Help..salvias for East Texas zone 8a

ginnypenny(East TXZ8)December 18, 2009

Help, I'd love to plant some salvias on the farm in the Tyler area...Zone 8a. I live on a sand hill, have both full sun and partial to full shade. Trees are mostly oak, pine and sweetgum. The problem here is the summer temps of 100 plus July through Aug.

I have no real preference for colors, but want to promote hummers and butterflies. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

There are a lot of xeric Mexican sages you can plant, including Salvia melissodora and S. keerli, which will draw your butterflies and other insect wings (bumblebees, even wasps).

I'd recommend any of the 3 or 4 available forms of Salvia regla, and many of the S. microphylla and S. greggii forms and hybrids (this includes x jamensis). I'd also explore their relatives like S. chamaedryoides, muelleri, lycioides (especially greggii hybrids), and coahuilensis.

You must have fire ants. Dou you also have pine voles? If not, there are a bunch of tuberous sages that should work, including many of the guaraniticas, involucratas (including puberulas)

Try Salvia disjuncta Strybing form, S. reptans, west Texas form, S. roemeriana, S. penstemonoides, and many of the S. leucanthas and S. mexicanas.

S. vanhouttei forms like Dancing Flames are probably not hardy, but are good bloomers.

The broad-leafed ones should go into the shady areas. If you have any dampish spots there (relatively speaking), there are a few others like S. miniata and the S. blepharophyllas.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 10:39PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I live in Central Texas on a limestone hill and , salvias can take the heat. Some you can put out in the blazing sun and others do apreciate some shade in the afternoon or morning. All of Rich's are good. I grow many of them. He left out S. madrensis (yellow under a tree) and S. darcyi, amd s. chiquita, our wild S. farenacea and s. Azures var grandiflora. Fire ants don't seem to bother my salvias. Salvias are very easy to grow from seed. So many that will grow here. Enough to make your head spin. S.chionophylla........ As for hummers, S. regla gets a great many visitations in my yard. Butterflies love the greggii and especially love the S. chiquita. Both of these will like the drainage of your sandy soil.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:26AM
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ginnypenny(East TXZ8)

Thanks to both of you. Yep, we have fire ants, but to the best of my knowledge no pine voles. We do have some regular moles. I'm going to goggle the suggestions and am sure I'll go with several you two have suggested.

Should I want til spring to do the actual planting? Or will that depend on the type I choose?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 2:15AM
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Salvia azurea should work great I have collected it over
toward Woodville(Vidor area) .Salvia guarnitica would be a good plant for you. Both of these will take the higher Rain fall you get over there. Mexicana,farinacea does well up in Dallas metroplex area,S x Mystic Spires ,S x Indigo Spires,S. coccinea and S.vanhouteii and miniata(this last two will be annuals for you. I would also ask if you are on Clay or sand in your part of the woods? Yes you should wait until spring just so you can get your plants w/color and it does matter which one you choose. S. regla may be a little hard to find at your local

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 6:13AM
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ginnypenny(East TXZ8)

Thanks Art, I'm on sand. I've amended the beds as I plant with compost and top soil. I've got lots and lots of pine straw, oak and sweetgum leaves to compost.

This will give me lots of time to check out all the wonderful salvias and to dream.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 10:36AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

I mentioned fire ants because I thought both moles and pine voles would avoid those areas, especially in sandy soils.

Pine voles will eat the tubers of Salvias.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:25PM
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ginnypenny(East TXZ8)

yeah, anything smart will avoid fire ants!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:38PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Some of us do have seeds for the salvias we mentioned also.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 4:38PM
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ginnypenny(East TXZ8)

That'd be great grandson's favorite word..I've never tried starting with seeds, but am willing to try..With the help I keep getting on this forum, am sure I do it. anywone that want to send me some, email me at with information.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 5:47PM
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