We sell hundreds of salvia plants each year, and with good reason. Meadow sage is a dependable perennial plant that comes back year after year. Their spikes of purple, blue or white flowers shoot up from the foliage in early summer, lasting for more than a month. The rabbits don’t seem to touch them, and deer mostly
leave them alone because of their pungent smell and slightly hairy leaves.
Plant them in average, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Care is also easy: after the frost, cut down the wizened foliage. To keep the plant looking fresh all season, cut the spent flower spikes back to the basal foliage in mid-summer. Many cultivars will reward the gardener with a second flush of bloom.
During our recent trip to Connecticut to visit one of our growers, I was excited to see fields and fields of Salvia in bloom. It was the perfect opportunity to make a collage comparing them. Their attributes are listed below, along with the collage.
‘Blue Hill’: Dense spikes of true blue flowers. 1.5 – 2′ tall. Blooms June-July.
‘Snow Hill’: White flowers on compact plants. 1.5′ tall. Blooms June-July.
‘Marcus’: Deep blue flowers on dwarf plants. 8-12″ tall. Blooms a week or more after other cultivars.
‘East Friesland’: Deep violet flowers. 1.5′ tall. Blooms June-July
‘Mainacht‘ aka ‘May Night’: Dark purple flowers. 1.5′ tall. Blooms June-July. Dependable re-bloomer.
‘Cardonna’: Black flower stems, violet flowers. 2-2.5′ tall. Blooms May-July. A personal favorite.