The genus Salvia is one of the largest in the plant kingdom and contains over 900 species, these plants readily cross-pollinate, so there are both natural and manmade hybrids galore!
Most salvia plants like full sun, but many do well in partial shade and in the hottest areas plants like Salvia chiapensis are much better with shade. These plants are perfect for gardeners who want drought tolerant plants with colorful long-lasting flowers that can be brought into the house or enjoyed outdoors. There are many varieties to chose from, so you should find at least a few that are perfect for your home. Most are deer resistant and very pest and disease free, so they are an ideal plant.
Salvias like well draining soil, if the soil is too wet or dry they will not produce new growth or flowers, in overly wet soil their roots may rot. Planting Salvia plants is easy, select your spot, amend the soil by adding compost and dig your hole twice as wide and about as deep as the container and pop the salvia in the ground at the same depth or just below the level that they have been growing in their nursery pot. If you are planting California Native Salvias … use NO amendments but make sure you are planting them in the soil type that is proper for their species.
Although salvia provides amazing color all summer long, they require only minimal care. Since they require less everything to provide beauty changes are likely that you will more likely OVER care for you salvia than under care for it. Water your salvia sparingly, infrequent deep watering is best and little fertilization is needed. Too much fertilization and your plant will become tall and lanky and the blooms will be sparse. When you begin to see lots of dried seedpods and spent flowers, cut the back to about half their height, which will encourage new growth and new flowers within a month.
There are many salvias to chose from, so… have fun! (My friends Sara, Shelly, & Ken at Worldwide Exotics have a GREAT selection of Salvia)
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