Salvia, Blue Anise Sage, Brazilian Sage 'Black and Blue'

Salvia coerulea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: coerulea (ko-er-OO-lee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Black and Blue
Additional cultivar information:(aka Black & Blue)
Synonym:Salvia guaranitica
» View all varieties of Salvias
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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 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:

Dark Blue

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall




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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Auburn, Alabama

Prattville, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Anthem, Arizona

Cabot, Arkansas

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Amesti, California

Carlsbad, California

Chico, California

Clayton, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Fairfield, California

Fresno, California

Grass Valley, California

Interlaken, California

Knights Landing, California

Lake Arrowhead, California

Long Beach, California

Merced, California

Miranda, California

Pajaro, California

Penn Valley, California

Redding, California

Sacramento, California

San Jose, California(3 reports)

Santa Rosa, California

Santee, California

Sonora, California

Watsonville, California

Dover, Delaware

Brooksville, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Debary, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Eustis, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Lithia, Florida

Longwood, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Pensacola, Florida(2 reports)

Quincy, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Valparaiso, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Avondale Estates, Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Colbert, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Dacula, Georgia

Douglas, Georgia

Jonesboro, Georgia

Lula, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia(2 reports)

Warner Robins, Georgia

Zebulon, Georgia

Des Plaines, Illinois

Elmhurst, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Davenport, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas(2 reports)

Barbourville, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Belle Rose, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

North Berwick, Maine

Cumberland, Maryland

East New Market, Maryland

North East, Maryland

Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Stevensville, Michigan

Walled Lake, Michigan

Glencoe, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Greenwood, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Hudson, New Hampshire

Browns Mills, New Jersey

Englishtown, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Averill Park, New York

Binghamton, New York

Himrod, New York

Lancaster, New York

North Tonawanda, New York

Southold, New York

Staten Island, New York

Tonawanda, New York

Water Mill, New York

Asheville, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Clemmons, North Carolina

Concord, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina(2 reports)

Greensboro, North Carolina

Kannapolis, North Carolina

Matthews, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina(2 reports)

Cincinnati, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Madison, Ohio

Edmond, Oklahoma

Guthrie, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Eagle Point, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Hermitage, Pennsylvania

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Saint Thomas, Pennsylvania

South Montrose, Pennsylvania

Camden, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina(2 reports)

Conway, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Arlington, Tennessee

Germantown, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Madison, Tennessee

Toone, Tennessee

Angleton, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Belton, Texas

Boerne, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Cleburne, Texas

Coppell, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Dallas, Texas(4 reports)

Fate, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(3 reports)

Garland, Texas(2 reports)

Grand Prairie, Texas(2 reports)

Hemphill, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Humble, Texas

Huntsville, Texas

Iredell, Texas

Irving, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Keller, Texas

Kerrville, Texas(2 reports)

Killeen, Texas

Leander, Texas

Lewisville, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Lindale, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Oakhurst, Texas

Portland, Texas

Princeton, Texas

Rockwall, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Sugar Land, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Arlington, Virginia

Hampton, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Mc Lean, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington(3 reports)

Vancouver, Washington

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 12, 2020, jeda from Kenosha, WI wrote:

This Salvia plant was on a table at my local nursery with a sign on it that said "Hummingbirds like it". The nursery has this table set up every year. This Spring I decided to try Black and Blue.
I planted it in a large planter with a yellow Lantana. It took off almost immediately after I planted it. I don't know if the Hummingbirds like it or not. I do know that the Hummers are very attracted to the Salia variety called "Rockin Fuchsia" that I have in a planter next to it.
I don't think I'll be planting "Black and Blue" again. It's stems break extremely easy. It does not stand up to wind. We had a heavy rainfall yesterday ( NO WIND ) and all the tall flower stems had snapped off or snapped "almost" completely. The plant will continue to grow and flower, b... read more


On Dec 29, 2019, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

I have grown very negative about this salvia. Looks really pretty for about 3 weeks a year. The rest of the year it is ugly, ugly, ugly. Not salt tolerant and hates the heat. We have very salty water here in Bryan, Texas. People talk over and over about it being invasive. I really wish it was here. I have tried it 3 times. Not going to waste any more money trying to grow it. A real dud.


