Salvia, Mealy Cup Sage, Mealycup Sage 'Victoria Blue'

Salvia farinacea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: farinacea (far-ih-NAH-kee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Victoria Blue
Additional cultivar information:(Victoria Series)
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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Medium Blue


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



This plant is resistant to deer

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 softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


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

Foley, Alabama

Montevallo, Alabama

Chandler, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

China Lake Acres, California

Fairfield, California


Mountain Ranch, California

Oak View, California

Redding, California

Ridgecrest, California

San Diego, California

Dover, Delaware

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Deland, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Hobe Sound, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Largo, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Douglas, Georgia

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Lisle, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa(2 reports)

Fort Scott, Kansas

Rosalia, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Echo, Louisiana

Mechanicsville, Maryland

Metamora, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Long Beach, Mississippi

Stoutland, Missouri

West Plains, Missouri

Bellevue, Nebraska

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Southold, New York

Cary, North Carolina

Concord, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Midland, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Lima, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Owasso, Oklahoma

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Gainesboro, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Lebanon, Tennessee

Oneida, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Allen, Texas

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Crowley, Texas

Fate, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Houston, Texas

Hutto, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Kilgore, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Palestine, Texas

Pleasanton, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Salado, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Ogden, Utah

Provo, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Danville, Virginia

Manassas, Virginia

Olympia, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 24, 2015, MaureenQC from Victoriaville,
Canada wrote:

I planted the Cathedral variety this past summer and they were the star of my flower beds. I'm hoping they will come back next spring but the chances are slim since we are in zone 4. What winter protection do you recommend?


On Oct 8, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A very reliable annual in the Northern USA that is tolerant of heat and drought and does not need rich soil. Not eaten by deer or pests and I have not seen any disease problems. The species is native to Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern Mexico, where it is a perennial. This 'Victoria Blue' cultivar is usually listed as being cold hardy to USDA Zone 7a to be a perennial. It sometimes overwinters here in USDA Zone 6b like a perennial, especially if close to a building. I have one patch next to a building that has come up after three winters, two of which were very cold. Once in a while it overwinters in Zone 5 also. Handsome plant with good texture. 'Victoria Blue' normally gets about 18" high and it flowers are blue-purple. This is the most common cultivar of this species sold in the... read more


On Sep 10, 2014, cnggreen from Rosalia, KS wrote:

I'm a HUGE fan of Victoria Blue salvia and I find that it is most often a perennial in my zone 6a garden. Because my perennial garden is very large, I would like to transplant some adult plants into several different areas. When would be the optimum time to transplant well established adult plants to new areas? I'd like to do it early this fall because I'm re-vamping the entire garden this fall and winter. Thanks for your advice.


On Jun 22, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is possibly my favorite salvia, with nearly-glossy leaves (not hairy like most salvias) and beautiful inflorescences. I almost had to keep reminding myself that it was indeed a salvia. Seems to prefer a bit of shade from the hottest sun in afternoon, unlike most salvias. It survived the Icepocalypse winter of 2014, but died shortly after a freak rain event in late May 2014 (14" of rain in 48 hrs.). I will be getting another one. For what it's worth, in the pallet of 'Victoria Blue's for sale, I snagged one with white flowers, presumably a 'Victoria White.' But it's not as pretty or as the blue version. The white one survived the aforementioned deluge because it's in a clay pot.


On May 26, 2012, michigarden1 from Metamora, MI wrote:

this was originally planted in a summer annuals mixed pot planting for 1 summer then in fall was transplanted to the perrennial garden just to see if it might make it thru the winter. I'm in zone 5b and was surprised that it came back on the same stem, in a sandy soil. This season, I'm planting some more in a less protected location, to see if they too will weather thru the summer and winter. On a separate note, While I was plant shopping I noticed a differeny variety of sage that looked very similar to this one but was only 8" tall. I'm looking for more information on that one as I'd like to try that, if it is hardy enough.


On Jan 14, 2012, anniegolden from Dover, DE wrote:

Here in Dover, Delaware,(zone 7a) Victoria Blue is sold as an annual, but about half of the plants come back each year without any extra care on my part. They are pretty, they bloom nonstop like an annual, don't flop or smell bad like other perennial salvias ('May Night' - ugh!), and seem to be resistant to pests and diseases. They do well in full sun and in part sun. I love this plant.


On Oct 23, 2011, rweiler from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I have ben thrilled that this plant has survived 4-5 years in my south-facing bed, against my house, in Albuquerque zone 7a. Mealy Cup Sage is usually sold as an annual here due to our hot summers, and dry, brutal winters. I have chanced a few more this year in shader spots. We shall see!


On Jun 5, 2011, annsg from Apollo Beach, FL wrote:

These get large and showy and looked beautiful planted in our front bed with pink caladiums and yellow lantana. Attract butterflies and are hardy here in zone 9b. Mine receive mostly full sun with a bit of morning and evening shade.


