How to Grow and Care For Scarlet Sage ‘Red Salvia’

How to Grow and Care For Scarlet Sage ‘Red Salvia’

How to Grow and Care For Scarlet Sage 'Red Salvia'

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Salvia splendens is the scientific name for red salvia plants. Although the official common name for the plants is scarlet sage, many people simply refer to them as red salvia. Although technically a perennial plant, red salvia is frequently grown as an annual in temperate regions. They are members of the mint family. Salvia splendens occurs in a variety of colours, including white, salmon, pink, purple, lavender, burgundy, and orange, though the scarlet variation is the most well-known.

Scarlet sage should be planted in the butterfly garden when planning or expanding it. Dozens of hummingbirds and butterflies visit this steady, persistent cluster of red tubular blossoms. Even the busiest gardeners can maintain a red sage plant since it is so straightforward. While some varieties of scarlet sage are native to the southern United States and can grow profusely with proper care, scarlet sage herb is not invasive or aggressive.

Red salvia grows quickly and should be planted in the middle of spring, when the soil temperature has reached at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At maturity, it can reach heights of 18 to 30 inches. The heart-shaped, dark-green leaves provide a repellent fragrance to mammalian pests, making them resistant to deer and rabbit damage.

Growing Scarlet Sage

Scarlet sage can be planted from seed or small bedding plants purchased from a nearby nursery. Check the labels on the container because scarlet sage also comes in pink and white varieties in addition to red. Seeds need light to germinate, therefore when starting plants from seed, lightly push the seeds into the soil or cover with perlite. A few weeks before the weather warms up outside, start scarlet sage herb seeds indoors in peat pots. When the soil and air temperatures are warm enough, seedlings can be planted outdoors.

Red salvia thrives on sandy loam, rocky soil, or fertile, well-drained soil. Although they thrive in partial shade, scarlet sage plants also thrive in full sun. Use them in mass plantings, borders, and rock gardens, as well as alongside other salvias. Red salvia plants, which can grow to a height of 2 to 4 feet (.6-1.2 m) and a spread of 1 to 2 feet (.3–.6 m), occupy their assigned space without overtaking the bed, as certain members of the mint family are prone to do.

Red salvia roots can decay if overwatered, despite their preference for constantly moist soil. A watering schedule every seven to ten days is usually sufficient, depending on the amount of rainfall and the high daily temperatures. Make sure the top inch or two of soil are dry before watering. If the soil is dry, deeply irrigate the area to ensure that water reaches the plant roots.

Scarlet sage plants should be fertilised with the same balanced fertiliser as your other annual flowering plants for optimal results. Scarlet sage plants do not need to be fertilised on a regular basis and can live with just one in the spring. Scarlet sage plant care requires regular pinching or cutting of wasted flower spikes to encourage more blooms.

Other Salvia Varieties

Many salvia cultivars are available in garden centres and online. While they all require the same care, their colour and height will often vary. Among the most popular kinds are:

Alba‘: a cultivar with white flower spikes that can reach a height of 24 inches.

Ablazin™ Purple‘ is a cultivar with royal purple flower spikes that can grow to be 26 inches tall.

Carabiniere‘: a 14-inch-tall compact cultivar with crimson flower spikes.

Salsa Scarlet Bicolor‘ is a one-of-a-kind cultivar with bicolored red and white spikes of flowers that grows between six and twelve inches tall.

Common Pests and Diseases

To protect your scarlet sage plants, keep a watch out for pests like slugs, snails, and whiteflies. In fact, to avoid bringing any whiteflies home with you, carefully check the undersides of the leaves while purchasing plants at the garden centre. Since whiteflies are a well-known pest in greenhouses, they occasionally travel undetected from the greenhouse to the garden centre. If a plant is infested, use a garden hose to spray a forceful stream of water to flush out the bugs. If it doesn’t work, apply a light insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, such as neem oil, to the plant. Keep in mind that you will need to repeat the applications until there are no more signs of illness.

Related Topics : 20 Plants With Heart Shaped Leaves