On Jul 2, 2019, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

In my Zone 7B garden ( I was recently informed that it is not 7A), I had to move the black and blue salvia because it was spreading too vigorously and crowding the nearby rose. I split it up and put it in two other spots in the garden. It is fine in one of them. The other bed has become too shady and I am going to relocate the salvia to a sunnier area, near purple coneflowers, purple monarda, centaurea, rudbeckia, coreopsis and white yarrow. The blue will stand out nicely. The guarantica has been surviving the winters here without any special protection. The first couple years I didn't think it was coming back, because it sprouts up a little later in the spring, so I bought a couple more. I have had enough to be able to give some away, but it is not a problem like the ruellia and wi... read more


On Jun 28, 2017, Adrienneny from New Jersey 6b, NJ wrote:

Black and Blue is not as tall as Blue Ensign and Amistad but it's proven to be quite a tough plant. It survives our 6/7 zone without protection and has even spread a bit. It's very easy to pull up and transplant though. I have it in full sun, well draining soil, with various fertilizers but the leaves still look like chlorisis when they start to flower. When the temperature cools, I may transplant it as it also takes a lot of space without flowering until late June unlike other salvias.


On May 1, 2017, magsgarden1 from North Berwick, ME wrote:

There are so few true blue flowers, this one is a joy.I am planting it in a new garden this year as an annual, and can't wait to see how it does. Here in Zone 5b I have always planted it in large blue and white pots along with white cascading petunias, blue lobelia, and white impatiens or bacopa. It always surprises me the first time every year I see a hummingbird at it; I'm so used to them at the bright red/orange/hot pink zinnias, lantana, and fuchsia. Stems can be a bit fragile, it does appreciate some support.


On Dec 14, 2016, Susan_Hartwig from Lancaster, NY wrote:

This plant is very attractive to hummingbirds. I have this, along with Argentine skies planted along my southern foundation and both have overwintered in my zone 6a garden the last 4 years. Even after an average of 20 in February and temps that dipped to -10 some nights. The soil is well drained, but moist as it sits under a spigot. In my containers, I combine it with Moss Verbena. It looks very nice together. This year I may add a guaranatica Amistaad to the foundation planting and see if it overwinters. I found that the hummingbirds like it even more than the black and blue. I love them all though.


On Oct 26, 2015, wingsoffreedom from San Jose, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I planted mine in a 5 gallon container and it took off with regular watering. Hummingbirds visit this salvia first among all my other salvias with similar looks (Amistad, Wendy's Wish) Absolutely love it due to the hummer activity.


On Jun 24, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Black calyx and flower stems set off the true blue flowers. Much nicer than the other cultivars, in my opinion.

This has occasionally overwintered in the ground for me in Boston Z6a, when the winter's exceptionally mild, but it usually isn't hardy here.

This species forms tubers like a dahlia. I can reliably overwinter it here by digging it up the whole clump after first frost and storing it dormant in potting mix in a large container in a dark unheated attached garage. I add a little water monthly, which is all it needs. I plant out in late May.

This species doesn't bloom much in the first part of the summer. Starting in August, flowering increases to a climax just before frost.


