Salvia Species, Blood Sage, Hummingbird Sage, Scarlet Sage, Texas Sage

Salvia coccinea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: coccinea (kok-SIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia coccinea f. pseudococcinea
Synonym:Salvia coccinea var. pseudococcinea
Synonym:Salvia pseudococcinea
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials


24-36 in. (60-90 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Scarlet (dark red)

Bloom Time:

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:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


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

Auburn, Alabama

Harvest, Alabama

Saraland, Alabama(2 reports)

Satsuma, Alabama

Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Barling, Arkansas

Bryant, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Canoga Park, California

China Lake Acres, California


JACUMBA, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

Monterey, California

Ridgecrest, California

Sacramento, California

Salinas, California

Santa Barbara, California

Bartow, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Land O' Lakes, Florida

Largo, Florida

Miami, Florida(3 reports)

Naples, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

North Palm Beach, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Pinellas Park, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Trenton, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida(2 reports)

Dallas, Georgia

Rockford, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Leesville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Florence, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Saint Louis, Missouri

Princeton Junction, New Jersey

La Luz, New Mexico

New York City, New York

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Painesville, Ohio

Hugo, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Florence, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Seabrook, South Carolina

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Cookeville, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas(2 reports)

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Beaumont, Texas

Belton, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Dallas, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Edcouch, Texas

Elgin, Texas

Fate, Texas

Flint, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(3 reports)

Grand Prairie, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Lampasas, Texas

Longview, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

Mont Belvieu, Texas

Navasota, Texas

Portland, Texas

Richardson, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Santa Fe, Texas

Spring, Texas

Ogden, Utah

Roy, Utah

Alexandria, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia

Staunton, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Vashon, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 20, 2014, Lovehum wrote:

These grew extremely slow for me and only flowered in rich, loose, soil putting off their best show as late as November. They did poorly in clay soil areas. The seeds which received more sun flowered a month sooner and developed multiple, taller flower stalks. Hummingbirds visited them but not as much as hot lips salvia and David Cuphea.


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

August 2013(First time growing this plant)
I purchased the seeds from Onalee's seeds last fall and started them indoors prior to planting outside this spring since we can have a short growing season. I had no issues starting the seeds indoor which I was very happy as I am not the greatest seed starter. I relocted them outside in a bunch of different planting areas, some are in huge pots, others are in the ground and with different sun lighting just so I can see how they do. No fertilizing and minimal watering.
After a while they do take off and they do get tall so they are more of a back of the flower bed plant. They do come up with many stalks of flower heads but if your looking for that huge color that pops out like Salvia does you may be disappointed.
The humming... read more


On May 10, 2013, TexasDollie from Dewey, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

It does reseed easily--I find it sprouting in other places around the beds. But the hummingbirds love it, so if the new plant grows in a good place, what's not to love? If it grows in the wrong place, it's easy to pull out and toss. I got my starts from the shady side of our post-oak savannah yard, just south of San Antonio, where it grew to 18" high or so. Moved them to the sunny flower beds along the front of the house where they thrived and brightened for several years. I've since brought seeds to the new place we live in and will plant them in a spot out back under the Arizona Ash. Guess I'll see how they do in this heavy black clay as opposed to the sand where I found them.


On Apr 14, 2012, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

what everyone else said and oh my, it does re-seed! i have them everywhere. mine are growing throughout the garden. some are in full sun and some have come up under other plants and get more shade. it doesn't seem to matter. they just keep going. the original plants did die over the last winter even though it was a very mild one.

i'm changing my rating. this plant would be great treated as an annual out of its hardiness zone but i have to say that it is a garden THUG in a warm zone. it re-seeds faster than you can pull them and grows so fast that it totally crowds out everything in its path. i just filled a trash can with plants and that was in one small bed. it will probably take years to eliminate it completely...or maybe never. time will tell.


On Jan 26, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I bought one plant many years ago and now my yard is full of them, they reseed and are very hardy. They even grow in the cracks of my patio stones, I just pull them up and put them in a pot and they continue to grow. I've given many away to friends. The bright scarlet red flowers are the first to bloom each year, in fact it is the end of January and I have a bloom on one now. They will freeze if out in the open, but if under plant/tree canopy or close the house they over winter very well. Easily can be pulled up where you don't want it or move it to where you do. Blooms all year but does seem to prefer shadier areas than the full sun. I love this plant.


