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Salvia for the Mississippi Gardener

Publication Number: P3685
View as PDF: P3685.pdf

Introduction

Salvia is one of those groups of plants that really can make a statement in the home garden and landscape.

A favorite flower with almost every Mississippi and Southeastern gardener, salvias are available as annual, tender perennial, and perennial varieties. These are reliable garden and landscape performers in Mississippi.

Cultural Information

All salvias should be planted in the full sun for ideal flowering and color development. They are great additions to a mixed border or grown in containers.

These plants grow in almost any landscape soil as long as there is good drainage. Raised beds are ideal, especially if the native soil has poor drainage. Growing in large containers is an excellent choice for optimum drainage. Be sure to use commercial potting media when growing in containers.

Applying controlled-release fertilizer at planting will supply sufficient nutrition for the summer season.

Salvias are known and grown for their tolerance of droughty conditions we can have in Mississippi during the summer months. However, for best landscape performance, provide supplemental irrigation to maintain consistent soil moisture. A layer of mulch will help to keep the soil moisture consistent and help to control weed pressure.

Salvias are considered lower maintenance plants, but deadheading fading flowers will keep the plants blooming all summer long.

Here are some suggested selections that have performed well in trial and gardens across Mississippi.

Scarlet Sage salvia

  • Annual
  • Salvia splendens
  • Series: Vista, Lighthouse, Summer Jewel, Mojave
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: clumping
  • Plant size: variable to 2 feet tall, 18 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: red, white, purple
  • Other attributes: mass planting, containers

Rockin’ Deep Purple salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia hybrid ‘BBSAL09001’ USPP 30,206
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 36 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: rich, dark-purple flowers, with black calyx and stems
  • Other attributes: drought tolerance, attracts pollinators, deer resistant

Rockin’ Fuchsia salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia hybrid ‘BBSAL00301’ USPP 30,923
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 24 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: bright fuchsia-pink flowers, deep-purple black calyx
  • Other attributes: drought tolerance, attracts pollinators, deer resistant
  • Top Performer, Mississippi State University, Poplarville

Rockin’ Blue Suede Shoes salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia hybrid ‘BBSAL01301’ USPP 32,694
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 40 inches tall, 30 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: bright indigo-blue flowers, dark-black calyx
  • Other attributes: drought tolerance, attracts pollinators, deer resistant
  • 2020 Top Performer, Mississippi State Universality, Poplarville

Rockin’ Golden Delicious salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia elegans USPP 17,977
  • Foliage color: chartreuse
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: red
  • Other attributes: drought tolerance, attracts pollinators, deer resistant
  • 2018 Top 10 Flowering Plant, Mississippi State University, Crystal Springs

Mystic Spires salvia

  • Perennial
  • Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ ‘Balsalmipim’ USPP 29,604
  • Also marketed as Salvia Rockin’ Playin’ the Blues
  • Foliage color: dark green
  • Growth habit: rounded
  • Plant size: to 30 inches tall
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: true blue
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerance, deer resistant

Mexican Bush Sage salvia

  • Perennial
  • Salvia leucantha
  • Foliage color: dark green
  • Growth habit: large
  • Plant size: to 6 feet tall, 6 feet wide
  • Bloom period: summer
  • Flower color: bicolor, velvety purple sepals, and fuzzy white petals
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Victoria Blue salvia

  • Perennial
  • Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 24 inches tall, 12 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: rich, deep blue
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Victoria White salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria White’
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 36 inches tall, to 36 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: white
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Unplugged So Blue salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia farinacea ‘G14251’ USPP 32,695
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: true blue
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant
  • 2020 Top Performer, Mississippi State University, Poplarville and Crystal Springs

Black and Bloom salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Bloom’ USPP 27,183
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Bloom period: spring planting to frost
  • Flower color: deep blue flowers, black stems and calyx
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Purple and Bloom salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia guaranitica ‘Purple & Bloom’ USPP 32,027
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: upright, rounded
  • Plant size: to 48 inches tall, 48 inches wide
  • Bloom period: late spring to frost
  • Flower color: deep purple
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Amistad salvia

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia hybrid ‘Amistad’ USPP 23,578
  • Foliage color: green
  • Growth habit: large, rounded
  • Plant size: to 60 inches tall, 48 inches wide
  • Bloom period: summer to frost
  • Flower color: violet purple, charcoal-purple calyx
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Bolivian Sage

  • Annual/tender perennial
  • Salvia oxyphora
  • Foliage color: green black
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Plant size: to 36 inches tall and wide
  • Bloom period: summer to frost
  • Flower color: fuzzy, cherry-licorice red
  • Other attributes: attracts pollinators, drought tolerant, deer resistant


Publication 3685 (POD-8-21)

By Gary R. Bachman, PhD, Extension/Research professor, Coastal Research and Extension Center.

Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Gary R. Bachman
Extension/Research Professor
Ornamental Horticulture Host of Southern Gardening

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