On Jun 24, 2015, Stay95 from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

For the first time in my life I have no yard or garden space to till up as I moved into a second story apartment about 6 years ago. Not to be denied my gardening passion, I started looking for plants that would do well in containers and which also attract hummingbirds. I read about Salvia guaranitica last year, and as it is known to be a favorite with the birds, plus the vivid blue is such a great color, I picked one up at a local nursery. I put it in a 14" clay pot and it did great - a hit with me and the hummers! Knowing there would be little chance of it living through the winter outside, before the killing frost hit I brought it inside and took it into the spare bedroom; it wintered over rather easily. I just let it die back gradually in the window, keeping the soil on the dry sid... read more


On May 29, 2015, Joyous from Himrod, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is the third year it has returned in our yard. It is slow to show signs of life. I just saw a couple of small leaves here just the other day. We had a brutal winter and I forgot to cover it with mulch and leaves yet it has survived our 6a zone.

I am not so sure about the hummingbirds because they are so busy in most all the flowers and the feeders. I do enjoy the bright blue color.

It has not really spread in our yard.


On Apr 17, 2014, ButterflierLady from Smithville, TN wrote:

I bought one last year and it's come back after a bad winter. I hope I have this variety because I would like to plant it on a slope that is eroding and I WANT it to be invasive. I only hope it will grow in our TN clay.


On Apr 3, 2014, lejardin24 from Hermitage, PA wrote:

Very hardy to our 5a zone, enduring some really tough winter conditions. Herbaceous perennial. Once established, this plant is happy to be ignored, except by honeybees, pollinators, beneficials, and hummingbirds who find it irresistable. The flowers are held high (about 24-36") and true blue in color. They complete a patriotic backdrop with companion red and white flowers in front.
This plant often still flowers beyond the first frost, making it wonderful for honeybees during Indian Summer.


On Mar 27, 2014, amelliso from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Tried several times in the past to grow this plant, with no luck. I think the heat killed it - summers with record heat lately in the low 100's for extended periods. But, last year I planted one in a bed that gets afternoon shade from a porch cover. I was pleasantly surprised this month when I discovered it coming back up and spreading by roots/runners to pop up about a foot away, as well. It's mixed with Salvia farinacea Henry Duelberg seedlings. I have high hopes that this year it will survive and actually bloom. *crossing fingers*


On Feb 20, 2014, Lovehum wrote:

Among my top hummingbird plants. Likes well-draining, rich soil with compost and appreciates some shade. Wish me luck, I'm hoping they'll overwinter in the ground.


On Dec 4, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Anise-flowered Sage is a tropical perennial plant from Brazil that is used as an annual. In a house with lots of light, it can be brought indoors for the winter. It is new on the market. I first saw it being sold in 2010, I believe. Not all garden centers sell it, but many do now. I have rooted some stem cuttings in water like Coleus, but they all don't root so easily in water. It is a strong, easy annual plant for beds or containers. Bees and hummingbirds really relish the flowers. The flowers and foliage sort of stink a little.


On Aug 11, 2013, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

August 2013(First time growing this plant)
I purchased these from Sunrise Nursery after finding out the Hummingbirds like this flower. I purchased 6 plants and have planted them in various areas and some in pots and others directly into the ground.
1 plant doing awesome, its in a wine barrel with miracle grow garden soil in sun a good 6hrs maybe a tad more?
2 other plants are in pots in just top soil(was trying to cut cost)mixed with peat moss. They are doing good but not huge as the first plant. They are producing flowers but it may be my fault with them due to neglectful watering.
2 are planted directly into the ground(my soil is mostly clay that is like concrete when it dries out) They are in sun a good 8 plus hours. These 2 are not doing all that great, I a... read more


On Apr 14, 2013, May_Z from Grass Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow this plant in Northern California, USDA zone 9a. We get snow here, I had 3" of ice on my ponds in February and temps down to 23F. However, these plants came back for me---and spread like crazy already, so early in spring. Not only that, but they seeded, I have seeds up everywhere.

It's a good thing I love this plant, which was 2X2 for me last year, planted from a 4" pot, because I am going to have a lot of it. It spreads by runners, it spreads by seed, even in this climate.

Mine bloomed the entire summer until autumn. It's a beautiful plant here in Grass Valley, CA. I think mine is spreading so much because it's in fabulous soil and gets plenty of water (it likes its water.)

