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

Treatment for Your Backyard

I wrote not too long ago about pruning Salvias because we are in the time when most types of this
genus can be—and must be—subjected to rejuvenation pruning, i.e., lower to the ground to
encourage and develop area for new expansion in the spring.

In that column, I described the variation between the vegetation in this genus, and suggested
browsing the Bouquets by the Sea Nursery ( to investigate its on the web databases of
Salvias, organized by blossom color, bloom year, desired publicity, and other groups.

The variety of species inside this genus sales opportunities to numerous pruning priorities, as outlined in that
latest column, but it also has significant implications for landscaping selections. Salvias can be
made use of in lots of different back garden cases.

STC L KARWIN 0128 02 93223628
Hummingbird Sage, a herbaceous perennial, forms a 24 inch tall and extensive rosette with rose-red flowers and bracts appearing from late winter into spring, and even for a longer period. (Tom Karwin — Contributed)
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Pink & White Wagner’s Sage, an additional evergreen, woody shrub, blooms attractively from November to March, and grows to 60 inches tall and large. (Tom Karwin — Contributed)

This is not to recommend loading your yard with Salvias, but to take into account them as correct
alternatives for locations that you want to expand or make improvements to. Let’s overview examples that could serve
particular layout priorities. These illustrations are drawn from the Bouquets by the Sea database,
which contains quite a few supplemental choices within just about every landscaping class.


The good the vast majority of Salvias mature greatest beneath comprehensive sun or partial solar and limited humidity, but
some species prefer comprehensive shade. These involve Tree Salvia (S. arborescens), Blue Vine Sage (S. cacaliifolia), and Balkan Sage (S. forsskaoli). I have grown all these species less than partial shade,
in which they have accomplished effectively, so they look adaptable, but I may possibly transfer them to entire shade to see if
they would perform even much better.

One more publicity category is the “cloud forest” species, which advanced below the blend of
partial shade and rather significant stages of humidity. These incorporate the Chiapas Sage (S. chiapensis), the Peruvian Sage (S. discolor), and the Huge Bolivian Sage (S. dombeyi).


Most Salvias are shrubs of what I regard as moderate dimension, ranging from 3-5 toes significant
and broad, and fitting simply into most yard scenarios.

The more extreme sizes incorporate the taller- and lessen-increasing species. The taller Salvias can attain 10 ft in height. They contain the Tree Salvia (S. arborescens, presently mentioned), Karwinski’s Sage (S. Karwinski, which I expand, just due to the fact), and Big Mexican Scarlet Sage (S. gensneriiflora, which I taken out due to the fact it spreads freely).

Ground-go over Salvias, outlined mostly for the reason that they discourage weeds, include things like some cultivars
that are less than 2 feet significant. They include the popular Hummingbird Sage (S. spathacea), Bee’s
Bliss Sage (S. x ‘Bee’s Bliss’, which is a spreader), and Salmon Autumn Sage (S. greggi

Bloom season

All over again, most Salvias bloom in the summer months or in the drop, but chosen species will bloom before or
later to aid a plan for calendar year-spherical color.

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

Wintertime bloomers incorporate Purple Velvet Sage (S. confertiflora), Winter season Mexican Sage (S. holwayi),
and Wagner’s Sage (S. wagneriana’’White Bracts’ is a single of my favorites.)

Thematic Teams

Grouping relevant vegetation in the landscape in favored categories provides layout coherence and guides plant choice. The diversity of Salvias invites at the very least two alternatives for thematic grouping.

Quite a few themes concentrated on indigenous habitat could incorporate Salvias, which increase in many sections of the
earth. Lots of Salvias originated in Central and South The usa, and the southern United States,
but other species appear from Asia (China or Japan), Africa, or Europe. Look at these groups on the
Flowers by the Sea web page by clicking on “Salvias by Origin.”

Most blossom coloration themes also could contain Salvias, which arrive with blue, purple, pink
orange, pink, yellow, or even white blossoms, as perfectly as blossoms in pastel shades and leaves of
gray or silver coloration. At the exact same website, simply click on “Salvias by Shade.”

Advance Your Expertise

Now that we are previous the getaway year, garden-connected webinars are starting to be lively again.
This strategy for sharing information could turn into a typical aspect of the gardening landscape.
Electronic media is surging as choice to print media (books, magazines, catalogs, flyers, and so forth.)
Numerous webinars are absolutely free, although some require reasonable prices, primarily to offset speakers’ fees.

Wave Hill Botanical Yard, in Bronx, N.Y., has announced as addition to its 2022 Horticultural
Lecture sequence: “The Watch from Federal Twist: A New Way of Thining About Gardens, Nature,
and Ourselves,” to be presented at 3 p.m. Feb. 16. The speaker will be James Golden, creator of the yard, Federal Twist. Browse to, then click on on Discover and scroll down to Virtual Wave Hill. That webpage lists online video recordings of many past webinars.

The Back 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, author of the e book of the same title, on the operate of the 1st women who, in 1929, entered the subject of landscape architecture. To sign-up, browse to This is a rate-dependent celebration.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden will current the webinar, Agaves, Species, Hybrids, and Cultivars,” at
10 a.m. Feb. 5. The presenter will be Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents, and co-author with Jeremy Spath of an impressive new e-book with the very same title. Pay a visit to for a lot more info and to sign-up for this dwell, charge-based mostly occasion. All registrants will have just one 7 days of accessibility to a recording of the webinar.

Enrich your gardening days

With much more than 1,000 species within the Salvia genus, as well as uncounted hybrids, backyard garden planners
have a rich palette of options from which to choose. Soon after including simplicity of cultivation and
compatibility with the Monterey Bay region’s local climate, these plants invite thing to consider
every time gardeners strategy to expand or develop their gardens.

Tom Karwin is previous president of Pals of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, Monterey Bay Space
Cactus &amp Succulent Society, 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 Culture. To watch day-to-day shots from his yard, For backyard coaching facts and an archive of former On Gardening columns, check out Get hold of him with opinions or issues at

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