Looking for Large/Hardy Salvias

jxa44September 26, 2006

Hi All,

I have a fence line that I want to line with salvias. Our winter lows are in the 20s for a few weeks in february (sometimes snows). I will winter protect if necessary.

Any suggestions?

Thanx everyone :-)


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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Salvia Azurea gets very large and it is hardy for me in zone 6. Saliva guaranitica may be hardy for you depending on where you are located. Salvia guaranitca 'Van Remsen' is very large like Purple Majesty and depending on your location may be hardy also.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:43AM
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CA Kate

I've seen a screen of S. greggii some where in the Livermore area that was about 4', but I don't know the variety, only that the flowers were red. The Salvias already mentioned about are tall and pretty, but will need to be pruned to just above the ground every winter, whereas greggiis make an actual shrub. I am in a CA zone 9 and my greggiis are 9 years old, but the variety is only 24".

The real person to ask about any others is Rich Dufresne. Then there is the Salvia book by Betsy Clebsch who is a CA Salvia collector and author. That might be a good resource for you too.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 1:49PM
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Thank you all for your responses. Great suggestions.

I have salvia guaranitica 'argentine skies', but the deer are eating the heck out of it. So that one's out.

I talked with Rich this morning. We had a great conversation and have tentative decided that s. Mexicana would be a good choice for me. I've got 30' (so far) of fence line to cover (with another 60 to go -- once my husband finishes putting up the boards).

The suggestion to talk with Betsy is a great one too -- I'd forgotten about her! (Silly me).

And, I've been reminded by an offline post that Cabrillo College has a wonderful salvia display garden as well. Since I'm within driving distance, I'll be sure to stop by soon and take a look. I'm also reminded that the UCSC arboretum has some salvias in their display garden as well.

Since I have such large expanses to cover, I really want to make an impact with color. So I'm hoping the Mexicana will do that for me.

Thanx again for your suggestions. I can't wait to get my salvias from Rich and see them bloom (not to mention covered with hummingbirds) next spring! If all goes well, I'll post pictures.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 3:17PM
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For anyone who's interested in my resolution -- I chose Salvia iodantha. It's supposed to grow to monterous size, and is said to attract both butterflies *and* hummers -- seems almost too good to be true :-)

Anyone growing this one and wants to give me feedback -- or better yet, send me pictures of it growing in your garden.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 3:07PM
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Betsy Clebsch reports that even in mild winters, it rarely produces flowers, so it might be too good to be true. :) She also writes that low temps prohibit flowering, even though it can survive temps in the 20s.

I sure hope you can get it to look and bloom beautifully, Jxa!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Thanx youreit! I will protect them while they are small during our cold winters and hope for the best ;-) If they bloom well, I'll post pix next season. Thanx for your good wishes.

Do you have a suggestion that you think will work better for me? we do get down in the 20s during the winter (and sometimes snow) and the climate swings to the extreme in the summers to 100 degrees during the months of July and August . . .

thanx for your thouhts.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 2:34PM
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CA Kate

I have these and they have survived our coldest winters and hottest summers:

S. involucrata
S. clevelandii
S. Grahammii x lemonii "Maraschino Cherry"
S. "Indago Spires"
S. melissodora aka Grape-scented Sage shrub 6x4

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 6:21PM
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I have Salvia Iodantha, mind you I am in the tropics so I dont even know what a frost is. salvia Iodantha looks like it is going into bud now.I will post pic when or if it flowers.

Some suggestions;

Tall Growing salvias;

Salvia Puberula
Salvia Karwinskii
Salvia Madrensis
Salvia Myriantha
Salvia Meyerii

These may or may not do good in your climate, but they are the same as Iodantha.

Cheers Annette

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:11PM
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I am in Bay Area of CA. Salvias are blooming like mad now.

I can verify S. puberula can go 5 feet tall and has survived some frost...and the flowers are wild!

Another that can go 5 feet and survive frost is S. rubescens...this will spread and fill in good. Red flowers on black stems. And just last week I visited UC Berkeley Botanical Garden and saw what looked like S. rubescens but the stems were red also. Looked pretty neat, but sometimes the plant labels there are less than informative or not updated so I'm not real sure of the variety.

S. mexicana is a good plant that will spread but I think its height might be less than 4 feet. Then again, the chartreuse stems, blue flowers and foliage color are all extremely nifty and make nice contrasts with neighboring plants.

UCB Botan Gard usually has some big-leaved salvias for sale. Me, I can't get enough of salvias. Always want more.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 1:26PM
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Thanx again everyone. I have a large property and a lot of the salvias you suggested sound soooo gorgeous! I hope to try each and every one one of them -- afterall nothing beats a failure but a trial ;-)

I can't *wait* til next spring! Does anyone have pictures of the salvias mentioned in your garden (I like to see pictures of the full plants).

Thanx again everyone.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 4:10PM
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also, salvia uliginosa gets 5 plus ft. tall here. withstands drought and every other bad thing that texas throws at it too. it reproduces fairly rapidly as well.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:39PM
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Really! The Bog Sage?! I'd have never, ever guessed that. I'll give it a try.



    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:12AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Uliginosa means bog-loving. It develops many stolons and spreads like mint in rich garden soils.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:48PM
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I just pulled out my uglinosa. It was too big for its space, but the blue blooms were awesome. I tried replanting it but it died :-(

It also has a funky smell.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 12:48PM
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salvialvr(Utah Zone 6)

If I was you, I'ld give S. Regla a try. start with one and see how it does in your area, I've read they're hardy in zone 7. I live in Central Tx and mine put on a spectacular show for me every fall, Right now I can barely see the leaves for all the large red flowers. The bloom period last for several weeks and since regla is a shrub, you don't have to prune it to the ground every year. It get between 4 and 6 ft tall and very bushy as well. It might be good for you to mix a few in along the line. You and your neighbors will love you for it.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Thanx salvialvr,

Actually, I just bought an planted a S. Regla. It's good to know that you think it might be a good choice for me. Thanx again for the suggesion.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 6:38PM
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