Unique soils and weather patterns affect gardening in our nation’s southern latitudes from damp, sandy Florida westward through Texas and on to the dry, sandy Southwest. A wide variety of climates and weather patterns govern the various regions that form this broad swath of America. Yet there are sages for all these areas from water-loving species to ones that barely need watering. Our Salvias Down South articles are designed to help gardeners in hot climates, whether exceedingly moist or dry. If you fit into this geographical category, we'd love to hear from you about your successes and frustrations in southern gardens.
A little bit of a hot color warms the garden landscape; a lot sizzles. Salvias that are red, orange, salmon and intensely pink make eyes snap to attention when grown en masse or as highlights complementing cool-colored perennials. Texas is home to a number of tough, drought-resistant species that can make a garden look hot. In this article, Flowers by the Sea focuses on varieties to light up southern landscapes.
Winter is a good time for warm thoughts about rosy colors pinking up the landscape. Not only is pink pleasant, but it is soothing. As psychologists discovered in the late 20th century, it's also the color of calm and is used in serenity gardens. Flowers by the Sea details a variety of pink sages here, some of which bloom in winter.
You don’t have to be a fine artist to create a work of beauty in the garden. By selecting hardy, vibrantly colored native Salvias that can withstand Southwestern weather ranging from sullen heat and drought to raging rainstorms, you become a landscape painter. FBTS Online Nursery carries many choices for your palette.
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 â€“ average and ample -- as well as sun requirements.
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.
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.
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.
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.