Similar to many members of the mint family (Lamiaceae), sages (Salvia spp.) aren't demanding. Most are low-fuss plants that are easy to grow if placed in the right location. This list suggests Salvia companion plants, many of which are also low-fuss, mint family members. They add attractive variety to the Salvia garden.
The growing requirements for any plant depend on the temperature range, soil, elevation, sunshine, moisture level and other features of the plant's native land. Great companions have similar cultural needs. So when selecting companion plants, it's necessary to consider whether their needs are compatible with those of the sages you plan to grow.
Gardeners and writers often refer to the Salvia genus as being heat tolerant and drought resistant. Although this is true of many species, there are ones that need regular watering and some that like ample moisture.
Similarly, some sages need partial shade at some point during the day whereas others almost seem to shout 'Bring on the sun; bring on the heat!' The moisture level of shady areas is another consideration. Plants that need ample water are unlikely to grow well in dry shade whereas damp shade won't do for dry garden shade plants.
This list of companions contains plants for dry, regular and damp gardens as well as for full sun and partial shade. Compare the plant descriptions -- from cold hardiness to bloom seasons -- with those for your sages and you will create companionable relationships in the garden.
(Blue Boa Hummingbird Mint) Luxurious deep violet-blue flower spikes held over ultra-green foliage. Unlike any other Agastache varieties, the flower spikes are long, wide and extremely showy.
(Ava Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Raspberry calyxes support Ava's rosy-pink flowers, which whorl on tall spikes similar to many Salvias. When the blossoms are spent, the calyxes remain colorful. This long-blooming hummingbird magnet is tolerant of cold, heat and drought.
(Kudos Ambrosia Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of flowers are accented by deep green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Ambrosia is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety. The originator of this plant describes the color as creamy coconut, pale orange and light rose pink.
(Kudos Coral Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of deep coral flowers are accented by mid-green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Coral is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.
(Kudos Mandarin Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of creamy orange flowers are accented by deep green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Mandarin is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.
(Konjac) Call it what you like -- Corpse Flower, Devil's Tongue, Elephant Yam, Voodoo Lily or just plain Konjac -- but Amorphophallus konjac is a super sized surprise. It's native to subtropical and tropical Asian woodlands where it tolerates both cold and heat.
(Orange Texas Firecracker) Hummingbirds and butterflies will thank you with frequent visits if you add this long-blooming plant to your wildlife garden. Its clear, pumpkin-orange trumpet-type flowers with long, narrow petals are wells of delicious nectar.
(Red Texas Firecracker) Hummingbirds and butterflies will thank you with frequent visits if you add this long-blooming plant to your wildlife garden. Its bright red trumpet-type flowers with long, narrow petals are wells of delicious nectar.
(Orange Bloodflower) Vivid orange and gold clusters of tiny, star-shaped flowers contrast handsomely with the dark green, lance-shaped leaves of Orange Bloodflower. The endangered Monarch Butterfly is drawn to milkweeds including Asclepias curassavica 'Apollo Orange' for nectar and as a host plant for its eggs.
(Indian Milkweed) It's the hairy, minty green foliage of Asclepias eriocarpa -- not its star-like, pink and cream flowers filled with nectar -- that is most valuable to Monarch butterflies.
(Swamp Milkweed) The light green of this Milkweed's slender, lance-shaped leaves compliment its rose-pink umbels of tiny, star-shaped flowers that smell like vanilla. As its common name implies, this plant is a great solution for saturated soils, such as in rain gardens and the edge of ponds. Yet it can get by on average watering based on local conditions.
(Swan Plant) Elegant white flowers with purple inner markings change into lime green-to-gold balloon-shaped seedpods in this South African milkweed that Monarch butterflies love. The seedpods are 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
(Showy Milkweed) Milkweeds (Asclepias spp. ) are must-have, nectar-rich plants in the butterfly garden. They're the only genus on which the endangered Monarch butterfly lays eggs. It is urgent that we offer this pretty, fragrant wildflower.
(Butterfly Weed) Butterfly Weed produces flat-topped umbels of tiny, star-shaped flowers atop narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Bright orange and nectar-rich, they bloom from summer into fall.
(Sacred flower of the Incas) Long reddish blossoms with flared, trumpet-like corollas and bright blue pollen contrast with mid-green foliage in the long-blooming, South American species Cantua buxifolia.
(Sacred flower of the Incas) Instead of red flowers, this variety of Cantua buxifolia features long tubular blossoms that are medium yellow with white, trumpet-like corollas. They hang upside down in clusters of 12 or more from mid-green foliage. This long blooming, water-loving South American shrub is popular with hummingbirds and butterflies.
(Orange Peel Jessamine) Mainly fragrant at night, the orange and yellow flowers of Cestrum 'Orange Peel' are the result of a cross between Night-Blooming Cestrum (C. nocturnum) and Day-Blooming Cestrum (C. diurnum).
(Minnie Mouse Ears) Floriferous and heat tolerant, Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' is also a long-blooming addition to wildlife gardens. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies are among the other pollinators that love this genus.
Floriferous and heat tolerant, Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset' is a long-blooming addition to wildlife gardens. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies are among the other pollinators that love this genus.
(Mexican Loosestrife) The tempting, purple-to-magenta flowers of Cuphea aff. aequipetala attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds as well as gardeners who love color. Abundant blossoms flare into six-petal corollas at the end of long, cylindrical flowers.
(Candy Corn Plant) Due to their bright colors and rich nectar, Cupheas are magnets for pollinators, including butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. That's certainly true for the orange and yellow, candy-corn colored flowers of Cuphea micropetala.
(Nelson's Bat-Faced Cuphea) A tiny snout-like face emerges at the end of this Cuphea's tubular flower and beneath two red-orange petals shaped like bat ears. "Too cute!" is a typical response to these whimsical flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.