The runners are quite shallow, so I think any I plant in... read more


On Dec 10, 2012, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

A Beautifull plant. Unique flower. Not so aggressive here in Raleigh, NC but it does slowly creates a large clump.


On Oct 22, 2012, XemaSab from Redding, CA wrote:

I bought one, and I initially put it front and center in my garden. Then I read everyone else's comments about how invasive the plant can be, so I moved it to the back fence.

It's in full shade and it almost never gets watered and it LOVES it back there. It's withstood about three summers now of 100+ degree temperatures and a strictly Darwinian watering regime (that almost killed three 5-yo elderberries) and it's bigger and better than ever.


On Apr 30, 2012, hamptons from Watermill, NY wrote:

The first time I owned this plant was as part of a pot of various plants my husband had bought me for Mother's Day. I was flabbergasted to see a hummingbird -- the first hummingbird I'd ever seen on my property -- come up to the porch and feed from the flower. I went down the block to the greenhouse where he'd bought the potted flowers and told them all about this blue plant that attracted hummingbirds and how I wanted to buy more. Luckily, they had 2 plants left, so I bought them and put them in my flower bed and I had hummingbirds all summer.

The plant does not overwinter where I am, even when planted in full sun and even after the somewhat mild winter we had this year. I have to buy it each year, which is ok now that many garden centers and even big box stores carry it. ... read more


On Apr 19, 2012, sierra77 from Cedar Valley, OK (Zone 6b) wrote:

Sounds like the farther south this plant is grown, the more it spreads. I have it in two areas of my garden in Oklahoma, borderline between zones 6-7. One gets almost a full day of sun. We have rich, heavy clay soil. It has spread slowly over the past four years I've had it and two years ago I divided it and planted some at the northwest corner of the house where it only gets a max of half a day of sun and the soil is quite moist as it is near the water hydrant. I was concerned that it might not over-winter in the moist soil but it has both years, growing amid a bed of chameleon plant. I've also seen it growing on the east side of a house and it was about 3 feet tall, nice specimen. Just beautiful and our hummers really go for it.


On Mar 24, 2012, Aegletes from Debary, FL wrote:

Both the foliage and flowers of this plant are attractive. The hummingbirds seen to prefer these out of everything else in my garden. I have not found this to to be invasive and, in fact, have had some difficulty establishing it in certain areas of my garden. It is easy to propagate.


On Mar 21, 2012, zkmayo from Matthews, NC wrote:

I have had this plant for about 4 years ago. I planted it from a 1 gallon plant. I wouldnt call it invasive, but I would call it above-average aggressive. It has spread from about 6 inches wide to about 4 feet. It is a beautiful plant all spring and summer. Hummingbirds love it. I will probably cut some of the tubers out or some of the plant itself later this year as it has just about grown as large as I want it to.


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

I grew this for the first time (Dover, Delaware, zone 7a) during the summer of 2011. It was a hummingbird magnet. If you sat and stared at this plant for more than about 2 minutes, you were guaranteed to see hummers. It grew to about 3 1/2 feet tall and just as wide, and I had to occasionally whack it back a little. This spring I'm going to plant it in front of a window in a protected area, and from what I've read in other comments, I can probably expect it to overwinter. I love this plant.


On Dec 23, 2011, AmandaEsq from Greensboro, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted 3 in a bed which receives full sun but only for part of the day. The plants are lined up in a north-south direction, and the one farthest from the sun/gets the least sun is much smaller than the plant up front which receives FS for about 8 hours in summer.

The hummers love it, as do I. I deadhead frequently in summer and perhaps keep it from growing much taller. I created the bed it is planted in when we moved here just below the back porch. It is bounded by concrete on 3 sides and aside from the random transplant by me has no real competitors.


On Dec 6, 2011, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

Thrives on neglect but becoming quite the thug in the bed it is planted in .


