The Glorious Salvia

Salvia Bumblesnow

This week’s blog focuses on one of my favourite plants, the Salvia. 

I absolutely adore these flowers.  They are a fabulous border filler as well as one of the best flowers to attract bees into your garden as they are so rich in nectar. Wherever you plant them, the bees will be sure to find them. 

Here are my top tips on growing and looking after Salvias.

Salvia – A close-up

All salvias thrive in full sun and are ideally placed in a south-facing aspect. Mine start to bloom in May and continue to do so until the first frost. One of the best things about them is that they are very easy to grow and, so long as they have a sunny spot, they can tolerate drought and poor quality soil.

One of my favourite things about salvias is that they are naturally pest and disease resistant. This means you can even plant them next to roses to help keep black spot at bay.

Starting out – Planting Salvias

If you have heavy soil, I would add a little grit before planting, just to help aid drainage. All you need to do is plant them at the same depth as they were in the pot, then backfill and water well. You can also grow them in containers, again just adding a little grit to the compost to aid drainage.

Looking after your salvias

In terms of pruning, the first thing to do is to understand what type of salvia you are growing. Here’s a quick guide – 

  • Annual salvias – Lift them and (as they are annuals) dispose of them at the end of their flowering season. 
  • Hardy perennial salvias – Cut back hard in the spring or autumn. 
  • Half-hardy herbaceous – Cut back in autumn and protect from frost. If you’re attempting to keep them outside, resist pruning until spring. 
  • Shrubby types – Lightly prune in spring. If you prune these in autumn new growth will form that can be hit by frost.

If in doubt though leave pruning until spring. This will offer them some protection over winter. I always add a layer of mulch late in Autumn and then just leave them. 

My favourite Salvias

(…and if you ask, “Why?, because their structures look lovely with roses!)

  • Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ (purple)
  • Salvia x ‘Love and Wishes’ (pink)
  • Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria White’
  • Salvia patens ‘Beyond Blue’

Jobs to be getting on with in July

  • Give dahlias a liquid feed.  I use seaweed and keep them well watered and make sure you keep shoots supported.
  • Hand-weed borders.
  • Water and feed sweet peas regularly and don’t forget to pick the flowers every few days and remove seed pods to prolong flowering. I’m still waiting for mine to bloom so hang on in there if you are like me.
  • Feed, water and deadhead summer bedding regularly.
    Take softwood cuttings from shrubs such as hydrangeas.
  • Feed and deadhead roses to keep them flowering strongly.
  • Keep watch for pests.

With love and stay safe,

Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –

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