Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Violet Sage, Ornamental Meadow Sage, Balkan Clary, Perennial Woodland Sage
Salvia x sylvestris 'Mainacht'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: x sylvestris (sil-VESS-tris) (Info)
Cultivar: Mainacht
Additional cultivar information: (aka May Night)

» View all varieties of Salvias

15 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 42 photos.
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20 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive OldPerfessor On May 4, 2012, OldPerfessor from Hazard, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

*Update* May Night Salvia does very well here in SE KY in Zone 6B, however it seems susceptible to slugs which eat holes in its leaves. Some beer in a bowl will drown the blighters. Only other drawback (and it may not be one to you) is the strong fragrance of the leaves, this being a member of the sage family.

Neutral XemaSab On Apr 11, 2012, XemaSab from Redding, CA wrote:

I have several of them and they're pretty, but they never get bigger than about 1x1 and most of them have never flowered or only flower lightly. It's just not an exciting plant in my yard.

Positive manda314 On Jan 4, 2011, manda314 from Wylie, TX wrote:

Bought this in April from Home Depot. Plopped it down into heavy clay soil with only a bit of expanded shale mixed into the backfill. Struggled along until the summer heat when it disappeared. Still kept the area watered about once a week. Come fall in September it shot up a decent amount of purple spikes. Never stopped blooming. Right now in January it still has two spikes up but barely any green. I do hope it grows this spring.

Positive kentstar On Aug 27, 2010, kentstar from Ravenna, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Planted 3 in my rose bed this past fall and they've gotten huge! They bloom all season here from spring till fall. The yellow jackets love this plant!
Looks great with my Westerland climbing rose and against the hot pink blooms of my William Baffin rose.
They are getting so tall that they are starting to flop a bit. That would be my only drawback. But, I think next season I will cut back some after the initial blooming and see if this helps.
Great plant and a must for every garden!

Positive Susini On Aug 11, 2010, Susini from Lake Park, MN wrote:

I have about five of these plants on my property. In the rock garden, northern exposure, it's huge, just short of 4 feet across. It also reblooms all summer long without deadheading. In the southern exp. garden, full sun, they're half that size and absolutely require deadheading. The flower stalks are stinky after bloom too - think I've heard them described as cat urine. That's pretty much dead on.

Positive gardeningfun On Jun 2, 2010, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

My favorite Salvia! I bought 5 of them from Lowe's last fall for $2 each and they were huge then. They had lost their bloom when bought, so I wasn't sure what they would look like. They are gorgeous and I have honey bees all over them. The hummingbirds love them the most in all of my gardens. They are a hit with my whole family and my husband wants me to get more this fall. They are all the same and all May Night. I also bought 5 from Walmart for $1 and they were labled Meadow Sage and i was told they were May Night. However, 3 of them are Cardonna and 2 of them are some very short compact Mini-May Night. I have no idea what their name is. I am going to separate them this fall, buy more May Night at Lowe's and put them here. I have Cardonna already growing up in the back bed. That is the darker purple, more compact Salvia. It has thin spears and isn't full at all. It is beautiful, though.

Positive Gardmawm On May 4, 2010, Gardmawm from Alexandria, VA wrote:

Two were stuck in pots last summer, successfully overwintered despite our 3 blizzards, and are blooming their heads off. There is even one plant that is coming up through the bricks, also happily blooming away.

Neutral yotedog On Sep 21, 2007, yotedog from Raleigh, NC wrote:

This plant is a strong positive in spring, when it is beautiful, loaded with blooms and great for attracting bees and butterflies. It earns a neutral in my climate (hot and humid) because it requires constant deadheading to extend the initial flush of blooms, and because it tends to die back extensively in the heat of summer. That said, its healthy, easy to grow and looks wonderful in spring and (less so) early summer.

Positive kimmy222 On Jul 8, 2007, kimmy222 from Reading, PA wrote:

This cultivar has gorgeous, long spiky blooms in late spring. They need to be deadheaded to look neat and to continue blooming. The only drawback of this plant is the frequent need to be deadheaded. On the plus side, they bloom from late spring to fall here and butterflies are all over it. They seem to prefer it to butterfly bushes. Overall, it is a great cultivar.

Positive zville123 On Jun 1, 2007, zville123 from Zanesville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought 6 plants at the end of last season at WalMart. Planted them and hoped for the best. This year, all are up and healthy. Only thing is, I definitely have 2 different types of salvia, even though they all were tagged 'May Night.' Four of the plants have dark stems and a neater appearance. Two plants have green stems and are more floppy. I'm not sure which are the real 'May Nights' but the dark stems are staying in the front flower beds and the green stems are getting moved elsewhere. All are blooming abundantly.

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

Love it! Love the color and growing it in the garden!

Positive girlndocs On Feb 28, 2007, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

Bought a 4" pot on impulse at Home Despot last year, after reading raves about it on another gardening forum. I was pretty resigned to not seeing much out of it that year as it was so small, but it proceeded to bloom and bloom all summer! Each flush of bloom had another spike or two of flowers and by fall it was noticeably larger.

Definitely a keeper -- I put it in a new bed where the drainage might not be so great, so I hope it made it though the winter.

