Tom Karwin, On Gardening | Landscaping with Salvias – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Treatment for Your Backyard garden

I wrote recently about pruning Salvias simply because we are in the season when most kinds of this
genus can be—and should really be—subjected to rejuvenation pruning, i.e., slice to the ground to
stimulate and build place for new growth in the spring.

In that column, I stated the variation among the plants in this genus, and suggested
checking out the Bouquets by the Sea Nursery ( to examine its on the internet databases of
Salvias, structured by blossom colour, bloom time, favored exposure, and other types.

The range of species inside of this genus leads to numerous pruning priorities, as outlined in that
recent column, but it also has major implications for landscaping choices. Salvias can be
utilised in several unique garden situations.

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Hummingbird Sage, a herbaceous perennial, kinds a 24 inch tall and huge rosette with rose-purple flowers and bracts appearing from late winter into spring, and even for a longer time. (Tom Karwin — Contributed)
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Pink & White Wagner’s Sage, one more evergreen, woody shrub, blooms attractively from November to March, and grows to 60 inches tall and broad. (Tom Karwin — Contributed)

This is not to propose loading your backyard with Salvias, but to look at them as appropriate
alternatives for places that you desire to increase or increase. Let’s evaluation examples that could serve
certain style and design priorities. These examples are drawn from the Flowers by the Sea database,
which consists of many supplemental possibilities inside of each individual landscaping group.


The great majority of Salvias develop best less than complete sunshine or partial sunshine and restricted dampness, but
some species want complete shade. These consist of Tree Salvia (S. arborescens), Blue Vine Sage (S. cacaliifolia), and Balkan Sage (S. forsskaoli). I have developed all these species under partial shade,
in which they have accomplished perfectly, so they look adaptable, but I could transfer them to comprehensive shade to see if
they would execute even greater.

Another publicity category is the “cloud forest” species, which evolved beneath the mix of
partial shade and relatively superior stages of humidity. These include the Chiapas Sage (S. chiapensis), the Peruvian Sage (S. discolor), and the Big Bolivian Sage (S. dombeyi).


Most Salvias are shrubs of what I regard as moderate measurement, ranging from 3-5 ft high
and vast, and fitting conveniently into most backyard predicaments.

The a lot more extraordinary dimensions consist of the taller- and reduce-rising species. The taller Salvias can access 10 ft in height. They involve the Tree Salvia (S. arborescens, previously described), Karwinski’s Sage (S. Karwinski, which I increase, just for the reason that), and Significant Mexican Scarlet Sage (S. gensneriiflora, which I taken off simply because it spreads freely).

Ground-address Salvias, listed mostly since they discourage weeds, include things like some cultivars
that are under 2 ft superior. They involve the well known Hummingbird Sage (S. spathacea), Bee’s
Bliss Sage (S. x ‘Bee’s Bliss’, which is a spreader), and Salmon Autumn Sage (S. greggi

Bloom year

All over again, most Salvias bloom in the summertime or in the tumble, but chosen species will bloom previously or
afterwards to guidance a plan for 12 months-round colour.

Spring bloomers include Friendship Sage (S. Armistad), Sacred White Sage (S. apiana), and
Mountain Sage (S. microphylla, various cultivars).

Winter season bloomers contain Red Velvet Sage (S. confertiflora), Winter Mexican Sage (S. holwayi),
and Wagner’s Sage (S. wagneriana’’White Bracts’ is a person of my favorites.)

Thematic Teams

Grouping associated plants in the landscape in desired types provides design and style coherence and guides plant range. The diversity of Salvias invites at the very least two options for thematic grouping.

Several themes concentrated on indigenous habitat could include things like Salvias, which increase in several components of the
world. Numerous Salvias originated in Central and South The us, and the southern United States,
but other species come from Asia (China or Japan), Africa, or Europe. Perspective these teams on the
Bouquets by the Sea web-site by clicking on “Salvias by Origin.”

Most blossom colour themes also could incorporate Salvias, which arrive with blue, purple, purple
orange, pink, yellow, or even white blossoms, as well as blossoms in pastel shades and leaves of
grey or silver shade. At the identical site, click on on “Salvias by Colour.”

Progress Your Awareness

Now that we are previous the holiday break year, garden-relevant webinars are becoming lively yet again.
This method for sharing information could turn into a standard element of the gardening landscape.
Digital media is surging as choice to print media (publications, publications, catalogs, flyers, and so on.)
Lots of webinars are totally free, whilst some call for reasonable charges, primarily to offset speakers’ charges.

Wave Hill Botanical Yard, in Bronx, N.Y., has announced as addition to its 2022 Horticultural
Lecture collection: “The Look at from Federal Twist: A New Way of Thining About Gardens, Mother nature,
and Ourselves,” to be offered at 3 p.m. Feb. 16. The speaker will be James Golden, creator of the garden, Federal Twist. Browse to, then click on on Explore and scroll down to Digital Wave Hill. That webpage lists video clip recordings of various earlier webinars.

The Backyard garden Conservancy will present the webinar, The Northwest Gardens of Lord &amp Schryver, at 11 a.m. Feb. 10. The presenter will be Valencia Libby, writer of the guide of the identical title, on the do the job of the first ladies who, in 1929, entered the industry of landscape architecture. To sign-up, browse to This is a charge-dependent celebration.

The Ruth Bancroft Back garden will present the webinar, Agaves, Species, Hybrids, and Cultivars,” at
10 a.m. Feb. 5. The presenter will be Jeff Moore, operator of Solana Succulents, and co-creator with Jeremy Spath of an outstanding new book with the similar title. Pay a visit to for far more facts and to register for this reside, rate-dependent celebration. All registrants will have a single week of accessibility to a recording of the webinar.

Enrich your gardening days

With more than 1,000 species inside the Salvia genus, in addition uncounted hybrids, back garden planners
have a loaded palette of options from which to choose. After together with ease of cultivation and
compatibility with the Monterey Bay region’s climate, these vegetation invite consideration
whenever gardeners plan to grow or produce their gardens.

Tom Karwin is previous president of Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, Monterey Bay Location
Cactus &amp Succulent Culture, and Monterey Bay Iris Society, and a Life span UC Learn Gardener (Licensed 1999–2009). He is now a board member and backyard garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Modern society. To view day-to-day pictures from his back garden, For backyard coaching details and an archive of previous On Gardening columns, take a look at Get hold of him with remarks or concerns at

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