On Aug 19, 2011, CCPikie from Elmhurst, IL wrote:

I've seen this billed as a "xeric" plant, or requiring little water. I bought a potted "Black and Blue" and put it on the south side of my house where it was in full sun for about five hours a day. I amended the soil with compost. I had to water it like crazy just to keep it alive. It took all growing season just to reach about two and a half feet.


On Aug 7, 2011, gffncincy from Monfort Heights East, OH wrote:

ok, now i feel really terrible as I see all these comments that the plants are thick and invasive, I can barely get mine to grow a foot the past two years and is not blooming any longer. I agree, the hummingbirds LOVE this plant, and I have two, but neither of them grow much. The plant is in full sun, in well drained soil, I've added compost to the area as it has some clay in the area. Any suggestions? The nursery told me to divide it, but I barely have any stems on it now. It did good the first two years I had the plant.


On Jul 11, 2011, HunterOrion from Warrington, FL wrote:

I'm going to go with neutral on this one just because as others have said - it _can_ be horribly invasive, at least under the right conditions. It is a pretty plant, attractive to hummingbirds, and very drought-tolerant; but if I'd had any idea how tough it was going to be to eradicate from the flowerbed I originally planted it in, I'd never have put one there. [and in fact I found this page while looking for some way to get rid of them permanently that doesn't involve herbicide or digging up the entire bed - and the latter I'm not even sure would do it, unless I remove every inch of soil a foot or more down.]

The bed I originally planted it in is one I normally only plant annuals in; so it's got better-than-usual soil (probably 4-6" of peat/potting soil mixture, with nati... read more


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

Hum, living in So IL I've never had one make it through the winter but I'd gladly let it invade. I usually wont buy perennials out of zone but I can't not have this beautiful plant in my gardens. The Bright green leaves contrasted to the black stems and Lapis (Tut head-dress) coloured blooms make it one of my all time fav's. Also with dead-heading of spent blooms, it blooms all summer for me. Of all my plantings it draws the most comments. I'm building a greenhouse this summer so maybe I can get some to over winter and stop having to re-purchase every year.


On Mar 19, 2011, hummerdude from Dallas, TX wrote:

This is an easy gorgeous perrenial that will attract lots of bees, hummers and human admirers. It blooms until first frost. This is the the third year after 3 or 4 original plants and it is coming back quite thick this spring (and we got down to 10 degrees this winter!) Now I can share some with my sister as well as put some in the backyard. I would say it's hardy--not invasive--quit whining people! -- HSH, Dallas, Texas


On Jan 23, 2011, lsuzuki from Beavercreek, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant has overwintered 2 years in a row with a thick mulch of shredded leaves in my zone 5B/6A garden. The spot where it successfully overwintered is very well drained and has a light soil. However, this is the only spot where it successfully overwintered for me - it didn't make it in more typical Ohio garden conditions (heavy with clay). Occasionally, I've had it self seed, but not prolifically. It roots easily from cuttings. This is my favorite salvia and the hummingbirds love it too.


On Dec 11, 2010, Hamchuk from Weaverville, NC (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a lovely and surprisingly hardy plant, highly recommended. No issues with invasive spreading, after how we've treated it I'm shocked that it's still alive! We're planning on propagating from cuttings.


On Dec 10, 2010, Get_growing from Dallas, TX wrote:

Thanks to all for warning about invasive nature! I've had no problems so far, probably because of the awful heat last summer (mine got all-day sun which was too much for them).That said, colors are beautiful, long bloomer, and of course, very hardy! Think I'll move to containers...


On Nov 27, 2010, sherriseden from Bloomington, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Gorgeous true blue flower; I plant as an annual in my z5 - part sun to part shade (I have no full sun) and it just blooms its heart out! Love it.


On Aug 9, 2010, RemyO from Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

It is planted near the south side of my home and has returned for at least 3 maybe 4 winters.