On Jul 23, 2010, IvoryBill from Magnolia, TX wrote:

I bought this plant at a hummingbird festival last fall and overwintered it in a pot in the garage with minimal care, and this summer it is blooming like crazy and about three feet high and covered with flowers


On Nov 7, 2009, jimenez from West Palm Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have this plant all over my yard. It reseeds and I just pull the seedlings out of the ground where I find them and I place them where I want. They grow well in pots, in the shade and in full sun. I just pinch them if I want the plant to fill out a bit. This plant is so easy to grow in south Florida so I have started collecting salvias. None of the salvias I have purchased is as easy and carefree as this great plant.


On Nov 5, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

In Portland, the Hummingbird Sage still has flowers in early November, a bonus for the birds themselves. I planted it in a very hot southern exposure in composted soil, however I hope it seeds in the dry clay nearby.


On Jun 22, 2009, phineas117 from Springfield, IL wrote:

had never tried this before...even with a cool, very wet spring.
the plant just took off. have had my very first anna hummingbird around all the blooms.
a GREAT plant


On Aug 11, 2007, ltcollins1949 from Rockport, TX wrote:

This is a great hummer plant, but it is very invasive in south Texas. It comes up everywhere including cracks in the drive way. I pull the stuff up all the time and throw it away. The pink and white Salvia Coccinias are not as invasive. Keep it under control if you live in a hot climate or throw it out in a field and let it go.


On Apr 22, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant needs part shade to shade in my location. Jowever, with too much shade, it does not bloom profusely. It needs spaced from 1 foot to 2 feet apart. It is a native plant that can be found growing in woodlands and hilly slopes in the Edwards Plateau Region of Texas as well as other poarts of east and south Texas. I have found that it perforns better in poorer drier soil; otherwise, it becomes leggy, the leaves become speckled with light green spots and the blooms are fewer. It has a high deer resistance due to the pumgent odor of its leaves. It is a short lived perennial that reeed profusely. To encourage fullness, prune it removing the top half at the end of May. After the first frost has browned its leaves or in mid-winter, cut it to about 3" from the ground. It is one of my ... read more


On Apr 14, 2007, subzerox2 from Gaithersburg, MD wrote:

Grows quickly and has attractive red blooms. I initially planted a mass of them after reading about their ability to attract hummingbirds. Interestingly enough, while I did notice the resident hummingbirds checking the red blooms out ever so briefly, they seemed to quickly bypass them in favor of dining on the red monarda not far away.

However I was quite pleasantly surprised when I saw that these salvia had attracted the first tiger swallowtail I've seen in my garden! There would be one or two tiger swallowtails at the "lady in red" salvia patch daily during the summer and they'd stay for seemingly hours. Bees also tended to visit in frequency.


On Jun 12, 2006, GeorgiaJo from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Beautiful, easy to grow and aromatic (minty). Self-seeds reliably. Hummers and butterflies love it. Blooms early.


On Nov 9, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Carefree native (Louisiana) often found growing in harsh environments like roadsides, but frequently seen also in woodland and marsh edges. A favorite of hummingbirds.


On Nov 8, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

I've grown S. coccinea for more than ten years. The one I have is brilliant red, and proved tougher than the pink form. I just bought the white form, and so far it is doing great, but the jury's still out for it.

Texas sage is tough and tolerant. Here in west central Florida it is perennial, and reliably so. At my old place, I left a plant that was at least nine years old, growing happily in partial shade (afternoon sun) under a Valencia orange tree.

I didn't have to try to pot one to bring to the new place, I knew a seedling would come up in a pot of something else. One less pot to move was GOOD. I found three, and they were very welcome. The seedlings are easy to pull where you don't want them, and easy to move to where you do. They much prefer good drainage... read more


On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is well-suited for xeriscaping being drought-tolerant. The natural form has an intense red blossom which hummingbirds and butterflies love. It is very striking when planted in large groupings. It is considered a short-lived perennial and will reseed itself. Pruning of the spent flowers will promote flowering.


On May 20, 2002, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

It is easy to grow, reseeds, and blooms from July until frost.


On May 3, 2002, loisbeth wrote:

Approximately 18" X 18". Reseeding tender perennial. May be sheared to keep shorter. Very easy to grow. In Texas, we usually treat it as an annual.

Nice flowering color.