Ska Pastora, La Maria, Diviner's Sage
Salvia divinorum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: divinorum (dih-VIN-or-um) (Info)
» View all varieties of Salvias

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:

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

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

N/A

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Herbaceous

Other details:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Suitable for growing in containers

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

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Regional

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

Albany, California

Ceres, California

Highgrove, California

Los Angeles, California

Temecula, California

Ventura, California

Brooksville, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Indiantown, Florida

Orange Springs, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lucedale, Mississippi

Abilene, Texas

Austin, Texas

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

9
positives
7
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jul 12, 2012, kbschmida from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

I have grown this plant in the past, but not for several years, for legal reasons.

I found it to be somewhat difficult to grow in Tallahassee, FL, (zone 8b) because the winters are too cold, the summers are too hot, and the rainfall and humidity patterns are too erratic. The plant is killed to the ground by frost. After a Tallahassee, FL winter, new shoots emerged from the ground in spring, but not from all plants.

It would do best in a spider-mite free greenhouse at about 60-75F and 70-80% humidity year-round (tropical cloud forest conditions).

The plant appreciates full sun, as long as the temps and humidity are in the right range. I had best results in part shade due to local conditions that were often too hot and dry.

The plan... read more

Positive

On Dec 12, 2011, Northlandsalvia from Far North
New Zealand wrote:

I have found that Salvia D grows better outdoors in my climate which is sub tropical, high rainfall, high wind and cloud cover.

As soon as I moved the plants raised from cuttings outdoors at the beginning of our summer, they rocketed ahead with their growth, thickening the stem and growing upwards.

I then shifted cuttings from the smaller outdoor grow to a large outdoor growhouse with covered top and sides of heavy duty shade cloth.

In summer it was necessary to water the plants heavily at dusk, as they struggled in the heat.

The plant grows to over 6 foot tall and falls over when it becomes top heavy, with the fallen stems rooting and growing as individual plants.

Harvesting is done all year round and I was lucky ... read more

Positive

On Aug 21, 2010, gunitgardener from east yorkshire
United Kingdom wrote:

Very good plant to grow for the adventurous if it is legal in your area.
Easily grown in house conditions, i grow mine hydroponically in a simply bubbleponic set up as seen in the plants picture gallery.
The plant is well suited for a bathroom window or similar humid moderately lit area.


Editor's Note:

Off-topic portions of this comment have been removed. The PlantFiles exists as a horticulture reference tool. Its purpose and scope is to give a forum for gardeners to share their opinions on any plant's relative merits in the garden, whether ornamental or culinary; advise against potential toxicity and other dangers; and offer advice on successfully growing (or eradicating) a particular plant.

Positive

On Mar 13, 2010, nightshade777 from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

Years ago I grew SD in Santa Monica, CA. It was in a huge planter which I tented using a tomato cage covered with clear plastic. 2-3 times a day I'd open a flap and mist the plant. It grew about 3-4 feet tall on a few large stems but eventually turned black and died. Maybe the roots got moldy. When I cut it down the stems were hollow.

Neutral

On Jun 4, 2009, JamesBeach from Orange Cove, CA wrote:

This plant is not a threat. Chocolate is psychoactive; just because something is psychoactive doesn't mean it's a threat to humanity. Do not worry yourself over it. Don't bother growing it, either, as it's not particularly attractive and is a fussy species regardless.


Editor's Note:

Off-topic portions of this comment have been removed. The PlantFiles exists as a horticulture reference tool. Its purpose and scope is to give a forum for gardeners to share their opinions on any plant's relative merits in the garden, whether ornamental or culinary; advise against potential toxicity and other dangers; and offer advice on successfully growing (or eradicating) a particular plant.

Neutral

On Mar 1, 2009, inkblot from Buffalo, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Unless youre an ethnobotanist or a psychonaut, I would not recommend growing S. divinorum. Even if you can get a hold of one of these rare plants, they are very difficult to grow compared to other species of sage.

Positive

On Feb 10, 2009, somamonkey from Cedar Park, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I live in Central Texas, and managed to encourage this plant's adaptation to the dry Texas climate. I grow this plant in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil (sand, vermiculite, peat moss, and compost). It thrives in the greenhouse between fall and mid spring as it requires high humidity to grow large leaves. My plant "learned" to adapt to drier air by dropping the large leaves and sprouting very small ones along the lower trunk. In this way, it can survive a dry hot summer, although it doesn't look very pretty doing it!

This plant is the only plant in over 900 different Salvia species that produces the misunderstood metabolite we call Salvinorin A. Salvia divinorum is like corn and many other plants that have been selectively bred to express certain genetic traits ... read more

Positive

On Sep 5, 2008, emptyvessel from Quitman, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

A great number of common landscape and ornamental plants are more dangerous than this plant, yet many of us grow them without second thought. I am disappointed to see where the discussion of this plant has gone, but I am not surprised. It is sometimes simpler to condemn that which is not understood, I suppose.
Like all magico-religious herbs from the many cultures around the world who use them, this plant has a rich and even mysterious history. It was rare to find growing here in the US even before the legislation. In its limited native regions, it is thought to require human hands to nurture it. Love it or hate it, it is a very unique plant from pharmacological, botanical, and anthropological points of view. Please try to keep an open mind, fellow plant lovers.

