Salvia- the garden’s spring through summer bloomer

bee, salvia,

Going strong at the end of July.

In my garden Salvia {both Lyrica Blues and May Night} started to bloom from early spring and continues on blooming and attracting hummingbirds and bees in the heat and drought. It may be end of July but my front bed is going strong with Salvia nestled amongst the Black eyed Susans, coneflowers, daylilies, Autumn Joy Sedum, and a host of other bloomers and bee, bird, and butterfly magnets.

To be honest, I have not cut back my salvia and it has bloomed beautifully for months now.

Salvia, Lyrica blues Salvia

May 2014 Notice the Salvia

I do not follow the rules set by some tags at the store. I follow my instinct and let nature give me guidance in planting, watering, and growing my gardens. If you are not born with a green thumb, that is okay because I started this blog to teach beginner gardeners advice from my own experiences gardening.

Salvia {salvia nemorosa “Lyrical blues”} was added to my front bed last summer. I added several plants from the markdown rack and hoped for the best. I had always grown May Night Salvia {Salvia sylvestris ‘Mainach’ “May Night”} because it stays somewhat upright and does not have the tendencies of other salvias to get real leggy and fall over. I read the tag on the Lyrical blues salvia and it said 22-24″ H&W but I know in zone 7 the tags are not always right and sometimes it is best to do a little research and find out how large it will really grow in your area. However, if you are like me, I just plant it and let it go. Nature is random and so am I.

This is a great tip for beginner gardeners-the tag is an average and not an absolute especially for southern climates.

July 2014

July 2014

Salvia May Night grows in zones 3-9 and is a dependable and hardy plant. It was named perennial of the year back in 1997 and it is a must have in the garden for attracting bees and other nectar loving wildlife. Salvia Lyrical blues is zoned for 4-9 and I have found here in zone 7 that is is a reliable and long bloomer perennial that needs little care. Both of these salvia will reach an average of 24″ but here in the south my blooming beauties are about 32-36″ tall. I mulch them and let them go. They do best if they receive at least 6-8 hours of sun and they will attract tons of bees!

I do not cut back my salvia. I let nature nature do its thing and I do not bother with the talk that everything must be pruned or cut back.  My experiences have taught me that sometimes humans interfere too much with nature and we should just let beauty unfold on its own. Plus I just do not get around to deadheading (or cutting off dead blooms).Salvia, sedum

Both of these salvias start blooming in spring (here in zone 7 April) and stop in the fall sometime and if it is a mild fall they will continue to bloom through fall. On the average I would add that salvia blooms from spring to mid summer with rests in between. I find that there will be a week or two after the blooms are done where the plant regenerates and starts blooming all over again. This is when many gardeners will tell you to cut back so they will bloom again.

Then others will tell you to fertilize. I do not. I have 4″ mulch in the bed and the mulch decays and composts naturally amending the soil. I started with and still have heavy red clay soil that is usually so compacted that it can hold water for a day or more. I do not amend the soil when I dig a hole and plant. To be honest, I have found that my chances of success are more likely to come if I continue to keep the bed mulched and find plants that are more suited for my type of soil.

bee, salvia,

Going strong at the end of July.

I plant salvia among other taller plants so that if the salvia does not stay upright it is not obvious in the flower bed. Sometimes this just happens. Sometimes it happens if they damaged by running dogs or by nature. I live with it because the blue is so pretty mixed in the garden. When the blooms are done, you can cut back or just wait for the next wave of blooms. And I have found that not all of the salvia will be blooming at the same time even if you planted them at the same time.

Mix of Black eyed Susans, PowWowConeflowers, red daylily, Autumn Joy Sedum,

Mix of Black eyed Susans, PowWowConeflowers, red daylily, Autumn Joy Sedum,

Nature has no timetable and she just does her own thing on her own time.

Working with nature and not against.

I have to say that I do not spend a lot of time weeding or worry about pruning or other must have to dos that someone else told me I had to do to keep  my yard and my flowers blooming.

If I did, I would spend all my time working instead of enjoying my beautiful blooming beauties!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2014 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique

2 thoughts on “Salvia- the garden’s spring through summer bloomer

  1. Hi! I like your style, but I live in Houston, which is gardener’s hell. I have just planted several Salvia “lyrical blues” and have ordered more. What do you predict will be the duration of their blooming here? Getting blooms here in July and August is miraculous, and I’d appreciate any advice that you could offer. Thanks! Dave Sherron

    • Mine are still blooming here. This year they are not as great because we have been in a drought all summer. But they do bloom for me in zone 7b until end of Sept. if i deadheaded they would probably bloom more.
      Thank you for stopping by and I hope in the very near future to get more plant recommendations on the blog and update it too. Have a great week!

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