Green Circle Growers Blog

Spiky Salvia Adds Height, Drama to Summer Gardens

Green Circle Growers - Thursday, May 27, 2010

Salvia (Salvia) is one of the summer garden’s most dramatic flowers. Slender spikes covered with a profusion of thin, oblate trumpets rise from a base of dark green leaves to add color and drama to garden plantings all season long. Salvia’s spiky vertical growth adds height and visual excitement to gardens as it pokes above the horizontal plane of lower-growing plants. A reliable garden favorite, Salvia provides an abundance of bright-colored flowers all summer long and into early fall.

salvia flowers by green circle growersSalvia makes an excellent border plant. Contrast Salvia’s sharply upright growth against curvaceous mounds of bright yellow Marigolds or the undulating petals of purple Petunias or the round heads of red Geraniums. Salvia is available in a purplish blue, white, pink and bright red, allowing Salvia to be attractively paired with many other plants and shrubs. Dramatic displays can be created by pairing Salvia and other flowers in opposite or complementary colors. Marigolds, Rudbeckia, Lantana and Zinnia partner beautifully with Salvia

An eye-catching variation of its shorter cousin, Salvia Farinacea (Salvia Farinacea) features tall spiked fronds covered with columns of bell-shaped blooms that rise high above silvery foliage. Use Salvia Farinacea to give layered height to your garden. Placed against a background of taller evergreens, white Salvia Farinacea creates a stunning backdrop behind a row of bright red Petunias (Petunia).

Tolerant of hot, dry conditions, Salvia weathers summer’s heat beautifully, requiring only weekly watering, but will also thrive in wetter environments. This attractive plant grows in both sun and partial shade, requiring from 3 to 6 hours of sunlight daily. Salvia grows best in fertile soil and should be fertilized monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer. To maintain best display, removed faded flowers regularly.