Salvia Plant: Perennial plants with colorful vibrant flowers

Salvia Plant: Perennial plants with colorful  vibrant  flowers
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Image by Phuchong Thawputchong from Pixabay

Salvia Plants are easy to grow flowering plants and a great addition to gardens that wants a splash of vibrant colors. They are easy to maintain and requires very little care.

Quick Details of Salvia Plant

Other Common NamesSalvia, Sage
TypeOutdoor flowering plants
MaintenanceLow
FloweringSpring -summer
LightBright direct sunlight.
WaterMostly drought resistant plant. Water when the soil is dry.
TemperatureWarm humid conditions.
SoilWell draining loamy soil
FertilizerA balanced fertilizer
HabitatAmerica and Asia
ToxicityNil
Common DiseasesRoot rot, leaf spot, blight and powdery mildew
Scientific nameSalvia officinalis

Salvia Buying Instructions

  • Buy a healthy Salvia plant
  • Buy a bushy plant
  • Salvia comes in multiple varieties so buy the plant of your choice and need.

Overview of Salvia Plant

They are annual or perennial shrubs belonging to Lamiaceae family. These plants are native to America, Asia and Mediterranean regions. The plants can grow up to a height of 4 feet tall. The leaves are dark green color, heart shaped, velvety, pinnately arranged and can have an entire margin. The flowers are borne in spikes, are tubular and bloom in colors of blue, red, orange, purple, white and yellow. The blooming period for these plants are from spring to summer. The blooming period depends up on the climatic conditions of the region as well. The salvia leaves produces a pungent smell that can keep most of the pests at bay. However, the flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. Some of the commonly grown varieties are:

  • Scarlet Sage: Has red color flowers.
  • Alba: White flowers.
  • Peruvian Sage: The flowers are purple in color. The leaves have a grayish green shade at the top and white at the underside.
  • Pineapple sage: The leaves have fragrance similar to that of pineapple. The flowers are red and edible.
  • Autumn Sage: Different color flowers.
Salvia Plant

Usage and Advantage of Salvia

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • Some species are used as herbs.

General Care for Salvia

Soil

They thrive in a well draining sandy or loamy rich garden soil

Water

The Salvia plants are drought resistant and do not require much water. Eater the plants ones a week or when the soil gets dry.

Sunlight

The plants thrive in bright direct sunlight. Provide them with at least 5-7 hours of bright direct sunlight . They grow even in partial shade but blooming reduces.

Temperature

They are drought tolerant and can also tolerate heat. These plants prefer warm humid conditions. They come under stress when the temperature starts to fall.

Special Care

Mulch the soil every spring to retain moisture and to increase the organic content of the soil. Deadhead the dying flowers to encourage blooming. The plants can be pruned back to 1/4 its height ones blooming period is over. Prune back any woody stem that develops from the base of the plant.

Fertilization

These plants do not require much feeding. A balanced fertilizer/ manure can be added to the soil before planting or while the plants start to bloom.

Pests and other problems for Salvia

Excess moisture in the soil and on the surface of the plant can attract pathogens causing root rot, leaf spot, blight and powdery mildew. Provide enough space between the plants for proper aeration. Do not over water the plants and avoid overhead watering. In case of uncontrolled spread use a fungicide/neem oil or remove the infected area immediately.

Root rot

Root rot is a fungal diseases infecting the roots of the plant. The seedlings or the mature plants can get infected. The roots turn brown, the leaves start to turn yellow and wilt. The growth of the plant is affected and can also lead to immature death. Mostly happens when the soil has excess moisture or due to lack of proper drainage.

Botrytis

It is a fungal disease that can affect the flowers, buds, leaves and stem. The plants get infected usually when they do not ample amount of sunlight or are placed in spots with high humidity. The infected leaves, flowers, stem or buds develop gray molds.

Damping off

It is a fungal disease seen mostly in plants grown from seeds. The fungal infection is seen in plants grown under excess moisture and where the air circulation is less. The soil with high nitrogen content also attracts these fungus. The healthy seedlings suddenly wilt and die.

Powdery mildew

These fungal pathogens mostly attract the plants grown in high humid conditions. A white or gray powdery mold appears on the surface of the leaves which spreads throughout the leaf. The leaf turns yellow, curl, wilt and die.

They can also attract pests like whiteflies, aphids, slugs, mealy bugs. In case of pest attack, force spray water or use a mild insecticide/ pesticide or soap solution.

Propagation of Salvia

The plants are propagated mostly through seeds or cuttings.

Prepare the soil before sowing the seeds. Till the soil properly to at least 12 inches deep and add compost or manure to maintain the nutrients in the soil. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep into the soil and water them thoroughly. Provide the with ample amount of sunlight to encourage germination.

The propagation through cuttings is another method. Prepare the soil or use a fertile potting mix. Chop a 4-6 inch long cutting from a healthy growing tip preferably the one without any flower stalk. Remove the leaves from the base of the cutting. Use a rooting hormone to initiate root formation by dipping the tip in to a rooting hormone. Plant the cuttings in the potting mix or directly to the ground. Water them regularly. Cover the cuttings with a poly bag and leave it in shade.

reema shaju

reema shaju

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