On Aug 4, 2010, joeswife from (Debra) Derby, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

This Salvia comes back for me in zone 5 ( Kansas) after winter and spreads like crazy. I love it.


On Jun 2, 2010, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Grown only as annuals here in Madison and Geneva, Ohio. My friend in Madison, however, has one coming back this spring! We shall see how it does over summer. She said she mulched over it real well to protect it some for winter, just to see. Seems to have rewarded her. It is in a pretty populated bed with lots of large trees and tall shrubs behind it. We love this plant and it is one of my favorite salvias.


On Mar 21, 2010, ladybug_pc from Adairsville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a great plant. Humming bird's love it and the previous post is correct; the honey bees "cheat" and gather nector from the base of the flower. I haven't found this plant to be invasive. It just gradually becomes a thicker, slighty wider clump. I have part of the fence line edged with this plant (it grows 3 feet tall for me) and I have a large clump on the back side of my chaste tree. The dark blue flowers and lime green leaves on this plant make a beautiful contrast.


On Sep 21, 2009, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Haven't found it to be invasive yet...It can take over if it wants! Very Very attractive plant.


On Aug 12, 2009, lothianjavert from North East, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this plant, but I think the hummers love it even more. I have a large variety of agastache, lobelia and other salvias, but this is by far the hummingbirds' favorite.

Last year was the first year I grew Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue', and sadly, it did not survive the winter. I'm in 6b, which is supposedly just outside of the hardiness zone. I didn't expect the one in the back to come back, as the soil stays quite wet through the winter. However, the one in the raised bed (well drained) next to the foundation also didn't make it. I will admit it was an odd winter with spells of unseasonably warm weather followed by temperatures below zero, and several major ice storms.

I am trying again this year, and I've added a great deal of sand, perlite an... read more


On Jul 27, 2009, Hemophobic from Kannapolis, NC wrote:

I love this salvia and have it at both houses, the one here in Kannapolis and the one in Asheville. It grows well, overwinters, of course, and draws bees and hummers. So far it has been well behaved in my gardens.


On May 24, 2009, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

A beautiful plant; fantastic color and the hummers (as everyone says!) loved it. It did NOT come back for me but I bought two more. Oddly, one is purple.


On Jul 18, 2008, slrob from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

Beautiful dark blue flowers that hummingbirds love. Unfortunately, it tried to take over my flower bed. Extremely aggressive, I've pulled the original 3 plants and the remaining roots are still popping up new plants 4 months later, even through the landscaping fabric!! Had I known it was so aggressive, I wouldn't have planted it. Replaced it with a salvia greggii.


On Jun 12, 2008, khasdorff from Victoria, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

As already stated, a beautiful plant, gorgeous color and hummers love it, has become a real thug in my garden. Completely died to the ground over winter, but came back with a vengeance and has overtaken and choked out everything around. Trying to eradicate it is challenging, to say the least. Just when I think I have pulled up every little underground runner...up pops a bright green leaf! I would only recommend this for out of the way areas or in a container. I'm not sure even a container could control it!


On Apr 29, 2008, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is my first spring with this newly added beauty to the garden, unsure how it's going to perform in my zone, thus I'll leave this as anitial entry, plus picture of how lovely it looks in my sunny flower bed.


On Mar 19, 2008, TropiTiki from Murrells Inlet, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted this two years ago and it has become one of my faves. Everyone that sees it loves it, and it is a favorite of the hummingbirds also, as well as hummingbird moths. Last year the two together grew over three feet wide and three feet tall. I'm getting a little afraid that it may turn invasive on me since I have five plants coming up in the bed this year and three more in the grassy path, but it'll be worth the trouble.


On Oct 28, 2007, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

One of my favorite Salvias! I love it and so do the Hummers! Very beautiful in bloom! Beautiful blue color! It's an annual for me in zone 6a and I get new plants each year, but gotta have it!


