Scarlet Sage, Scarlet Salvia, Red Sage, Red Salvia
Salvia splendens

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: splendens (SPLEN-denz) (Info)
» View all varieties of Salvias
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Annuals

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Red

Orange

Purple

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Chandler, Arizona

Hereford, Arizona

Fallbrook, California

Irvine, California

Mountain View, California

Sacramento, California

Stockton, California

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Brandon, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake Butler, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Evanston, Illinois

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Davenport, Iowa

Junction City, Kansas

Lansing, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Holden, Louisiana

Monroe, Louisiana

Crofton, Maryland

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Aurora, Missouri

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Rodeo, New Mexico

New York City, New York

North Tonawanda, New York

Staten Island, New York

Newport, North Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Alice, Texas

Carrollton, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Friendswood, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Katy, Texas

Pasadena, Texas

Port Neches, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Kalama, Washington

Port Edwards, Wisconsin

Kinnear, Wyoming

Riverton, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

12
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 4, 2015, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This comes in many colors, but I find red does the best in my zone 9b garden. They do seem to prefer a flower pot than right into my sandy FL soil. They also do better when protected from the hot afternoon sun. Leave the flowers on the stalk till they brown and you'll get volunteer seedlings the following year. I like to gather the seeds and plant them around in other areas. If we have a mild winter, they are perennial in my garden. Another nice thing about this plant is you'll find them on the clearance rack at the box stores and Walmart often. Grab them, even if not flowering and find a place for them in the garden.

Positive

On Jul 15, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

I love this plant ! Its one of those forget about plants that you plant and forget you have it until it smothers itself in flowers. Has survived mild winters here in zone 8 a but is killed in more severe winters . It likes to self sow all over the place and I am always happy to find new plants after a particularly harsh winter. If all of mine were to be killed off it is easily found at almost every garden center at the beginning of spring. so far for the past several years it has either come back from the roots , Or if its a bad winter comes back from seeds it has sown itself. So I have not needed to purchase it every year . Great plant and gives a lively shot of color to partially shaded areas.

Positive

On Apr 3, 2010, flowrjunkie from Playa del Carmen
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

I had two varieties of Red Salvia, but found the hummingbirds to be wildly in love with "Firecracker". My original Firecracker Salvia has been blooming for 4 years. In terms of visual qualities, I am actually so-so about the plant itself. But seeing varieties of hummingbirds actually queued in an overhead flight pattern, waiting their pecking-order turn, is why this plant delights me. It seeds itself quite freely, so I am establishing a few more large plants. I deadhead the old blooms - and don't need to be to fussy about how I go about this, as the plants quite promptly and happily replenish themselves. I water almost daily during our long, dry, sunny summers. When the plants have mostly stopped flowering, usually November or so, I cut them back quite a bit; then they regrow to abou... read more

Positive

On Aug 11, 2008, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Salvia splendens grows as a self-seeding annual in my Zone 8b/9a garden. It returns from year to year. I've tried it in several spots in my yard, but the one it favors best is shaded most of the day with about 2 hours of fairly direct afternoon sun. It grows amongst my elephant ears collection. Though I wish it had selected some other spot, I am leaving it where it decided it wants to grow.

Jeremy

Positive

On May 26, 2007, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Love growing these 'shorter' Salvias, along with the 'Lady in Red' Salvia to attract the Hummers that visit.

An annual in zone 6.

Positive

On Jan 24, 2007, FloridaG8or from Lake Butler, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have the "fire-cracker" variety, and man am I pleased with it. I planted it into my butterfly garden and it attracted more humming birds than butterflies (although the butterflys liked it also). I am fully aware that North Florida doesn't have much cold weather, but my two red salvias are still blooming from last march, they made it fine through the winter. If you want to have winged friends in your yard, I recomend this plant!

Positive

On Sep 21, 2005, gardener8649 from Fort Wayne, IN wrote:

My husband had grown red salvia for years to add color around his house. When I married him last year, I found a flat of "tall" red salvia and planted it behind the small plants. It grew tremendously, especially when I deadheaded the mature blooms and the side shoots came out. It gave a good show from the street because it was tall and brilliant red. I did not have good luck with white salvia. It did not grow well and dried up in the hot weather.

Positive

On Aug 20, 2004, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown Bonfire here in western NY and it has been a prolific bloomer all summer even this year which has been very cloudy and rainy all summer and it really adds a bright burst of color to the garden. Usually my hummers ignore the annual salvias but they have made frequent visits to these plants this year. It is an annual here but seeds are very easy to collect for subsequent sowing.

Neutral

On May 8, 2004, Hornbeam from Chincoteague Island, VA wrote:

Tip:
Cut off faded flower spikes to encourage more bloom

Positive

On Aug 30, 2003, FastFredi from RR 5 Clinton, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have been growing the 'Red Hot Sally' variety for approximately 10 years now and saving seed from them for the next year. I recently came across 2 more varieties of Salvia splendens called 'Scarlet Bicolour' and 'Hotline Red'. The hummingbirds just love these plants so I make sure to start them on a staggered seeding schedule so that I have some blooming at all times until finaly a hard frost finishes them off.

Positive

On Aug 2, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

A beautiful plant. It seems every yard in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, has this plant, and I'm glad to find that it will grow further South in zone 8b, Northcentral Florida, as we are usually wetter than Atlanta. But my son, who lives in an Atlanta suburb, tells me they have had 70 inches of rain by August this year--the usual is about 55 for the whole year--so slugs and snails are definately a problem. I've found a good remedy for them is to save and crush up egg shells and sprinkle the shells around plants these annoying pests love, as they don't like to travel over the shells, as the shells cut up their underbellies.

Positive

On Aug 2, 2003, dstartz from Deep South Texas, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one of the most satisfying plants I have had the pleasure to grow! It seems to thrive on heat and neglect and blooms PROFUSELY almost year round, especially when given ample fertilizer.

It's only pest for me has been a severe infestation of snails during a rather extended rainy spell.

It has grown for me as a tender perennial in zones 8b-9b. It has also come back strong from short periods of drought.

Positive

On Oct 18, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm growing the 'Firecracker' red variety in Northern California (U.S.) Although drought-resistant, they do not flower well without regular water. Mulching helps as well. I have not had trouble with slugs or snails, nor with aphids.

Neutral

On Aug 7, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

There are at least 10 varieties of this sage. The height range also varies from 8 inches to 3 ft tall. It needs good, well-drained soil.