Growing Salvia

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Salvia

Salvia Sage

Salvia (also known as sage) 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!

Part of the mint family (Lamiaceae), salvias have square stems and velvety leaves. The culinary herb garden sageSalvia 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, so plant them if you wish to attract these pretty pollinators!


When to Plant Salvia

Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site

  • Salvias prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Many varieties will also do well in part-shade.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches, removing any large stones or roots.
  • Mix in a 3-inch layer of compost to provide nutrients.

How to Plant Salvia

  • 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.



How to Grow Salvia

  • Add a thin layer of mulch around the plant to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Keep soil moist through the growing season.
  • Remove faded flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
  • 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.

Growing Salvia

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