Salvia longispicata x farinacea. This impressive Salvia was a show stopper in our field trials, with tall spikes of true blue flowers that attracted bumble bees and other bees from mid-summer to the first frost. It bloomed right into late October in our trials. The deep green foliage beneath the flowers is thick and lush and totally trouble free. Big Blue Salvia is an interspecific hybrid, and the first of its type to flower from seed in the first year. No deadheading or further care is needed. It performs best in full sun, but will tolerate dappled shade, and grows 60-90cm (24-36") tall in beds or large containers. Space the burly, drought tolerant plants 40-45cm (16-18") apart.
Annual - can be grown as a perennial with winter protection
Salvia is a close relative of conventional sage, but is grown for its handsome blue flowers rather than as a culinary herb. It is a long-blooming member of the mint family. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Salvia from seed.
Salvia longispicata x farinacea
Easy but slow
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun – some afternoon shade is appreciated
Zone: Hardy to Zone 8 given frost protection. Otherwise grown as an annual.
Start indoors late winter to early spring. Transplant out or direct sow starting two weeks after the last frost date. Starting indoors may be more reliable, particularly if using bottom heat and maintaining optimal soil temperature at 15-21°C (60-70°F). Seeds should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks.
Sow seeds 3mm (1/8″) deep, and keep soil just moist, not wet. Thin to 40-45cm (16-18") apart.
Prior to transplanting, work the soil to a depth of 30cm (12") to improve drainage. If transplanting to a container, add a quantity of grit or perlite to achieve the same end.