Growing Salvia

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Salvia

Salvia Sage

Salvias (also known as sages) flower for a long time; grow well in hot, dry conditions; and they provide a variety of bloom shapes, color, and fragrance. Here’s how to grow salvia plants in your garden!

As part of the mint family, salvias have square stems and velvety leaves. Ornamental salvias are relatives of the culinary herb sage. Hummingbirds and butterflies love them!


  • Salvias prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Many varieties will also do well in part-shade.
  • Plant salvias after all danger of frost is past in the spring. See local frost dates.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches.
  • Mix in a 3-inch layer of compost.
  • Dig a hole twice the diameter of the container the plant is in.
  • Remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
  • Space plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety.
  • Carefully fill in around the plant and firm the soil gently.
  • Water thoroughly.



  • Add a thin layer of mulch around the plant to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Keep soil moist through the growing season.
  • Remove faded blooms to encourage continuous bloom.
  • Wait until new growth begins in early spring to remove old stems.
  • Divide perennial salvias every 3 years. The best time to divide is in early spring, before new growth begins.


Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

  • The ancient Greeks and Romans used salvia as a memory enhancer.
  • The name Salvia comes from the Latin word salvere, which means “to heal.” Salvia is known for its healing properties.

2020 Almanac Calendar Club

Growing Salvia

Botanical Name Salvia
Plant Type Flower
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Any
Soil pH Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Bloom Time Summer, Fall
Flower Color Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Hardiness Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Special Features Attracts Butterflies