May 21, 2016
If you like beautiful and reliable flowering plants in your summer garden take a look at salvia. There are annual and perennial varieties to choose from, so you can’t’ go wrong with salvia in your landscape. Annual salvia is a popular choice for many gardeners because of it bright plumes of color. The Salsa series, known botanically as Salvia splendens, is a good choice. Salsa salvia has medium to dark green foliage that really shows off the numerous spikes of colorful flowers. The tubular blooms are available in scarlet, purple and white persist for several weeks. Salsa will grow to about 10 to 12 inches tall and wide and makes a terrific bedding plant when massed together in the landscape. Now if you’re interested in perennial varieties here are several to consider. Mystic Spires is a compact growing plant that is tolerant of the heat and humidity we experience in our Mississippi gardens. It flowers freely producing spikes of beautiful true blue flowers all summer long. Last summer I grew Black and Bloom and absolutely love this plant. The deep blue flowers stand out against the black stems and calyces. These plants will eventually grow to about 36 inches tall, and they thrive in our Mississippi summer heat. Now I’m really impressed with the fluted flowers of magenta Love and Wishes and glowing coral Embers Wish. These salvia have a more open habit and will flower non-stop until frost in the fall. Another bonus is that both annual and perennial salvia are a sure fire way to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden this summer. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.