On Oct 27, 2007, Sashagirl wrote:

I discovered this plant just this year, and wonder how I ever got along without it!!
I bought 3, in quart pots, at my favorite garden center.
At first, I wasn't impressed with it, but after a few weeks in the ground, I was in awe.
The foliage and blooms look rather delicate, but this is a sturdy, easy care plant, that requires very little water or fertilizer, to put on a glorious show.
I have many red and trumpet shaped flowers for the Hummers to feast on, but these plants were their absolute favorites!!
The only problem I had, was locating any seeds from them. Never did find any. rats.
Two of the plants are close to the foundation of my home, so I'm hoping they overwinter. If not, I WILL be seeking out more, next year. A lovely addition to any lan... read more


On Apr 7, 2007, Debndal from Coppell, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The hummingbirds come to this plant first in my yard, and I have many of their favorites, flame acanthus, red salvias, and turks cap. I have 2 of the b&b and the one that gets just a little bit of shade does the best. The other gets afternoon reflected heat off the fence and it suffers in July/August. I do worry that if I don't watch for the underground offshoots in early spring when it starts to leaf out that it could be a little invasive, but if caught early, the offshoots are easily removed. Highly recommend this easy perennial.


On Dec 27, 2006, pal2k9s from Lake Arrowhead, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

In the spring I planted 3 four-inch tall 'Black and Blue' plants in a dry, sunny area of my garden where I couldn't get much to grow. They rewarded me with amazing growth by summer, reaching almost 5 feet tall. In my garden, they bloom constantly until the first freeze. The flowers are gorgeous, and the scent of the leaves is amazing. And they reseed very nicely as well. They enjoy a good drink once a week unless it's really hot- then an extra watering or two keeps them happy.

One of my favorite activities is watching all the bees and hummingbirds flock around these plants. It's really funny to see the huge bumblebees try to get to the nectar of these narrow flowers. Many bees 'cheat' to get to the nectar; they make a small hole in the calyx of the flower to get to it... read more


On Oct 15, 2006, tacobe11e from Arlington, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I wish my guaranitica would spread; I love everything about it!! My plant's been growing in my garden for 3 years and hasn't expanded it's footprint at all. It's tall, healthy, and blue. Everyone who's seen it has wanted one.


On Sep 6, 2006, kman_blue from (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted some of these as annuals about 3 years ago, but much to my surprise they've come back from the roots every year since. I planted them in a full sun spot with sandy very well drained soil. They've been through about -3F here so far and they only die back to the ground. I think the sandy well drained soil might help them survive colder temperatures than they normally would. It might be just a matter of time until we have a cold enough winter to kill them, but I'm going to enjoy them until that happens!


On Aug 6, 2006, Gina_Rose from Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I saved one of these plants from a whole collection of dying ones at a Lowe's... it's definitely thanked me. It's growing beautifully in an 85%-shaded area, which is what I think saves it from wilting if it hasn't been watered within a week. When I can, I'll try to grow a cutting to place in more sunlight; hopefully it's hardy enough to survive here without a tree to shelter it since I really love salvias but don't have enough "dappled" shade. (I wouldn't suggest "full sun" for at least 75% of plants that say they can take full sun here!)


On May 10, 2006, cottonfarm from Midlothian, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants, it seems to bloom so well. It is such a nice companion to reds and yellows in the perrenial beds.


On Apr 29, 2006, crowellli from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Does extremely well in Houston, Tx. I bought this plant at a sale last fall and didn't know if it would make it through winter. It not only made it, it never stopped blooming! The tag said it would be 18" x 18", but mine is already about 36" x 36" and I'm not sure how much larger it will get as it's only April. Spectacularly intense blue blooms. It's placed in front of a yellow Esperanza and the combination is beautiful.

BEWARE INVASIVE: This thing is as invasive as mint and spreads by underground runners. It has completely taken over the bed it's in and has choked out every other plant there. It now covers an area about 4' x 10' and I am unable to eradicate it. I pull a ton of it out every morning and it's still spreading. I may have to move!