... read more

Neutral

On Mar 11, 2008, nativeviv from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I know this plant will grow here, but my comment is that the State of Louisiana has made this plant illegal to grow. Maybe they should make Ricinus communis illegal. Sheesh. There are so many salvias out there, I want to see who will be policing for this.

Neutral

On Feb 27, 2008, BlueGlancer from South/Central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Just heard on the news that the state of Florida is considering banning this plant. They said alot of kids are using it, and filming themselves on YouTube. : (

Neutral

On Jul 4, 2007, thetripscaptain from Racine, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Salvia divinorum is a really cool addition to any tropical plant or ethnobotanical collection, but it will rarely flower if not given ultra-optimal conditions. If you're just growing salvias for flowers/appearance, there are much better choices than s. divinorum. Several species of salvia look very similar to s. divinorum but grow much better in colder areas.

Also, I know there is much controversy surrounding this plant, but to deem it "dangerous" is incorrect. The chemical in this plant is actually fairly (physically) safe, even when taken as a drug. I do NOT, however, reccomend that anyone do this. If this plant is simply growing in your garden, it is harmless.

Misinformation can do alot of damage, and it would be a shame if another beautiful and sacred... read more

Positive

On Apr 24, 2007, ManicReality from Houston, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

In the past I had no luck with any kind of salvia... Now I treat them like my strawberries... coconut hair hanging baskets, they love it! Where I live is very humid, so the outdoors is good for them. However the soils are often clay (ahem salvias will not tolerate wet feet at all) so the hanging baskets with watering every couple days, they are in love again.


Editor's Note:

Off-topic portions of this comment have been removed. The PlantFiles exists as a horticulture reference tool. Its purpose and scope is to give a forum for gardeners to share their opinions on any plant's relative merits in the garden, whether ornamental or culinary; advise against potential toxicity and other dangers; and offer advice on successfully growing (... read more

Positive

On Apr 10, 2007, spidra from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Condemning Salvia divinorum as a plant because some people derive Salvinorin from it is like condemning Papaver somniferum as a flower/plant because some people derive opiates from it. Negative ratings based on no experience growing this plant ought NOT to be on this site.

I ordered 3 cuttings in 2005 and read what I could find about the plant's care. I transplanted the cuttings to 8" pots. I was very careful about light and humidity. I kept them inside near a north-facing window that gets good light until they were stable enough to start hardening off. Unfortunately, whiteflies were all over the plants in no time (which I couldn't understand since I had no houseplants and there'd been a considerable time when the house was vacant before I bought it). Figuring I had be... read more

Negative

On Dec 30, 2006, lafko06 from Brimfield, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I read in today's Herald about a potential ban with regulations in the state of Maine. "The substance salvia divinorum is known for its hallucinogenic effects. It is reported, the substance has been used for hundreds of years by Mazatec Indians during religious ceremonies in Mexico." You can google more information on this dangerous plant.

Positive

On Aug 3, 2005, Janett_D from Gamleby
Sweden (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easy to grow in ordinary soil, pH 6 to 6,5 always moist soil but shall never stand in water.

Easy to get root-rot ; they love humid air so shower it. Never let the plant dry out. if leafs starting to drop water immediately.

Salvia divinorum is a semi-tropical plant; never below 40 F.


Editor's Note:

Off-topic portions of this comment have been removed. The PlantFiles exists as a horticulture reference tool. Its purpose and scope is to give a forum for gardeners to share their opinions on any plant's relative merits in the garden, whether ornamental or culinary; advise against potential toxicity and other dangers; and offer advice on successfully growing (or eradicating) a particular plant.

Neutral

On Feb 24, 2005, winter_unfazed from Rural Webster County, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

medicinal claims to sallie have been made, the risks far outweigh any alleged benefit.


Editor's Note:

Off-topic portions of this comment have been removed. The PlantFiles exists as a horticulture reference tool. Its purpose and scope is to give a forum for gardeners to share their opinions on any plant's relative merits in the garden, whether ornamental or culinary; advise against potential toxicity and other dangers; and offer advice on successfully growing (or eradicating) a particular plant.

Neutral

On Jul 13, 2003, meek wrote:

Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant, a member of the sage genus. The plant is grown by the Mazatec indigenous people of the Oaxaca mountains in isolated, moist and secret plots. It has been used by their shamans for centuries for healing during spirit journeys. The active chemical, Salvinorin A (there are also B and C forms), is unique in that it is an agonist of neuroreceptors largely ignored by other known drugs. It is extremely powerful, but controllable.

Caution is advised, this plant may be added later to the long list of illegal controlled psychoactive.