Pronounciation: SAL-vi-a far-in-A-ce-a
Sunset 7-10, 12-24
Landscape Use: Used as annual, or as perennial in desert areas without frost, herbaceous borders, mixed gardens, accent, mass color, and container plant.
Form & Character: Herbaceous perennial grown as an annual in the Phoenix area. Cultivated varieties are delicate, pensive, and restrained.
Growth Habit: Cultivated varieties are usually compact, 18 inches tall. However, in its native habitat it is capable of reaching 4 feet in height.
Foliage/Texture: Leaves opposite, narrow and lanceolate to 3 inches long, gray green and glabrous on adaxial side to pubescent and white on abaxial side; medium fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Multiple flower bracts colored mostly blue, some deep violet, others white all born on a terminal racemose spike. Like other salvias, fruit a small paper capsule.
Seasonal Color: Gives a color display from late summer until early spring.
Temperature: Has difficulty growing during our really high (June-August) summer heat. Best if temperatures are between 40oF and 100oF.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained soil, but plenty of organic matter will ensure best performance. Like Salvia splendens, applications of a complete fertilizer with elevated phosphorus concentrations will enhance blooming, and is usually warranted in our area.
Watering: Regular water is always needed in Phoenix for this plant to maintain luster.
Pruning: Deadhead spent flower spikes to prolong bloom period and promote new flower spikes, otherwise leave alone.
Disease and pests: Nematodes
Additional comments: Wow!! This is a really nice blue flowering garden accent bedding plant for spring and fall color in Phoenix. It can be grown in Phoenix during summer but will likely need a little protection from afternoon sun. 'Victoria', 'Victoria White', 'Strata', 'Rhea', and 'Cirrus' are superior cultivars.