Salvia splendens (Scarlet Sage, Red Salvia, Tropical Sage)
It will add a splash of vibrant red colours to your garden.
An added bonus as it is very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Common Names: Scarlet Sage, Red Salvia, Tropical Sage.
- Family Name: Lamiaceae.
Etymology: The genus name, Salvia is from the Latin word salveo, meaning to save or heal, in reference to the curative properties attributed to some plants in the genus.
The specific epithet, splendens means splendid.
- Origin: Native to Brazil in Southern America. It is also cultivated worldwide.
- Plant type: An ornamental, herbaceous, perennial or annual plant.
Features: Salvia splendens is a species of the genus Salvia that consists of about 700 to nearly 1,000 species of flowering plants or shrubs.
It is a fast-growing, clump-forming and tender perennial
that normally grows to about 1 m tall on square and upright stems.
The plant produces 7.62 cm oval, serrate and dark green foliage. Charming and beautiful, to say the least.
Most of Salvia splendens produces scarlet coloured flowers.
Nevertheless, the cultivars come in variable colours of white, salmon, pink, blue, purple, lavender, orange and even bicolour.
The showy flowers are long-tubed, red-bracted and coloured scarlet red, up to 5.08 cm in length, in dense, erect and terminal racemes.
Eventually, the flowers will be followed by tiny, glossy and black seeds.
Culture (Care): Salvia splendens or Scarlet Sage can be easily grown with minimum care.
Light: Full sun to semi-shade. Nonetheless, best in full sun for optimum growth and flowering.
Moisture: Medium water requirements.
Water regularly in extreme heat but less often once established.
Soil: Fertile, loamy and well-drained soils.
Others: Deadhead the plants to enhance their looks and to stimulate continuous flowering.
Pinch off the flower spikes with spent blooms far down on their stems.
Once fortnightly, feed your plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer for flowering plants.
Generally free from serious disease or insect problems.
However, the plants may be attractive to chewing and sucking insects such as snails and slugs, and even whiteflies.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10-11.
Salvia splendens or Red Salvia is an annual plant in temperate zones. It is damaged by hard frosts and will not survive through the cold winter.
Plant the tender perennial cultivars that best suit your zone. The cultivar Salvia sylvestris cv. May Night is a tender perennial with tall spikes of indigo blue flowers. An outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness that thrives well in areas where spring and summer nights remain cool. It flowers from summer to fall. Deadhead during summer to encourage repeat blooming. To propagate, start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date and set out the seedlings after last frost date. Alternatively, take cuttings in late summer for overwintering in a bright and cool sunny window. Plants are deer tolerant.
- Propagation: Easily propagated via seeds or cuttings.
Salvia splendens or Red Salvia with its beautiful inflorescence of scarlet red flowers will be excellent as a striking accent. An ideal flowering plant for garden borders/beds or lined up in a row as edging plants. Most suited for container gardening in pots or raised planters. If you’re a nature lover, plant this beauty as it is a magnet to butterflies, birds and hummingbirds.
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