Salvia--when I first heard that word for the garden, the only salvia I knew were the simple and rather small annuals that I had planted year in and year out for the last few garden years. They are simple and easy to grow but not something I would post images of online or shout from the rooftops that I grew. Then I met Josephine Kennedy and she opened me up to the world of salvia that I have grown to love and cherish to this day. Starting with Mealy Sage and going on to Lyre Leaf Sage, Lady In Red, Hot Lips, and so many more, they are now key plants in my garden.

ImageLiving in Texas you never know if the year will be feast or famine when it comes to water. Some years we are swimming and have standing water in parts of my garden, but in other years the soil will be so dry even with my adding water the soil will crack and make deep crevices. With more and more years of harsh water restrictions, I have been watering less and less and loving the plants that will take the heat and loss of water and keep growing and blooming.

ImageSaliva need rich soil well at least some of them do! They love rich soil but I have found that, even when the heat gets here and I have to plant them in the flower beds that are not really ready yet, they will bloom and grow. I never feed them anything more than a light layer of compost once a year in the fall and they reward me year after year will more blooms than I can count and a nonstop show from the first bloom in Spring to the last bloom covered in frost.

ImageWater is not a big issue when it comes to salvia, at least the salvia that make it in my garden. I water them into the garden and water them once a week. Beyond that, I let them grow and make it on their own. While I have lost a few in the course of the years, most have made it and have grown with few issues or problems.

ImageGrowing more is simple too. Almost all salvia can be grown from simple cuttings. Making a cutting with two pairs of leaves will be all you need. Pull off the lowest pair of leaves and the new little shoots growing in their care. Place these cuttings in soil and keep well watered and in the shade. Most of them will grow and bloom even in the little pots you use for cuttings. They are wonderful and so easy to grow from cuttings that they are easy for the beginner to learn to start taking cuttings from other plants.

ImageCan you ask for a better plant for the garden? Can you ask for a better plant that in its ranks will take shade, sun, heat, cold, dry, and wet? How many plants are there in the garden that will take whatever comes their way and never miss a beat? Try a little salvia and see if you, too, are not one of the growing masses that love this simple and wonderful plant.

ImageThank you to Frostweed for all the wonderful images.