Salvia is definitely one of my favorite garden plant genera. There are just so many colors and shapes to choose from when picking a salvia plant. These plants are hardy and the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love them. It’s a great pollinator plant. Here are some of my favorites from my garden. All salvias mentioned below are perennial in my zone 7b.
Mexican salvia – Salvia leucantha
These purple and white flowers are fuzzy! Who could ask for more? They get about 3-4 feet tall and are bush-like. Perennial. Tolerant of a variety of soils but does not like wet feet. Read more about Salvia leucantha.
Coral nymph – Salvia coccinea
These guys were a volunteer in my garden this past year, but I love the color. Bicolor blooms of coral and white on shorter 2 foot spikes. They bloom for a long time and prefer full sun and good drainage.
Hot Lips Salvia – Salvia mycrophylla
These shrub-like sages are a favorite of the hummingbirds at my house. They get to be about 3-3.5 feet tall and equally as wide. They grow in a shrub-like form and are perennial. Some of the flowers are pure red, some are red and white. They flower profusely. Full sun and well-drained soil.
Indigo spires salvia
Purple/blue flowers on tall spikes. Can be grown in part shade or full sun (prefers well-drained soil). In full sun, this plant can get very tall! The one in my backyard in full sun gets almost 6 feet tall and the bees love it! This photo is from the one in my front yard that is in part shade. It is only about 3.5-4 feet tall but the bees love it too.
Black and Blue Salvia and Blue Anise Sage- Salvia guaranitica
This beautiful dark blue flower is a favorite of hummingbirds in my yard. They perch on plants close by and guard them from each other. There is often a lot of aerial acrobats going on around these in the summer. Again, these are full sun and prefer well-drained soil. However, they can tolerate part shade and some moist soil – as long as they don’t sit in it for too long. These are another tall salvia – reaching heights of about 3-4 feet. Less bush-like than the hot lips salvia and not nearly as wide as the indigo spires.
Pineapple sage – Salvia elegans
The scent of the pineapple sage leaves when crushed is a bit like a pineapple – fresh and citrusy. The bright red flowers are a stunning addition to any garden and they last until fall. In particular, cloudless sulphur butterflies seem to really enjoy this plant as they migrate.
This plant grows about 4 or 5 feet tall and equally wide. It grows best in full sun and is hardy in zones 8 to 10.