|SALVIA species - Salvia|
Lamiaceae, nativity in text below.
Germination: The annuals are best sown indoors, 6-8 weeks before last frost, at alternating temperatures of 68 and 86°. Seeds will germinate in 12-15 days. Sow at a depth of 4 times the size of the seeds, however, sow the red-flowering salvias with no cover as they need light to germinate. If treating S. farinacea as an annual, sow indoors 12 weeks before last frost. The biennials are best sown outdoors in late summer and fall with flowers produced the following summer. The perennials are best sown outdoors in spring through summer, up to two months before frost. Alternatively, they can be sown indoors by following the protocol for annuals. If started early enough, perennials will flower in their first year. The seeds of S. splendens are not long lived and should not be stored.
Growth: Spacing depends on the species, as sizes vary. They can all be sited in full sun to part shade (the pastel-colored annuals do best in part shade). Plant in a rich, well-drained soil. They perform best when well-watered, but are slightly drought tolerant. Deadhead after flowering.
Appearance and Use: A vast array of colors and sizes for just about any use in borders, bedding, edging, and planters. In summer or fall they produce spikes of tubular flowers that are 2-lipped. Salvia splendens is an annual native to Brazil, grows 6-36 inches tall. Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica grows 36 inches tall with bright pink flowers in summer and fall. It is a biennial native to Turkestan that is hardy from Zones 4 to 7. Salvia superba grows 2-3 feet tall with deep blue to purple flowers. It is hardy from Zones 4 to 7. Salvia microphylla, Baby Salvia, is shrubby and grows 3-6 feet tall with red flowers. It is a half-hardy perennial native to Mexico that is fully hardy in Zones 8 to 10. Salvia farinaceae grows 18-36 inches tall with blue flowers and gray-green leaves. It is a perennial in Zones 8 to 10, but is grown as an annual in colder climates. Native to New Mexico and Texas. Salvia viridis (S. horminium) grows 18 inches tall with rose, pink, purple, blue, or white flowers. Native to Southern Europe, it is a perennial in Zones 9 and 10, but is grown as an annual in colder climates.
NASA Seeds in Space
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