Guide to Growing and Respecting Sacred White Sage

Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Synopsis:

White Sage (Salvia apiana) is a sacred plant for Native Americans, especially tribes in its Southern California native lands. It's a challenging plant to grow. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Nursery talks about the history and religious use of Salvia apiana as well as providing a guide to growing it.



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New Shipping Method Combines Orders Easily & Saves You Money

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2020
Synopsis:

All of us love retail services that make our lives easier, especially if they save us money. That’s the case with the new Combined Shipping Option for plant orders at Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery.



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Sacred Sage: Salvia coccinea -- An American Subtropical Treasure

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020
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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Bedding Plant Royalty: Splendid Salvia Splendens

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020
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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Buying Salvias Online from FBTS: How to Order & What to Expect - Updated

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Synopsis:

When you purchase plants online, it's understandable to feel a bit nervous. After all, a tender green life is being sent to you in a box. Will it survive the journey in healthy condition? Also, how secure will your credit card information and other data be? Furthermore, how do you sort through all those plants in the online catalog? Flowers by the Sea provides answers.



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Salvia Small Talk: Customized Shipping Charges

Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea uses a customized system for shipping charges. Customized fees allow adjustment of shipping prices based on how far away you live from FBTS and how many plants you purchase. This is a more equitable way of covering delivery fees instead of increasing plant prices to cover losses on delivery charges as in a flat-rate system.

 



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UPS Shipping Rates for FBTS Going UP!

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019
Synopsis:

Every November we get a letter from the president of UPS regarding shipping charges.  It is never good news.



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Salvia Small Talk: Unusual Pineapple Sage Culinary Treats

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019
Synopsis:

Pineapple Sage looks and tastes delightful in many foods, including baked goods. It's a surprising treat in herb butters and marmalade.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Why Do Back-in-Stock Plants Disappear?

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Synopsis:

When FBTS plants are out of stock, customers have the option of receiving email notification when they are available again. But a back-in-stock alert doesn't indicate the quantity available. Sometimes there are few and sometimes many. Getting what you want requires quick response. Ask Mr. Sage, a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog, responds to customer questions.



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Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield's Hummingbird Journey

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019
Synopsis:

Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.



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Celebrity Salvias: Mexican Bush Sage Beauties

Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2019
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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Sacred Sage: Giant Bolivian Sage

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2019
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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Getting Started: How Much Water Salvias Need

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019
Synopsis:

Salvias may need little or lots of water depending on species and local growing conditions. Many are drought resistant, getting by on less than an inch a week. Learn about the many kinds of Salvias, also called sages, at Flowers by the Sea. We're an online, mail-order nursery specializing in sages.



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New at FBTS: Suncrest Salvias

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Synopsis:

Drought-resistant, heat-tolerant, vibrantly colored Suncrest Salvias (sages) have arrived at Flowers by the Sea and will be available for shipping in April. Suncrest Salvias are floriferous hybrids of species native to the American Southwest and Mexico, including Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Jame Sage (Salvia x jamensis) and Royal Purple Autumn Sage (Salvia muelleri).



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

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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.



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