Plant of the Month - Salvias

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Salvias provide long lasting colour, aromatic foliage and strong architectural shapes during the second half of summer.

Salvias are popular plants for adding late summer colour in mixed borders and pots. They are a large and diverse group of plants that can be grown as annuals, perennials or even shrubs in the UK. With their aromatic leaves, the best known variety is the culinary herb, common sage (Salvia officinalis).

Our favourites for this month are the perennial types with their upright shape and long lasting flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, red and white. For something unusual, try Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ with their two-toned white and red flowers that look like a puckering kiss.

Growth is best in a sunny spot with good drainage but they can also tolerate light shade. By dead-heading old flowers, you can prolong your display until the first frosts. Hold off any pruning until spring, as the old stems provide shelter to the main crown during winter.

Like most perennials, Salvias look their best when planted in drifts. Pair these plants with other herbaceous perennials such as the cranesbill geraniums, artemisia, diascias and penstemons.

  • Prefers a sunny spot with a well-drained soil but can tolerate light shade
  • Dead-head to prolong flowering
  • Generally disease free, but watch out for slugs, snails and leaf hoppers.
  • Good for attracting a wide range of beneficial insects