Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wild Flower Wednesda:Salvia Azurea

My favorite of favorite blue flowers~Salvia Azurea~~is not a sweet demure plant.
It can't be and survive the vagaries of weather
that Clay and Limestone has had in the last many years!
Dry summers, wet summers and always wet winters.
It needs good drainage.
Piece of cake!

It is over six foot tall,
but I recommend that you cut it back in late June
to keep it compact and bushy.
This is the do as I say, not as I do school of gardening!

So, it is more sprawling then tall right now!
But, I don't care! Look at that gorgeous blue.

Every time I pass this plant the bees scatter.
They are up at dawn nectaring.
They may even sleep on the plant.
Skippers visit it, too.

Salvia azurea goes by several names~~
Pitcher Plant, Blue Sage, Giant Blue Sage

Blue Sage is late to emerge in spring, so mark where it's planted...
You don't want to step on it like I have!
As a bonus look for seedlings sprouting.
I'm going to be transplanting the seedlings I've nurtured
to the sunny Susans bed this fall...
That means soon!

Salvia azurea is found naturally growing in North Carolina south to Florida;
west to Texas; north to Nebraska and Minnesota.

Several really good nurseries are now offering it for sale!
We are lucky aren't we!

Have a sweet weekend.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. Nathaniel Hawthorne
*rain delayed


  1. It must look splendid being so tall in the garden. I'll keep my eye open for it. It seems salvias are such workhorses in the garden and what a lovely shade of blue.

  2. Oh, the last photo nearly stopped my heart! Great capture, Gail, all the shots were good. Thanks to you this plant grows in my garden, and it is very difficult to shoot, being so tall and thin and moving in the least little breeze or bees doing jumping jacks on it. Cut it mid summer? I need to make a list of what plants to treat like that so there will be less flopping come fall. Can you help with that? We can put our heads together and maybe publish a list for everyone's benefit. :-)

  3. Tina, It is really an unbelievable blue and I have a few seeds with your name on them!

    Frances, I so wanted to get that bee clearer...but I am not as fast as they are and sitting outside without mosquito protection is not fun! Yes, let do have fun with it...I've always wanted to be published! Wait...we are!
    Blogging counts! Blue Sage and the Aster tatarica are the toughest to get in a long shot.


  4. Such great color and a bee magnet too, Gail! I wonder if it also attracts hummers? And of course I love the Hawthorne quote. I know just how he felt!

  5. I personally have never met a Salvia I didn't fall for! Great post and the photos with the bees.......priceless!

  6. oh my, there are far to many beautiful salvias to choose from. The bees seem to really love it. Over six feet, it must really be a show stopper.

  7. Hi Gail, after reading your post I googled salvia azurea and found it is a native plant to Illinois but is now very rare and endangered here. If you could possibly save me a couple seeds I would love to share them with our current restoration project.

    It is a lovely blue. I think you're right In the garden where you don't want it flopping, cutting back in June would produce more stems, more blooms and a shorter plant.

  8. It's out of my range but at least I can check it off the list in my Audubon field guide now as being seen :) AKA - Blue Salvia

    ...and who can't resist a blue flower?

  9. Gail,

    A wonderful blue salvia! I love salvias, but somehow this one hasn't found a home here, yet. I'll have to fix that next year! One can never have too many salvias (or agastache).


  10. It is a nice one! I have a whole bunch of coneflowers that need planted soon.

    I agree with Hawthorne there. Only I would like to see the sunshine...I would really like to see it.

  11. What a pretty blue! The foliage looks to be a bit on the gray/blue side...almost like Russian Sage? Nice plant.

  12. I think that blue is my favorite color. What do the flowers smell like? I bet if I can find some and put it in now, and clip it back in the spring, it will be a nice bush by this time next year.

  13. That salvia sure is a beauty. And remember, sweet and demuure plants rarely make history--HA! ;-)

  14. You would have loved th egarden I visited last week Gail, so many Salvias on display and many of them a gorgeous cornflower blue like yours.

    I love your Echinaceas in your previous post. If only mine would seed and germinate so freely, then I'd have the massed planting just like you're beginning to see with some of your other plants.

    I hope it's stopped raining so you have some time in the garden this weekend!

    Oh and many congratulatons on all your Blotanical nominations too. No surprise there and good luck :)

  15. This is beautiful, Gail! I love almost any kind of salvia, and the blue blooms of this one have to be a winner. I had no idea, though, any sage would get this tall.

