Salvia Species, Blue Spike Sage, Bog Sage

Salvia uliginosa

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: uliginosa (ew-li-gi-NO-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia uliginosa var. rufescens
» View all varieties of Salvias




4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Light Blue

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall




Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Little Rock, Arkansas

Belvedere Tiburon, California

Castro Valley, California

Cerritos, California

Encinitas, California

Eureka, California

Fairfield, California

Fremont, California

Long Beach, California

Madera, California

Napa, California

Redding, California

Redwood City, California

Richmond, California

Rohnert Park, California

Temecula, California

Walnut Creek, California

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Deland, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lithia, Florida

Pensacola, Florida(2 reports)

Cordele, Georgia

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Zachary, Louisiana

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Madison, Mississippi

O Fallon, Missouri

Pahrump, Nevada

Roswell, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Selma, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Mc Kean, Pennsylvania

Okatie, South Carolina

Johnson City, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Atlanta, Texas

Bastrop, Texas

Burleson, Texas

Fate, Texas

Houston, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Waxahachie, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

Anacortes, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of the few true-blue perennials, and an exceptionally long-blooming one, with flowers the color of a clear October sky. Very beautiful up close, though (as commonly happens with small blue flowers) they tend to disappear when viewed from a distance.

We've grown this in a sunny irrigated border for the last four years here in Boston Z6a. It wintered over only once, but it's come back every year as a self-sown annual, blooming August-frost. No deadheading necessary, as once blooming begins buds continue opening on the same spikes till frost. For us, it's gotten as tall as 7'. Wiry stems, sparse foliage, tends to topple unless supported by surrounding plants or by artful intervention. Pinching or cutting it back early in the season would help it thicken up and stand up stra... read more


On Jul 4, 2012, ClimbTheMtns from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

Gold Finches love the seeds and tend to bend the four plus foot branches over, so you might stake or tie some twine around a larger plant.

First year gave us a two foot or so circumference. Second year we now have up to five feet.

A pollinator"s dream plant!

I dug up many new plants in the Spring to plant elsewhere around the yard & to give to friends.


On Jun 29, 2005, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We've had this plant in our gardens for 3-4 yrs. I agree it is "enthusiastic"! More what I'd call aggressive, having pulled out tons of it in the past few years so it wouldn't take over a whole corner of the garden. It is beautiful when flowering, so I don't want to discard it completely and the good news is that it is easy enough to just pull up the edges to keep it within bounds of where I want it to grow.


On Mar 5, 2005, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

I LOVE all parts about this plant. It's flower, it's growing habit. Absolutely EVERYTHING about it. Bog sage (Salvia Uliginosa) does well in both wet and dry conditions despite its name. I makes a wonderfull background to a perennial or groundcover garden bed. It spreads quickly but can be easily removed if it becomes to vigorous. Bog sage has a Beautiful, soft pastel blue flower with a white throat. This plant deserves a place in EVERY garden. Bog sage is also a popular choice for Romantic Cottage gardens. pokerboy.


On Jan 11, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Native to Brasil and Argentina. From the Mamiaceae-Mint Family. Sun in cooler areas and part shade in the warmer regions. Medicinal/ culinary uses. Prefers rich soil, Attracts Butterflies. Deadheading will give longer flower time. Plant is enthusiastic, not really aggresive, can be controlled. Easily divide rootstock, cut back to ground in colder areas. Spreads by underground Slolons/ runners. Will tolerate poorly drained soil. Can also be grown in Plastic container in the ground.
flowers are Azure with white throats. Leaves are yellow/green and lancelike


On Apr 13, 2004, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

I bought this plant last Spring, in a plant tube, and it already covers several square feet.We are Zone 10.It is really rampant, and really beautiful. I had hundreds of flower stalks, that lasted months and were permanently full of bees.

I put it in what I thought was the wettest part of the garden, which may have helped getting it started, but we had a drought in the Summer and it got a bucket full of water only when it wilted.It bounced back every time. Its flower stalks needed no support despite being 5ft or more high.

I dug some pieces up to replant elsewhere. They looked really healthy and full of buds despite the dry, and are racing away in their turn.


On Oct 8, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted this sage last year, assuming it was an annual in my zone 5 garden. I was given the information it was hardy only to zone 7. This year, much to my delight, I had the opportunity to purchase another bog sage, which I promptly did. I planted it in approximately the same area as last year, in an area that has standing water in spring. Just last week, as I was weeding this area, I discovered that my "this year" bog sage was so large because the one from last year had returned! What a delightful surprise. We had a very "ugly" winter last year, no snow cover & a deeper than usual freeze depth, so I am doubly surprised! I cannot wait until next year to see if these beautiful plants return once again!


On May 28, 2003, dtrosenoff from Issaquah, WA wrote:

I grow this plant in the Cascade foothills south of Issaquah, Washington (near Seattle). Planted in a container on our south facing deck in afternoon sun, our Ulignosa grows about 3 or 4 feet tall by September with pale blue flowers. It has lax stems and needs to be supported to grow upright. It is quite aromatic but the smell is not overly pleasant. Care-wise, I trim this back to the wood (6-8 inches in November) and then trim off the wood to the ground in May. It survived a couple of late spring 20 degree cold snaps this last winter. Otherwise, I kept it outside under the eaves of the house to avoid the worst of the rains and snows; it came through very well. New plants come up from the ground off of root stock. See Betsy Clebsh's Salvia book for lots more details on habit, propagation, ... read more