Perennial Salvias (also known as “sage”) are mainstays of the midsummer garden border—blooming summer to autumn! Planted in the spring, these aromatic beauties are great for cutting and beloved by bees and butterflies—plus, they’re drought-tolerant! See how to plant, grow, and care for Salvia.
Part of the mint family (Lamiaceae), salvias appear as a colorful spike of densely-packed flowers with tubular blossoms atop square stems and velvety leaves.
The common kitchen herb garden sage—Salvia officinalis—is actually a type of salvia; it’s a relative of the many ornamental species and has a few attractive ornamental varieties itself.
Hummingbirds and butterflies love salvia’s tubular flowers and they’re adored by bees, too, so plant them if you wish to attract these pretty pollinators!
Fortunately, salvia does not tend to attract deer or rabbits. It is the distinctive, pungent odor of their leaves that acts as a repellent to garden pests.
Salvia are heat- and drought-tolerant, making them survivors in the summer garden. They grow 18 inches to 5 feet tall, depending on the variety.
Salvias of all types can be grown in containers, too.
Take care when choosing salvias, because not all plants are hardy in all regions; some are best treated as annuals, but perennial varieties are also available.