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Perennial of the Week: Salvia/Sage

Welcome to the wonderful world of Salvia! Also known as Sage, spiky, colorful Salvia is well loved by butterflies and hummingbirds, and is deer resistant and relatively pest-free. The Salvia family includes multiple types of herbaceous or woody perennials that bloom in late spring and early summer. 

Several Rohsler’s Grown varieties are currently at their best. Our in-house perennial growers have been hard at work tending the New Dimension Blue, Burgundy Candles, and Blue Hill forms of Salvia nemorosa; the Caradonna (deep purple) and May Night (bluish-purple) forms of Salvia sylvestris; Twilight Serenade, a form of Salvia pratensis; and hybrids that include Ultra Violet and Color Spires® Violet Riot.

Additional forms of Salvia include Blue Sage (Salvia azurea), Lilac Sage (Salvia verticillata), and Salvia nemerosa ‘Marcus’ – a dwarf variety with purple flowers.

From the smallest to the tallest, these versatile plants love full sun, and tolerate poor soil and even drought, once they have become established. Perennial varieties of Salvia will perform well in containers, borders, rock gardens, and xeriscapes that include Coreopsis and Yucca.

In addition to the appeal of Salvia’s blossoms, gardeners plant it for its ornamental, and sometimes aromatic, foliage. Salvia officinalis, better known as Common Sage, is a favorite culinary herb.

The name Salvia comes from the Latin salvere, “to feel well and healthy,” referring to the herb’s healing properties. Salvia was used by the Chinese as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Other cultures used salvia as a dentifrice, while others used it to aid hormonal balance.

Today, Salvia is most commonly used to cure lack of color in American landscapes. Meadow Sage (Salvia nemorosa) is the most commonly planted perennial Sage in our area. It is a reliable addition to the garden ranging in colors from deep blue, sky blue, violet, and rose to white. Cut back your Salvia after it blooms this spring to encourage another round of blossoms.

Rohsler’s grows numerous varieties of Meadow Sage that can be found on our display tables with the Rohsler’s Grown logo. Most of the varieties are now in bud and bloom and on sale!

Come on by and see for yourself what this perennial stalwart has to offer.

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