How Much Salvia Is Enough? (Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day)

How much salvia is enough? I really don’t know the answer but I can tell you that I haven’t reached the salvia threshold yet. The easy answer is when I run out of room, but most likely enough will be reached well before that point. If you have salvia in your gardens you can probably identify with me. It is such a great plant that you just want more. We have Salvia nemorosa in almost every garden around our house right now with the notable exceptions of the rain garden, the corner shade garden and the front sidewalk garden next to the house. The rain garden is not completely without salvia as it contains Salvia splendens, but it has not been there long enough to flower. The purple salvias, along with the irises and ‘Purple Homestead’ verbena, are the only plants that are currently providing a bounty of color in our gardens. I suppose we need to add more spring flowering perennials for next year.

The purple color of the salvias is a good match for our purple irises. The irises are a lighter shade of purple, almost a lavender. We have three kinds of Salvia nemorosa in our garden ‘May night’, ‘Caradonna’, and ‘East Friesland’. The ‘May Night is up in our Mailbox Garden. The ‘Caradonna’ is in our Birdbath garden and the ‘East Friesland’ is in our Front Porch Garden. Boring garden names yes, but they are descriptive!

Here’s a look at our salvia display!

‘Caradonna’ Salvia nemorosa

Next to some iris foliage.

A close up of the flower stalks.

Standing tall like soldiers in a row.

This salvia is standing in front of a skyrocketing coneflower and behind two budding coreopsis plants. I’m looking forward to seeing the flowers of the coreopsis since it is one I raised from seed last summer.

‘May Night’ Salvia

Salvia with an achillea standing behind it.

The fading flower stalks of our ‘May Night’ Salvia in front of the achillea.

Thanks for stopping by to visit the salvia! For a tour of some other gardens be sure to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

16 Replies to “How Much Salvia Is Enough? (Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day)”

  1. Hi Dave, your salvias look superb, and it seems you have room for a few more. You cannot have too many, IMHO. Lay the spent stalks of May Night on clear ground and they will reward you with a line of babies.


  2. I just love purple in the Garden!
    Beautiful salvia…

  3. Your purple salvia is beautiful. I’ve planted an annual salvia in previous gardens, and it was very showy, too.

  4. Dave, I echoed your sentiment on salvias exactly this morning! I don’t think you can have too many because they are so easy to care for and give and give. I will be linking to you in an upcoming post. Hope you don’t mind. Thanks again for helping with me the linking thing! Now I’ll be able to link all my blogging friends. Frances tried but I didn’t get it.

  5. I have a confession to make… I, um, have no salvias in my garden. Now I wonder why. I should at least try ‘May Nights’.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  6. Dave, love those salvia, especially May Nights. Deadhead May Nights, and it blooms all season. Any perennial that blooms from May to October is a friend of mine. I’ve thought about experimenting with May Nights in one of the sunnier slices of my shade garden. It’s on the list (the long list!)

  7. Nice salvias. Great bee fodder and I like the nubby texture of the leaves as well as the flower color. May night is the first to bloom here but it is not yet warm enough.
    Good tip from Frances about starting babies, I could use many more of those early dark purple flowers.

  8. I’m with Frances–and you! “Too many” is not a phrase one could easily associate with salvias. 🙂 ‘Caradonna’ is my favorite with those dark flower stems, and yours echoes the upright foliage of the iris behind it brilliantly. I might have to “steal” that combination.

    By the way, there IS a salvia that could grow in your shade garden… I can’t remember the name of it, but do know that it has yellow flowers. I’ve narrowed down where I saw this to 3 different places, so I’ll check them out and get back to you if I find it again.

  9. I love Salvia! I have a rose colored one in my garden- it’s not blooming yet this year. I’ll post a picture of it on my blog when it does!

  10. One can never have enough Salvia!
    Yours looks spectacular…

    It pays to read the comment of the other commenters..I have a propagation hint from Frances and now a shade happy salvia, oh I want to know when you find the name, please!


  11. I enjoyed the photos. Thanks for sharing. My Oklahoma salvia is not so tall and beautiful yet.

  12. Dave, Your title caught my eye when I was reading the comments on Carol’s Bloom day post. I love salvia, too. Besides these perennials, my favorite annual is the Victoria Blue salvia which I plant all over the place. I just purchased some “Purple Homestead” verbena, but we’re in zone 5, so I’m afraid it won’t over-winter for me.
    You have some lovely combinations.

  13. I love Salvias too. I have fallen in love with Color Spires by Proven Winners. It is long blooming and so pretty. Your May Night is so pretty. When I get more garden area worked up. I shall plant more salvia.

  14. Nice salvias – I need to get some purple ones myself. I have a hot pink salvia microphylla and the true-blue salvia uliginosa, but nothing like your nemerosas. At my old house I had one for shade called salvia koyamae (yellow ground cover sage) that might be what the other posters were talking about. Enjoyed the post!

  15. Frances,

    I’ll definitely be trying that trick! I’m all about getting more plants easily.

    Thanks Skeeter!


    They are great plants, I think everyone should have at least one! I never mind a link!


    I definitely think you should have at least one salvia. They just have such a great flower display that is worth showing off!

    Garden girl,

    Good point! Anything that blooms that long is a fantastic plant for the garden.


    They definitely attract the bees. I’ve had several honey bees visit them while I’ve been out in the garden. You can never have enough honey bees. And any plant that gives them food is a good one.


    It’s not stealing by any means! If you see an idea for your garden that you like use it. That’s why we do this blogging thing I think, to get more ideas. The ‘Caradonna’ is an excellent one. The dark purple stems make it a little more interesting!


    Be sure you do! What have you planted with it?


    Frances knows what she’s talking about! I’m definitely going to be trying that also. Often commenters give great suggestions and advice!

    Extreme gardener,

    I’m sure it will be. Most of mine are second year salvias that I bought on discount racks. With the exception of the ‘May Night’ Salvias the others may have cost $15 total. Yours will probably be bursting with color very soon!


    I’ll have to look into the ‘Victoria Blue’ salvia. I like bluish colors in the garden. The ‘Purple Homestead’ is a great plant. You could try overwintering it in a garage or taking a cutting from it at the end of the season. I did that with some annual verbena and planted it back out a few days ago.


    Thanks! Salvia is such an easy plant to care for isn’t it? I should look into the “Color Spires’ for my garden. Thanks for the suggestion!


    Thanks for revealing the mystery salvia! That’s a Japanese sage isn’t it? You can’t go wrong with any of the salvias in this post.

    Thanks everyone for commenting!

  16. Count me in as another salvia fan, Dave. I love your pairings with the iris and the yarrow. The strongly spiky form and more-intense color of the salvias really adds some zip to the combinations.

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