On Sep 2, 2005, kizilod from Cumberland, RI (Zone 6b) wrote:

I am growing this plant in my self-watering window boxes, and it is very unhappy with the constantly moist soil. It had scale and aphids earlier in the season and is now dropping many of its leaves (which have turned yellow with brown edges). However, the blossoms are still beautiful, and attract hummingbirds.

I tried growing this salvia again in terra cotta pots, with homemade soilless potting mix (Cornell University recipe). It is doing much better for me than when I grew it in my soggy self-watering window boxes. I am growing it in partial sun, but I am still getting quite a few flowers on it. Yesterday I was standing two and a half feet away from this salvia when a hummingbird came up to it and started feeding. She hovered just beyond my arms reac... read more


On Oct 16, 2004, Kruch72 from Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Best plant in garden for attracting hummingbirds and a bonus White-lined Sphinx Moth.


On Sep 5, 2004, tazzy from Sand Springs, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

grows well in Tulsa and Sand Springs ok.


On Sep 4, 2004, jnn from Pittsboro, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

The blooms are a stunning color and the hummingbirds love it! We bought ours late in the season this year, so it hasn't gotten that big, but I hope it will grow a bit taller next year.


On Jun 13, 2004, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

When I saw these particular plants together at my local nursery I thought it had seed pods on it with the flower buds being BLACK and then I looked closer and noticed the BLUE flowers and then I looked at the tag and saw the name B:ACK and BLUE and I thought it would be an cool plant for a drier part of my garden. In the sunlight you can really see the black and blue standing out.


On Apr 14, 2004, yayaqueen from Harker Heights, TX wrote:

I agree that this is a very attractive plant...for me to look at and for the bees and butterflies to enjoy. However, before I brought mine home Feb 2003, no one mentioned anything at all about how it would spread by underground roots (I suppose). Last year it grew nearly 4 feet tall and wide and was almost stunning against my white board fence. This year I was surprised to find that I have the original plant and 4 of its offspring...they're growing within 3 or 4 feet of the mother plant. While I think they're attractive to look at...especially right now with the black stems and chartreuse leaves...I didn't particularly want them to completely invade my side yard and 1 came up on the other side of my fence in my neighbor's yard. If it continues to spread like this, I may have to comple... read more


On Apr 14, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

'Black and Blue' Salvia guaranitica has cobalt blue, tubular, 2 inch long blooms that have a hood-like upper lip and a shorter lower lip that points downward. The dark stems and dark purple, nearly black calyces (the structures that enclose the base of the petals) make it a very interesting looking plant. They do not smell like anise. The individual flowers appear on showy 10-15 inch spikes. It does best in part shade/ filtere shade in my yard. The summer heat and sun causes it to wilt if it receives too much sun. But, if it is in total shade, its bloom production is poor. It has produced new plants by short runners.


On Sep 16, 2003, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is a tender perennial in zone 6 (western NY) so I planted it in a container so that I can overwinter it in my garage. It was very small when I purchased it in a 4" pot. this spring. It is now nearly 3 ft. tall (Sept) and blooming prolifically. My hummingbirds have really enjoyed it tremendously this summer.

Update April '09:Finally found a spot in my yard to try one inground and it survived the winter here in Western NY. It is in full sun close to the foundation of the house in very well drained soil. I only added about an inch or tow of mulch at the base of the plant. If you are wiling to do a little extra work you can get this plant to survive in cold zones.


On Jan 25, 2003, vroomp from Marietta, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant did well in a semi-protected part of my yard in full sun. It has come back each year bigger and more full of blooms. Zone 7 Atlanta


On May 3, 2002, loisbeth wrote:

S. guaranitica 'Black & Blue' is an improved version of this shrub-like perennial, as it does not spread as much as other varieties.

A black calyx sets off short deep blue flower spikes approx 1" long. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. A very showy specimen.