Sunday, 15 February 2009

Salvia...My Love;

Salvia Guarantica; blue and black flowers end of summer;

Salvia guaranitica; Cultivar black and blue; Blue Anise Sage or Anise Scented Sage is also called Brazilian Blue Sage due to its nativity in southeastern Brazil, Paraguay & northern Argentina, or Sapphire Sage for its jewel-bright blooms.

It can be sensitive to cold & can be tender in (Zone 8). It will return every year bigger & flowerier than the last. In areas where winters fall below 20 degrees F., it can still do quite well as an annual.

In Zone 9 or 10 it will not be sensitive, but may on the contrary require a bright shade location since its large leaves will be injured if conditions are actually desert like.It likes moist well-draining soil, but dislikes over watering, & can be at some risk of rotting out of the gardening during wet winters if soil drains poorly.

In a more open area where it is subject to winter rains, a winter mulch may help barrier the soil somewhat.It grows into a three or four feet tall, potentially a six foot semi-woody shubshrub if allowed to get lanky & not annually pruned.

To look its best it really needs to be cut back severely in late winter or early spring so that it will remain a bit shorter & more compact.It takes until early summer to grow back, but if the previous year's growth is left, the new growth will not be as fine, so it is not a good idea to refrain from completely cutting back whatever is left of it from winter.

The cultivar 'Black & Blue' has largish (one- to two-inch) tubular & open parrot-beak ("bilabiate") blossoms of cobalt blue with black calyces (where the regular species would be green). An "orniphilic" flower, the shape is intended foremost to be inviting to hummingbirds.

These bicolor flowers are present over a long period from mid-summer to deep into autumn, at least until first frost. Deadheading the spent flowers helps to keep it reblooming. If it per chance stops blooming before summer's end, cut it back by one-third to one-half & it will take off flowering anew. The persistence of its flowering is one of its great assets.The attractive round pointed foliage is usually a dark even green, but occasionally a paler green. The leaves are so sweet-scented it has almost the scent of candy, hence the common name anise sage, though the scent is not really anise-like, it's more of a candied sage. It takes only a slight brushing into it in order to release its wondrous odor.

Spreading with rhizomes over time the clump can spread to three feet wide. Large clumps can be divided in spring. Or starts can be made from softwood cuttings in spring, or ripening summer cuttings, or from terminal cuttings from any month of the growing seasons.It needs the fullest sun exposure to flower its best; it'll be lanky & tip over if it experiences much shade, but will still bloom. A light slow-release fertilizing in early spring is enough.

Believe it or not:
"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."


Photos T.S.


guild-rez said...

Just beautiful ..
One of my favorite Salvias! I love it and so do the Hummingbirds! Very beautiful in bloom! Beautiful blue color! It's an annual for me in zone 6a and I get new plants each year. Do your plants have any seeds??
- Cheers Gisela

guild-rez said...

Pls. visit my blog to look at the large moth picture from Samana DR.
Is it a Trictena atripalpis, Rain Moth or Waikerie??
Cheers Gisela

Janie said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful flowers, and interesting information about their growth.

Sue said...

I planted black and blue for the first time last summer, but it is considered an annual here. I hope it reseeds.

You did an excellent job with your photography. I had trouble getting good pics of mine.

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

Very nice photo of a plant that I love. Nice blog too. :)

Titania said...

Gisela, thank your for your visit. Yes they do seed but most of the time I make cuttings to pop in straight away.

Thanks Janie for your comment.

Sue, good to hear from you. You are right, it is very hard to capture the right colour of this Salvia. It is such an intensive blue together with the black, it seems I never get it just right. I try different times of the day when the light is a little more diffused.

Thank you Gail for your visit.

Darla said...

I so need to try this salvia. Great post.

ingrid said...

Ein wunderbares Blau, das in mir schon die Lust auf den kommenden Sommer weckt. Aber noch sind die Schneeglöckchen unter dem Schnee
Herzliche Grüße

marie-louise said...

Those blue and black flowers are really stunning - expect me for some cuttings!!! Love ML

RuneE said...

I don't know anything about "zones", but I don't need that to appreciate these.

Frances said...

Hi Titania, this is one of my favorite plants. I find it very hard to get a clear photo, you have done a great job! In our zone 7a, it dies back to the ground and is late to emerge in spring, but will be blooming by late summer. It has spread in the area and never needs staking here. It took several tries to get one going, but was worth the effort!

Kerri said...

Trudy, I'm in love with Salvias too, but haven't had any luck getting one to bloom yet. I need to get the plants in the ground earlier.
Yours is a beautiful colour and your photos are wonderful.
We have bright sunshine here today, but cold temps.
Have a wonderful day!

Sunita said...

What a beautiful shade of blue on those salvias. did you know that here we treat salvias as winter flowers? I suppose the rest of the year is too hot and sultry for them.

Titania said...

Ingrid, lange wird's nicht mehr dauern, wenn der Februar vorbei ist, muss meistens Herr Frost den kuerzeren ziehen.

Marie-Louise, come and get it...

Thanks Rune for your visit.

Thank you Frances for your comment. Your Salvia must be in the perfect spot.

Thank you Kerri for your visit. Pop one in in early spring, the colour of this one is very dark. It is hard to get it right with the camera.

Sunita, thank you for stopping by. It is nice to have some flowering plants in winter as well!

Janie said...

Congratulations on your 49 years of marriage! Hope you had a wonderful valentine's day.

MedaM said...

Oh, Salvia, the flower that my mother love very much but I like it too. We use to have it in our garden but in red color. That blue is great.
I like your quotes very much and I say that I believe it.

easygardener said...

I've not seen that particular Salvia before - it's a lovely combination of colours. I have lost 4 ordinary S. guarantica over the years. Even in a pot it fades away. I'm obviously doing something wrong. I must try it again because the colour is superb.

Denise said...

Hi Titania, what a lovely flower, such a beautiful color. I enjoyed your post very much and your photos were super. Thank you.

Elfe said...

So beautiful! The salvia I love too. I have a salvia officinalis in my small garden and when it blossoms all the bees come to have their tasty meal *smile*.
Yes I believe you, this is a wise conclusion, believe it or not.

Good morning Titania and have a nice day!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

This is a great post - Salvia black and blue is something that is on my "must have" list so thank you for all the useful information.
Our biggest problem here will be wet winters :(

Rowena said...

:sigh: okay...blogger seems to have swallowed my comment as I just received an error message. But anyway...I love the color of the blossoms. They look like something I'd want for a scarf or handbag!

HappyMouffetard said...

That is a very dramatic and beautiful Salvia.