Common name: Flowering Sage
Many herbs traditionally grown in cooler temperate climates can perform poorly in the subtropics. However salvias grow very well in South East Queensland, but it is important to grow those that perform in a subtropical climate.
Many of the popularly grown salvias originate in South America. Specific species known to do well in the subtropics include: Salvia ‘Costa Rica Blue’, S. mellisodora, S. leucantha, S. chiapensis, S. mexicana, S. microphylla and S. greggii.
Not only do these salvias thrive in the humidity and cope with summer downpours, but they are equally happy when faced with drought conditions. There are various salvias that are water-wise plants, thriving in drought conditions experienced in south east Queensland.
Different salvias flower at different times of the year. Some are more distinctly summer flowering and some winter flowering. Many species have scented leaves. These two features explain why they are so highly prized in ornamental gardens.
Salvias are diverse in their habit, bloom and colour. Their flowers are a wonderful source of nectar for numerous small birds and bees.
Best growing conditions:
- full sun to part sun
- rich fertile organic soil
- prune to maintain shape and encourage flowering.
Use this plant to create a subtropical cottage garden effect.
To attract more winged animal life.
Blue themed gardens.
Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au