Salvia barrelieri

We love North African Sage from the higher elevations of Morocco it performs beautifully in our climate. A rosette of low large sage green leaves is your first clue that this is a cool species. In summer 4′ spikes in whorls of blue and white flowers are spectacular. The blooms last a long time (6-8 weeks) and are awesome for cutting and including in huge, wild flower arrangements. Forms large clumps in time and there will be more and more flowers. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to establish after which light to little summer water is necessary in our climate. Very easy to grow and cold hardy. May self sow in open disturbed sites. Great Salvia but surprisingly difficult to find.

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Salvia x ‘Silke’s Dream’

Brilliant and tall and hardy (!) Salvia that blooms continuously from late June usually up until frost. Large spikes of large tubular flowers are a curious hue. We’ve decided on Melon Red. How’s that for marketing? Other people say orange and still others scream red. The picture we have is the true color. To 30″ tall from a woody base. Not a real dense plant- kind of airy actually and benefits by having a more handsome plant in front. Hummingbirds die for this plant. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun with regular summer water. If it gets tired looking in mid summer simply give it a hair cut and water it and boom! Back at ’em. Do not cut back the plant in fall or winter- that will make it much less hardy to cold. Instead remove dead top growth when new growth emerges- usually around mid-April. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.

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Salvia x ‘Christine Yeo’

Very good Salvia that blooms non-stop medium purple flowers for months in summer well into autumn. Tall growing to 3′ and somewhat wispy. A possible hybrid with the blue flowered Salvia chamaedryoides. Hummingbirds love this free blooming hardy perennial. Freezes to the ground below the mid 20’s. Returns from the base in spring. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun. Drainage in winter is the key. Add some pumice and gravel to the planting hole and water consistently to this plant good and established. Do not cut back in the spring until you actually see new growth pushing. Then remove all the dead material. Regains stature quickly in spring.

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Salvia ‘San Carlos Festival’

Always on the lookout for cold and wet tolerant Salvias, this one has been a winner. Forms a woody structure topped by lush light green foliage. Beginning in July and continuing until frost hot magenta pink flowers appear again and again. Loved by hummingbirds  and all sorts of pollinators. Incredibly long blooming plant that gets by on a minimum amount of water each summer. Very well drained rich soil. Regular summer water speeds growth and makes a bigger plant that is ultimately hardier to cold. Laughs at the reflected heat of hellstrips. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Regenerates from the roots following a hard winter. Cut back in early spring after all danger of frost has passed. Faithful deep soaks will propel it to bloom well into autumn.

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Salvia muelleri

This purple flowered royal sage has impressed us for years with its hardiness to cold, true purple flowers and tolerance of cold winter wet. A loose spreading perennial that adorns its tips with royal purple flower from June to frost. Never dense it prefers full hot sun and very well drained soils and light but consistent summer water. To 18″ tall by 2′ wide in time. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. It needs a woody framework of branches to protect the overwintering crown. Takes blasting hot conditions. Moderate deer resistance. Very long blooming perennial that doesn’t flinch at heat and drought. The royal purple flowers are held in black calyxes. Excellent on slopes. Some wonderful companions are Epilobium (Zauschneria) septentrionalis ‘Select Mattole’ and Cuphea cyanea ‘hirtella’. Long lived perennial.

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Salvia x ‘Playa Rosa’

A chance seedling in our nursery has yielded a stupendous semi shrubby incredibly long blooming Salvia. Large soft lavender pink flowers are born en masse on a the 2′ x 2′ woody frame this plant produces in rich, well drained soil in a hot position. The flowers begin in May and continue through summer- including during the hottest temperatures (good job!) Loved by hummingbirds  butterflies and savvy gardeners. Seems to relish reflected heat + sharp drainage. Light summer water. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Salvia cohuilensis ‘Nuevo Leon’

This may be a simple species but since we acquired it with this cultivar name I am loathe to change it until I am perfectly sure. A hardy long blooming Salvia that can become fairly woody with time but also spreads underground by stolons to form expanding patches. Full sun, very well drained rich soil with regular summer water. Thrives in the reflected heat of the hellstrip. To 1′ tall and 2′ wide in 5 years. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. Flowers are deep purple/blue and appear from spring to autumn taking a break during 100ºF stretches. Aromatic foliage. Hummingbird favorite. Light summer water.’

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