News & Updates
May 23, 2017
Salvias for Summer – Plant of the Month
Salvias for Summer
With solstice around the corner, the summer-thriving salvias (sage) are really coming into their heyday. California is home to quite a few native sages, though the genus is distributed far and wide. A very common garden selection, these members of the mint family vary quite a bit from species to species.
Some are planted for their pollinator-courting flowers, others for their aromatic, silvery foliage. Broadly celebrated for their drought tolerance, some species, like S. guaranitica, actually enjoy wet feet. Other sages are sought after for their culinary usage, like S. officinalis, or their medicinal usage, like S. apiana.
Below we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites, each of which we find unique. California native Hummingbird Sage tolerates dry shade while magnetizing pollinators to its whorled blooms. Rusty Sage is visually enticing with its palette of muted hues. Bog Sage’s height and tolerance for damp soil make it a great selection for planting in swales to mitigate storm water runoff.
HUMMINGBIRD SAGE, PITCHER SAGE
An herbaceous perennial that forms an upright, slowly spreading ground cover. Large, light green leaves are aromatic, crinkled, toothed and triangular. Upright stalks carry large whorls of fragrant, two-lipped flowers in magenta pink. Blooms in spring and summer. Attracts hummingbirds, other pollinators and beneficial insects. Native to California. Tolerates dry shade. Good under oaks.
USDA zones: 7 – 10
Sunset zones: 7 – 9, 14 – 24
Mature size: 1 – 2 feet high and 3 – 6 feet wide
Light needs: full sun, part shade
Water needs: low to moderate water
RUSTY SAGE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAGE
A semi-evergreen shrub that forms a multi-branching clump. Blue-gray leaves are small, lance-shaped, and aromatic. Short stalks carry open-mouthed, two-lipped, bi-colored flowers in muted rusty pink and light yellow. Blooms from spring into summer. Attracts hummingbirds, other pollinators, and beneficial insects. Native to South Africa.
USDA zones: 8 – 11
Mature size: 2 – 4 feet high and wide
Light needs: full sun
Water needs: moderate water
BOG SAGE, BLUE SPIKE SAGE
An herbaceous perennial that forms an airy, spreading clump. Gray green leaves are aromatic, slender, and semi-sticky. Upright stalks carry two-lipped flowers in bright blue with white markings. Blooms from summer to fall. Attracts pollinators and beneficial insects. Tolerates boggy soil and drought. Great in swales.
USDA zones: 6 – 10
Sunset zones: 6 – 9, 14 – 24
Mature size: 4 – 6 feet high and 3 – 6 feet wide
Light needs: part shade, full sun
Water needs: moderate to regular water
Rescape California would like to thank our generous sponsor, Devil Mountain Nursery for authoring this blog post. You can look forward to monthly updates from ReScape CA and Devil Mountain about appropriate plant selection
To learn more about Salvias or to purchase plants, visit Devil Mountain’s Website: