VIBRANT PLANTS FOR END OF YEAR COLOUR
Salvias are fantastic to drop into borders to fill gaps after earlier flowers such as lupins and poppies have faded. Due to their long flowering periods they’re perfect for jazzing up clumps of asters, anemones. Half of them come from Asia and Europe and these include largely shrubby and herbaceous types, but the other half of the species come mainly from South and Central America and it’s these that are the most useful for late displays, even though many are not fully hardy. Most of these salvias grow best in rich, fertile soils in full sun and thrive in warm, sheltered positions.
Once established, they rarely need extra watering. The tender kinds make great potted, patio plants that can be moved into a cold greenhouse in winter or used as late bedding plants. Keep them rather dry in winter and cut them back to just above soil level in spring. All are easy to grow from stem cuttings taken in summer to enable them to be overwintered as small plants. Hardy types such as S. uliginosa can be lifted and split in spring.
FACT: There are 900 salvia species that are native to mostregions of the northern hemisphere and South America. Among the most famous are the common or herb sage Salvia officinalis and Salvia hispanica, the source of chia seeds.