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Salvia selections


There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.

Sun,Part Sun
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
1-8 feet tall, depending on variety
Plant Width:
8-36 inches wide, depending on variety
Flower Color:
Pink, blue, violet, red, yellow flowers, depending on variety; gray/silver leaves, depending on variety
Bloom Time:
Blooms early summer through fall, depending on variety
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Fall Color,Cut Flowers,Attracts Hummingbirds,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Salvia greggii is shrubby at the base, with aromatic foliage all along the stems. Its loose spires of cherry red flowers are carried on 2- to 3-foot stems in late summer and fall. Zones 7-9.
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Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' blooms in late summer and fall with very deep blue flowers, with almost black calyces. The flowers are carried in spikes on shrubby stems that may reach 8 feet tall. Zones 7-10, though it's often treated as an annual.
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Salvia azurea grows to 5 feet tall and bears wonderful spikes of sky-blue flowers in late summer and fall. Zones 5-9
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Salvia pachyphylla is exceedingly tough and bears spikes of purple flowers throughout the summer. It can reach 4 feet tall. Zones 5-9
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Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night' carries dense spikes of large, two-lipped, deep indigo blue flowers on 1 1/2- to 2-foot stems. Increase by division as this is a sterile hybrid. Zones 5-9
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Salvia farinacea is usually treated as an annual in northern climates. It is upright and bushy, its 2-foot stems coated with a white meal. Dense spikes of blue or white flowers bloom from summer into fall. Zones 8-11
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Salvia leucantha bears fuzzy purple flowers in late summer and fall. It grows 3 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 8-10. It's often grown as an annual in cold-winter climates.
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Salvia nemorosa 'Plumosa' bears dense spikes of deep purple blooms throughout the summer. It grows 18 inches tall. Zones 3-8
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Salvia involucrata is a shrubby Mexican native that develops purple-red flowers from midsummer to fall. It grows 5 feet tall and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Zones 7-11
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Plant It With
Golden marguerite

The bright yellow daisy flowers of golden Marguerite make a fine contrast with blue hybrid sage in color and form in sunny gardens.

Shasta daisy

In sunny borders, the sparkling white daisies of 'Alaska' combine well with mealy cup sage.


Blooming at the same time, daylily trumpet flowers and strap-shaped foliage play off well against blue hybrid sage.


In fall, New England asters provide an interesting combination with Mexican bush sage. They enjoy similar conditions.