Position – Full Sun or part shade
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period –Spring to autumn
Hardiness – Fully hardy to Tender (dependant on variety)
Salvia are annuals, biennials, herbaceous or evergreen perennials or shrubs. Simple and often aromatic leaves adorn thin, slender stems. Distinctive, two-lipped and open-mouthed blooms are long lasting and attract numerous, beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. They are quick to grow and tolerant of heat and drought, creating swathes of colour and texture. Salvia are best suited to flower beds and borders within a courtyard, coastal, cottage and informal garden setting. You should expect to see Salvia grow to an approximate height and spread of 60-90cm (24-36”) although this will alter with each variety.
Salvia are best planted in well-drained soil of loam, chalk and sand within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. They are best positioned in full sun although they will tolerate part shade. Along with their flowers, their scented foliage is one of their key features and so it is recommended that they are planted by a pathway or edge of the border. Enrich the soil with organic matter and mix in some horticultural grit to improve drainage if you have heavy soil. Alternatively you can plant them in containers.
Salvia are a drought tolerant plant. In general, they prefer to be on the dry side, so after the initial watering in, they can tolerate a level of neglect. If the first season is particularly hot and dry a good soak is beneficial. Apply a fertiliser or mulch during spring to help with flowering. Once the flowers have faded, remove the flower spike to encourage more flowers. During midsummer cut back Salvia by a third if it looks tired. This will force it to regrow, producing a second flush of flowers that continue to flourish through to autumn.
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