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Growing Salvia

Growing Salvia (Annual)

Summer Jewel Red



There are several types of annual salvia commonly grown, and one of the most popular types is scarlet sage, Salvia coccinea. This is a tender perennial (zones 8 to 10) species usually grown as an annual. It is native to the Southern and Southeastern US and Mexico. It is sometimes called Texas sage.

Scarlet sage is a vigorous, summer blooming annual full sun to partly shaded spots in well-drained soil. It is good in garden beds, patio pots, and mixed containers. These plants are heat and drought-tolerant once established. Its flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

How To Plant

Sow seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost in spring. Plant seed no more than 1/16 inch deep, as light is beneficial for germination. Maintain temperatures of 68 to 78 degrees and expect germination in 7 to 21 days.

Harden seedlings off and plants outdoors after all danger of spring frost.


Long-blooming, easy-to-grow, and low-maintenance plants require little upkeep during the season. Sturdy branched stems do not flop in wind or in rain.

Fertilizer Recommendations

A low to moderate feeder, scarlet sage benefits from occasional fertilization. Use low rates of  ALGOplus Flowering Plant 4-6-7 liquid fertilizer or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Usually free from issues and pest problems. Aphids and whitefly occasionally attack plants. Powdery mildew may occur. Use insecticidal soap or 70% neem oil to control these pests. Powdery mildew can be controlled with 70% neem oil.

Alternative Products

Other flowering annual plants for warm, sunny sites are portulacamarigold, and zinnia.

Product Recommendations

Other plants that are strongly attractive to hummingbirds are monarda.

Salvia Facts

The genus name Salvia derives from the Latin word "salveo" which means to be in good health. This name is based on that some species of Salvia have a history of use as medicinal herbs.


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