Salvia is a excellent plant to put in a garden. They are drought tolerant (which is important in Tennessee) and look great. They also come in many colors including red, pink, white, orange, blue, and purple. Depending on where you live and the variety you choose it may be a perennial or an annual. According to the website Floridata, there are more than 700 different kinds of salvias or sages. In our yard we have several perennial Salvias (Salvia nemerosa) including the ‘East Friesland’ Hybrid Sage, ‘Caradonna’ Meadow Sage and ‘MayNight’ Salvia. All three of these plants are bluish to purple in color. They flower in early summer then repeat later in the fall with another flush of flower stalks.
The Salvia I am looking forward to planting this year is Salvia splendens ‘Flare.’ This salvia has bright red flowers and is very heat tolerant. It is commonly grown as an annual from seed but according to various seed merchants can be grown as a perennial in milder climates. It is native to Brazil. According to BackyardGardener.com its hardiness zone is from 5-9 which puts Tennessee right in the middle. They also list it as tolerant to deer (somewhat of a concern in my yard), drought (a big concern in Tennessee), heat and humidity (we’re in the south of course that’s a concern!), slopes (not a big deal), and the seashore (I won’t have to worry about that! And if I do we all have bigger problems to worry about!)
How and where I will use it:
Salvia splendens ‘Flare’ will be used as a hot color plant in and around my rain garden. I’ll raise it from seed to save money. I plan on mixing it with various warm-colored rudbeckias, asclepias tuberosa, and ornamental grasses. Hot colors are mostly colors like yellow, orange and red. They lie next to each other on the color wheel.