    Frances mentioned on her post that you've had rains of "biblical proportions." Have you started building an ark yet?:)

  16. Blue dreams in the garden! I guess it is not hardy in my area but what a treat to see in your garden. Love that previous post on the seed sprouting in the tops of the Echinacea. Details! You enjoy your weekend also.

  17. Rose, The animals are arriving as I type this! Rumor has it that fall will make it's brilliant appearance next week!

    Marnie, I have a few extra seeds Marnie and will put them in the mail for you.

    Monica, That is perfect!

    VP, it really is a luscious blue...periwinkle is the perfect name for the blue. Thank you so much, you, too.

    JGH, It hasn't any real fragrance...like most salvia it's all in the foliage. Try Plant Delight Nursery.

    Janet, It is a luscious blue...

    Dave, I so need some sunshine~~today, the air is heavy with the imminent rain, sigh!

    Freda, I've read that this is deer proof, but...don't take my word for it!

    Wise Acre, I think you are a zone or two too cold!

    Lzyjo, It is a beauty and I think it will be stunning in the sunnier front bed!

    Darla, You must get this for your garden! it would look wonderful and the bees and butterfly will thank you!


  18. What a stunning blue, I love the shade, and the bee, perfect topping.


  19. That's really a beautiful salvia Gail. Sounds like it's quite hardy too. I'll look for it but my chances of finding it around here are not that great. But that doesn't mean I won't search it out at the nurseries in other states that I visit. :-)

  20. Gail, the ragin cajun has done much better with less water once it was established. I rooted a cutting off of the one that I posted today and it is in a more moist spot. It's growing but would be happy in more sun and less moisture.

  21. That's a lot of blue! I've never grown this plant, but I think I need to find a home for it. Good drainage I've got in spades.

  22. Great pictures of a lovely bloom! I grow alot of Salvias but have never had this one~ I must try it someday.

  23. Oh, I love it! Such a soft blue hue. I'm a big fan of salvia too. It seems to be the one of the few cottage garden style flowers that can take the Florida heat and humidity. I wish we were close, I'd love to try to start a cutting of your salvia.
    Have a great weekend!

  24. I love the blue of the salvia and the yellow of that bee! what a shot! Nice to see a Nathaniel Hawthorne quote too :-D

  25. Beautiful! I love that you added that "this is the do as I say, not as I do school of gardening!" -- sometimes it's nice to just let the plants do what they want (I do that a lot because I still have a lot to learn about pruning). Six-foot tall is impressive! Gorgeous blue -- I'll have to look for it here in TX!

  26. Such lovely fuzzy blue flowers, and great pictures!

  27. I love a tall plant, and that color--wow! I'll have to wait a few hours before I look at my two-foot sages again, or they'll know I'm wishing they were a great deal taller.

  28. Gail, a lovely post as usual! If you have a few seeds to spare, I'd love to try growing Salvia azurea.

  29. oooh, 6 feet tall, you say? I didn't realize it was that much of a giant. Wonderful. You know I like this one. I love the "do as I say, not as I do" school of gardening too. tee hee. Have a great weekend Gail.

  30. Lovely Blue Gail! I love Salvias and this one seems to have a more lavender hint ... a bit of white touches too. I love its more buxom form and your winged critter seems to have a liking for what it holds within. Great portraits! Hope your thumbs are better! Carol

  31. Gail, amazing that you caught the bee in flight for the photo. To have all that gorgeous blue in your garden must be wonderful.

  32. A stunning shade of blue and obviously very happy in your garden, Gail. Love the Hawthorne quote ... Nate's a guy after my own heart!

  33. I love the Hawthorne quote--I feel that need to be outside so strongly now. After being a virtual prisoner, inside all summer, I want to make every second count outside.

    I have been told before to cut back the Salvia, but I was never sure how far back to cut. Great photos as usual!

  34. Beautiful photos, Gail, especially that bee in flight!


  35. Love your sage. Did you say school of gardening? Wish I could remember half of what I learned.
    Scattered seeds hmmmmm....
    Your reminding me of gardening that I've been putting off and off and off...

  36. Love that blue. I will have to see if I can find some here. I really like the Salvias.

  37. this is a beautiful blue bloom. i love that the bees love it.
    your quote from mr hawthorne was just how i felt today...even though the showers were on and off just had to be outside.
    hope you are having a lovely weekend.
    happy september.

  38. Thank you all for visiting and taking time to comment...I really love reading them~~I am still babying my thumbs, for now!

    Have a great week.

  39. Gorgeous plant! I'll have to add the azurea to my shopping list. Even though I traded Salvia for Yarrow as my "favorite perennial" this year, the Salvias continue to tempt me when I see photographs like these.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson