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Salvias what you need to know

Salvias How to Grow and all you need to Know

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There are so many different salvias available to gardeners the genus includes about 900 species it can be daunting to know what to choose.  Flowers are tubular with a lower split petal, colours vary from electric blue, bright red and lemon yellow, purple, white and there are great bi-colour versions such as 'Hot-lips'.

 Foliage shapes and colours are also very varied but they all are scented when crushed. The Salvia covers many species from the Culinary edible sage to tender varieties which can be used as an annual would in a bedding schemes or to fill a gap in the border Tthere are many hardy herbaceous salvias too everyone should have at least one in the garden but with such choice why not have many. 

Where and How to Plant to your Salvia

All Salvias prefer full sun ideally south-facing and they will reward you with flowers lasting from mid-summer to the first frosts and they are loved by both bees and butterflies too. They are not particularly fussy about soil and will tolerate a fairly poor soil although they prefer clay. They will tolerate a coastal position and can deal with drought conditions once established.

Add some grit to the hole when planting to improve drainage, being a Mediterranean plant they do not enjoy getting their feet wet in winter.

All Salvias can be grown in containers why not grow edible species near the kitchen in a pot nothing is quite like fresh sage in a stuffing or fry the leaves until crisp and scatter over a pork chop yum!

For more tender varieties its a great idea to grow in a pot as you can move the pot into the green house or conservatory before the first frosts to protect over winter. 

Caring for your Salvia

Depending on the type of Salvia you have care will vary annual types will not overwinter you can try in the green house but generally it is best to buy new each year.

Hardy perennial types can be cut back hard in spring or autumn, all Salvias can become leggy if not pruned it really is essential to keep your plant looking at its best.

Half-hardy herbaceous are best pruned in Spring ideally after risk of frost had passed.

The general rule of thumb with pruning especially if you are unsure what Salvia you have leave pruning until Spring which will offer the plant some protection over-winter. Cut all growth off but not into the old wood cut just above where you can see new growth starting to sprout.