Positive Idiopath On Jul 4, 2006, Idiopath from Austin, TX wrote:

I bought two very small plants at Home Depot in mid April of this year, and by late May they had grown well over a foot (in both height and spread) and were blooming. They've been blooming for six weeks now, and still have more buds. The foliage is attractive, and the flowers are gorgeous, as well as attractive to bees and butterflies.

Positive lottathyme On Jun 20, 2006, lottathyme from Scottsville, NY wrote:

A winner in my book. After having several plants for about 10 years, I have added more. The original three have not only survived but thrived in what was terrible clay soil. (Since amended, we'll see how the new ones like that.) I have never had "volunteers" but maybe because I usually deadhead in order to keep the plant blooming. The first blooming is the most impressive, but it will keep on going in a looser fashion literally ALL SUMMER if deadheaded. Looks stunning with yellow leaved or flowered plants. I have it next to ladysmantle, a yellow-leaved grass, and "Gold Nugget" barberry. Great!

Positive Suze_ On Jan 18, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of my favorite salvias. In my area, the most spectacular blooming occurs late Feb - late May, but the plants will continue to put out further flushes of bloom until frost. It helps to deadhead -- I usually just use the electric hedge clippers to make quick work of it.

Positive missmuffit On Jan 1, 2005, missmuffit from Des Moines, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Adore this plant and so do the bees!
This plant is so beautiful when it blooms but can be annoying when it self seeds. It's the quiet problem that no one talks about - the propensity of this plant to self sow where it's happy. And it seems to be quite happy in my Zone 5A amended clay soil.

As the area where I have it sited is starting to become a partial shaded area, May Night still blooms beautifully but it also is a 'leaner'. Likes to flop a little and lean on it's neighbors.

It does not come true from seed. Offspring are various shades of purple.

Positive smiln32 On Oct 13, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has gorgeous purple stems loaded with violet-purple flowers that bloom from June to October. With its blue-gray, lance-shaped aromatic foliage, it makes an attractive accent all summer long. It has a plant height of 18 and a spread of 18-24 and stays in excellent compact form.

Selected Perennial Plant of the year in 1997.

Salvia May Night should be planted in full sun in a moist well-drained area.

Positive kooger On Aug 28, 2004, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows well in z4. Bumble bees love it!

Positive flower_power On Jul 2, 2004, flower_power from Streator, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I am very pleased with this plant that I added to my yard this year. It gets full sun and has been in constant bloom since planting and has filled out beautifully!

Neutral berrygirl On Aug 25, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've been growing this for about 3 yrs. and it was beautiful until this yr. We have had record rains and it ruined my plants. They turned black and stopped blooming. Icut them back but not much help. I will prune heavy this fall and hope for the best next yr.

Update Mar 2007: I still have this salvia. It has never grown much taller or fuller and has never looked as good as it once did. Apparently it hates where its located. But since it is still alive, I'm letting it stay where it is. I need the color there.

Positive broots On Aug 23, 2003, broots from Cochrane, ON (Zone 2b) wrote:

I grow this as a perennial in zone 2b and it does well.

Positive ls_freak On Jun 10, 2003, ls_freak wrote:

Fast-growing and beautiful. TONS of violet-purple, mildly-scented flower spikes that attract bees & butterflies. Easily divided, even when in flower, just be sure to keep well-watered.

Grows VERY fast from softwood cuttings (as in flowering and almost full size second year). After rooting, cuttings die down to ground and resprout several days to weeks later.

Positive loisbeth On May 3, 2002, loisbeth wrote:

May Night was the 1997 Perennial Plant Association " Plant of the Year". Large rosettes of dark green leaves continue to send up tall spikes of flowers. Must keep deadheaded for continued bloom.

Easy to care for and maintain. A real winner.


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

Vincent, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Knights Landing, California
Redwood City, California
Sacramento, California
Santa Ana, California
Sonora, California
Avon, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut
Laurel, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois (2 reports)
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Streator, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Tipton, Indiana
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Inwood, Iowa
Urbandale, Iowa
Hazard, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Crofton, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Pembroke, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
Saugus, Massachusetts
Bay City, Michigan
Cassopolis, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Fountain, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Lake Park, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Elsberry, Missouri
Polson, Montana
Omaha, Nebraska
Hollis, New Hampshire
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Binghamton, New York
Scottsville, New York
Southold, New York
Wappingers Falls, New York
Yorktown Heights, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Geneva, Ohio
Lakewood, Ohio
Ravenna, Ohio
Springfield, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Shawnee, Oklahoma
Bend, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Tillamook, Oregon
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reading, Pennsylvania
Bluffton, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina (2 reports)
Florence, South Carolina
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Clarksville, Tennessee
Gainesboro, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Colleyville, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Garland, Texas (2 reports)
Hereford, Texas
Lewisville, Texas
Portland, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Willis, Texas
Wylie, Texas
Alexandria, Virginia
Centreville, Virginia
Fairfax, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia (2 reports)
Sterling, Virginia
Ames Lake, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Kent, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Butte Des Morts, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin
Watertown, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming
Pavillion, Wyoming
Riverton, Wyoming

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