Some time ago I published a brief record of this beautiful plant, one of the most appreciated garden sage in gardening to plant in large massifs or alone in pots. The Salvia Farinacea can also be found in purple or white, although blue-violet is the most striking and therefore the easiest to find in nurseries. In many places, it is for sale with the name of the blue sage.
The Salvia Farinacea can be grown in pots or in the ground in the garden
This sage is often grown as an annual, although in reality, it is a short-lived perennial whose life is around five years. After this time loses its splendor, the plant languishes and then it must be replaced. I have had it several times in the garden and the truth is that it has been short-lived.
Blue sage comes from Mexico and the southern United States, mainly from the state of Texas. It is a herbaceous plant of the family of the Lamiaceae, with elongated and bright leaves that produces spikes of flowers from mid-spring to late summer. It can be grown in full sun or in slightly shaded areas. In hot climates, especially, it is better to avoid the sun in the afternoon so that the flowers stay fresh for longer. It is a plant that attracts many pollinating insects, such as butterflies or bees. As I read, hummingbirds like it too.
It is not a very tall plant, it can reach a height of 90 cm. I have it in a large pot next to Plectranthus verticillatus to give a little color to so much green leaf. The flowers of the Plectranthus are small and not very striking, but with their mauve dyes, they make a beautiful combination with the sage.
The spikes of sage flowers usually last a long time, but when all the inflorescence is already withered, it should be cut to promote the formation of new flowers. It is also good to remove the dried leaves so that the bush looks healthy and careful.
How to care for Salvia farinacea plants
The good thing about Salvia farinacea is that it is very easy to care for and, best of all, it is very resistant to pests and does not give problems in this regard. All you need is a location with a few hours of direct sun and protect it from very low temperatures because it would not withstand persistent frost. In winter, if the temperatures are very low, they can lose the leaves and the entire aerial part.
This variety of sage comes from places with moderate climates where winter temperatures are mild. It resists intense heat quite well, although in that case it must be kept well hydrated. What does not support are low temperatures and if the thermometer drops below -2ºC, the plants must be protected. With the cold, you will lose the aerial part, but you can bear it if there are no intense frosts and rebound when spring arrives.
Your water needs are moderate, you don’t need the substrate to be wet, but you don’t need to dry it too much. If it is planted in a pot, it is best to let the soil dry slightly between waterings. If it is on the garden floor, its water needs are lower and can withstand short periods of drought. In this situation the ideal irrigation method is to let the water penetrate slowly and deeply into the ground; In this way, the plants develop a deep root system and become more resistant.
Everywhere I read they say it’s good to pay every 15 days from spring to summer. My method is another and it works quite well. I put a couple of handfuls of manure or earthworm humus in the pots a couple of times a season, once at the beginning of spring and once at the beginning of summer.
Plagues and diseases
I have never had disease problems or insect invasion with this plant. I have read in other sources that it is a very resistant plant, but young shoots can be attacked by aphids.
It reproduces by seeds or cuttings. To propagate it by seeds, the seeds must be stratified before sowing them, keeping them cold for a week before planting. Reproduction by cuttings is easier. It consists of cutting a piece of the tip of the branches of mature plants and nailing them in the earth so that they take root.
I have never done it with farinaceous, but with other species of sage. The process is explained in ” Benefits of cinnamon in the garden “, an article I published a long time ago to talk about the use of cinnamon as a fungicide.
With the care I have described, this plant has been in a pot on my terrace for two or three seasons and is really pretty. Do you know this sage? If so, I would love you to tell us your experience and contrast opinions.