On May 22, 2011, themadchemist from Johnston City, IL wrote:

I was given this plant by someone I did some landscaping for and I planted it as I love its colour and foliage. I knew it would die as I'm in zone 6. Well, it didn't. 6 years and it still comes up yearly right on que. As the bed has spread over the last few years I strangely have an albino variety that has started in the middle of the clump, only the flowers are white the foliage is the same green. It flowers from spring to fall and is planted in the harshest and most dry part of the yard. Strangely when I try growing it in other more shady parts of the yard it never overwinters, possible the dry causes it to root deep and make it through the winter. I also love this one in cut flower arrangements where its similar to Lavender but it's much more bulky for a bigger impact.


On Nov 8, 2010, Robynznest from Pittsburg, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:

This beautiful plant has returned each year, here in zone 6b, now for the past 4 years. I just add a thin layer of mulch around it.


On Jul 2, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

my mother has been growing blue princess and this variety 'victoria blue' salvias, for many years.They are healthy plants that spread and get larger every year.the leaves on this variety, are exceptionally healthy and the flowers are a beautiful medium favorite color blue salvia however is the 'black and blue salvia' however this 'victoria blue' variety are much hardier and leaves remain much darker green and rarly fade out to that lime color like the black and blue salvias foliage does. mike.


On Jan 25, 2009, Tammylp from Lima, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Sold here in Ohio Z5 as an annual; surived a very hot summer and lack of water when we were gone; but still looked great with lasting color.


On Nov 19, 2008, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Love Love this plant. I have it all over the place other than where it would get full sun all day. It does like some protection during the middle of the day in the summer here in Florida. Also like's a bit more water in summer but otherwise very easy and it brings in the butterflies, bees, and even the hummers will check it out.


On Jul 8, 2008, rampbrat from Abilene, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of my favorites. I've had it come back in the spring when planted on the south side of my house. Can get a little leggy sometimes, but just keeps blooming! No pests that I've experienced.


On Jun 18, 2008, sandiegojames from San Diego, CA wrote:

A nice plant overall. I'd consider the color more of an intense blue-violet than a pure blue. Still, it's a color not matched by many other plants.

I get mildew some of the year, and the plant can get leggy and scrappy, particularly when grown as a perennial if not cut back. Other sages like patens, sagittata and cacaliaefolia--though much larger plants--are much more satisfactory garden subjects for me: healthier, better flowering, and with genuinely BLUE flowers.


On May 16, 2007, RDT from Crossville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the look of this Salvia but it died in my zone. If I see it offered again at the Nursery I will treat it as an annual.
I placed it in my perennial container. I was so disappointed to see that it did not return.


On Oct 22, 2006, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

These took forever to bloom for me. I didn't get any flowers until August, even though I planted the bedding plants in early June. They eventually had a beautiful blue colour, but weren't as tall as I'd hoped for.


On Sep 12, 2006, LeBug from Greenville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is not suppose to grow in my zone, I have it close to the house and by my drive way and it is beautiful, could not go without its beautiful blooms, this is one of my favorite plants and my neighbors!


On May 11, 2006, beautifulchaos from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I also absolutely love the color of the blooms, and so do the neighbors! I covered the bed with straw to see if they might come back up. So far I've got at least a half a dozen coming back. Although, I'm not sure if they will get as large as they were last year in enough time for us to enjoy them.

If not, I will be searching for more of them to fill my west-facing front bed with : )


On May 15, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very beautiful. We have people stopping by to ask us about this plant all the time. The striking blue/violet flowers immediately catch anyone's attention. Within the first year it tripled in size.


On May 11, 2005, TXMel from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is ONE of my favorites! I planted One plant about three years ago, and now I have hundreds. They reseed very easily in my hot, dry North Texas garden. I have traded, given and pulled up more than I can count. The color will knock you out, and the scent is lightly sweet. Can't get enough.

A few of the taller outside stems will fall over from the weight of the flowers, or the wind, but there are so many of them, it is not a problem. I have them growing everywhere, it almost reminds me of lavendar fields!


On May 1, 2005, birddogbjr wrote:

This perennial is great! It has reseeded itself throughout my entire flower bed and continues to do so. I originally planted about 10 plants and now have around 50 growing in the bed. I'm not certain how to best care for the plant though and wish to learn how to keeps its vibrant blue from fading to dullness during the summer.


On Mar 5, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

Bought plants in flats at a garden center. They are very effective when planted in large groups. They blooms all summer. It is an annual that I will not be without from now on.


On Jul 31, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I started this from seed when we lived in Oklahoma; it proved very hardy, returning year after year in an exposed bed. My mother-in-law has grown it in her garden in middle Tennessee for several years now (it either comes back from the roots or it's seeding itself quite nicely); the blue is quite intense in a part-shade situation.


On Aug 14, 2002, broots from Cochrane, ON (Zone 2b) wrote:

Grown as an annual in zone 2b from an indoor seeding. A great plant that never seems to stop flowering. Bees and hummers love it.


On Aug 2, 2002, eje from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Salvia farinacea 'Blue Victoria'. I really like the smell of the flowers. Sort of a subtle lilac/grape. Nice foliage, and the flowers look like tiny furry muppets. Butterflies seem to enjoy.