Salvia splendens, Scarlet Sage

Salvia splendens

Scarlet Sage
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Brazil
USDA Zone: 7-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersWhite, off-white flowersPink flowers

Salvia splendens, also commonly known as Scarlet Sage, is a small shrub that can grow between 2-5 feet. It is a native plant to Brazil, and belongs to the family Lamiaceae. Salvia splendens comes in a wide range of colors, including some out-of-the ordinary mixes, like white, pink, yellow, and orange, among others.

Scarlet Sage is an annual plant, requiring full sun to semi-shade. It should also be given regular water, and according to its species, you should water more deeply and less often than other annual plants. It will thrive when temperature is between warm to moderate room temperature. Each plant will require a slightly different amount of water, but for an average plant, you should provide about a deep soaking about once a week.

In cold regions, Grown in USDA Zone 9-11, Salvia splendens can be grown in a pot and moved inside during winter. The pot should not be too large, to ensure good drainage and aeration. Provide bright and indirect light. During winter, water needs are reduced, and you should let the topsoil dry before irrigating.

The flowers consist of two-lipped, with a flat lower lip and helmet-shaped upper lip. They appear in many colors, like crimson, vinous or yellow, with several versions in between. The foliage is dark green and glossy with a strong scent.

Scarlet Sage can be propagated from seed. Plant them directly into the garden once all danger from frost has passed. Alternatively, it can be grown from an already grown plant, and transplanted to the desired location. This species is known by its long life, due to its self-seeding ability.

All in all, Salvia splendens is an easy to care for plant with amazing flower spikes, that can tolerate some drought conditions and does well in both, cold or warm regions. It will add vibrant colors and delightful scent to any home garden.

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