Salvia is a popular flowering plant for urban gardens. With a combination of over 700 annual and perennial species, there’s a type of salvia out there for everyone.
They can prolifically reseed themselves, like the ones in the photo at left. These are growing in the cut out area of a sidewalk around the installation of a telephone pole. They most likely blew in from the cultivated salvia growing in a flower bed a couple houses down the street.
Although I don’t know the variety of this particular salvia, it is most likely one of the tender perennial varieties that are treated as annuals in temperate regions.
Salvia do best in full sun. Obviously they’re not fussy about their soil, only that it should be well drained.
If you’re planting salvia, you can direct seed it right in the garden in late spring. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Do not cover; press them in gently with your hand. Mist lightly after you plant them and then mist daily to keep them moist until they germinate.
You can also propagate them by root division, which is best done in spring.
They’re also one of the most popular bedding plants found at garden centers and farmer’s markets every spring.
Space salvia 10 to 20 inches apart, depending on the size at maturity of the variety you’re planting.
Although the red variety of salvia is planted most often, the purple variety provides a cool contrast to the hot reds, oranges and yellows of most summer-blooming flowers. And it reseeds itself.