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Salvia Species, Scarlet Sage,Tropical Sage

Salvia splendens

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: splendens (SPLEN-denz) (Info)
Synonym:Fenixanthes splendens
Synonym:Jungia splendens
Synonym:Salvia brasiliensis
Synonym:Salvia issanchou
» View all varieties of Salvias



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



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:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Richmond, California

Deland, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Ewing, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Gulfport, Mississippi

Houston, Texas

Mansfield, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 19, 2009, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This will be my 3rd winter with this Salvia. I've always taken cuttings during the fall and last year I saved a few seeds to make sure I'd have it again in spring just in case we got those rare Florida freezes, as I had not seen it before nor since. It was given to me by a friend who didn't even recall where she got it. I love this Salvia. It's gorgeous, brilliant red flowers that you can see all the way from the other side of the garden. The red continues down the stem. It's done great in a bright morning location with dappled/full sun to high shade during the rest of the day. It might be able to handle more sun, but our hot Florida summers would be tough on it. It's happy with a good drink once a week or so except in the hottest of weather, but for us we are usually getting alot of rai... read more


On Oct 10, 2009, littlebiloxi from Gulfport, MS wrote:

This salvia is a favorite.It is a great plant to put under live oak trees.Always comes back from first frost but not the second, but is perennial for my mom 5 miles south. Mix 11/2 pearlite, 1/2 vermiculite. Put in washed old six packs or other small pots about six inches deep, fill pots with mix, make a hole about the diameter of the cuttings to the bottom of pots. Take cuttings from firm stems.Cut in pieces just under a leaf node so you can have at least two nodes covered by mix, cut the top just above a leaf node.Wet bottom of cuttings and dip in the rooting hormone of your choice, put in pots.Water in ,put pots a few inches off the ground in shade and keep moist. I sit mine on an old flat turned upside down. In about 3 weeks look for top growth and roots.When rooted pot up.Keep new ba... read more


On Sep 19, 2009, bohnnco from Houston, TX wrote:

This has been a tricky saliva for me. The listening here says full sun. I would disagree in zone 9 - it does not like Houston's full sun. At the same time, it can get leggy without enough sun. And it is thirsty until established. The wine colored blooms are beautiful and unique. I would consider it more of a "woodland" salvia.

I cut mine back late fall after the ruby throated hummingbird have come through and let it fill back out in spring. It looks pretty sad all winter otherwise. Root hardy in zone 9 so far.