Red Salvia is # 3 – in the top Ten Heat Resistant plants for the Arizona garden

Multitudes of people love Salvia.  These Salvia plants, better known as Sage or SCARLET sage, are indigenous to nearly all continents.

Most varieties of Salvia are heat resistant and drought tolerant along with providing colorful flowers that bloom lavishly.

Salvia varieties of sage
Red Salvia sage in pots, containers
drought tolerant red salvia
Red Sage, Scarlet Sage plants in containers

This plant is easy to grow and Salvias furnish over 900 species; offering amazing potential for your garden!  The lush green leaves of the Salvia plant are so attractive that this Sage looks handsome even when not in bloom.

heat tolerant plant salvia
growing salvia

Salvia is a member of the Lamiaceae or Labiatae family; the MINT family.  Hot temperatures are a considerable concern for our Arizona gardens and Red Salvia loves the heat!

Salvia splendens, Salvia coccinea, Salvia darcyi, Red Salvia, or commonly referred to as Scarlet Sage are hardy, impressive plants and our favorite choice because of their lovely red blooms.   These Red Salvia are not edible like the sage in your kitchen.

red salvia in container
growing Salvia in a pot

Like most Salvia, the fragrant foliage is deer and small critter-resistant.  One of our Scarlet Sage, RED SALVIA, gardens is growing in the open desert and available to all wildlife.  In the past several years, we can report that our desert sage was devoured 1 time by JAVELINA but has been left alone ever since.  Most likely the Salvia made them ill.

red salvia darci
red salvia is a heat resistant plant

A location with full sun is the best choice for most salvia varieties but some are shade tolerant.  Our Salvia located in part shade did not make it through the winter; on the other hand, the salvia plants in sunny locations come back year after year.

squirrel proof plants salvia
Salvia sage plants are critter proof

When the flowers are spent the Salvia will self-sow its seeds! Take a look at the photo below. No worries about Salvia being intrusive:  you can easily transplant the seedlings or share them with friends.  Simply pull up your unwanted plants.

baby salvia seedlings
salvia seeds itself

Sometimes called Autumn Sage, Red Salvia blooms continually from spring through fall. A garden plant “must have” that is perennial and hardy in Tucson and Phoenix.

Arizona red salvia in a pot
growing salvia in containers

Can you grow Salvia in pots and containers?  Absolutely! We have several different pots with gorgeous Scarlet Sage blooming throughout the yard.  Our favorite color of Salvia for our garden is red but many cultivars offer pastel blooms such as pinks and blues.

The main difference with growing Salvia in containers is:  1)  the plants need to be watered more often      2)  several of the small shrubs needed replaced after winter

red salvia in Arizona
salvia, Scarlet Sage plants in containers

The abundant showy flowers produce a good amount of nectar making them attractive to hummingbirds and some people have named salvia: HUMMINGBIRD SAGE.

red salvia plant seeds for finches
salvia plants attract small birds

Goldfinches and other birds visit the Salvia plant to pick out the tiny brown seeds hidden in the calyces.

garden plants to attract birds
birds eat salvia seeds

Deadheading Salvia encourages more blooms and more birds!  It can be so fun watching the Goldfinches pick out the seeds.  Salvia plants can get pretty tall and unshapely.  Prune the salvia stalks back for fresh growth and new blooms!  We trim often to keep a fuller shrub and nice shape.

red salvia desert garden plant
salvia, Red Hot Sally Sage varieties
colors of salvia heat resistant plants
red and blue salvia plants

Hardy Salvia has been a jewel in our garden and definitely worth a try. 🙂

desert plant with red flowers
Red Salvia, Salvia darcyi

 

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New baby Javelinas – pig like desert animals

Javelinas have no defined breeding season; therefore you can enjoy newborns all year!  Collared Peccary, Javelinas, most often give birth to twins.  These adorable babies called reds, because of their color, are able to travel with the peccary herd just a few hours after birth.  Newborn javelinas are precocial – able to move freely from birth.

newborn javelina
newborn javelina, collared peccary

Adult grown javelinas do not have many predators other than a mountain lion, but the babies may become prey to hawks, coyotes, and bobcats.

reds, newborn pig like javelina
desert javelina in Arizona
arizona wild pigs - collard peccary
adult javelina with her two babies

Unlike other animals, the javelina does not lick the offspring at birth, but rolls or tumbles it in the dirt.  Newborns weigh in at only one pound.  A baby javelina must be pretty tough to be born and then rolled in the dirt!

collard peccary with pig like babies
desert javelina give birth to twins
baby desert wild pig javelinas
newborn javelinas animals
young javelina reds
baby javelina – desert pig like animals

Javelinas nurse their babies for six to eight weeks.

javelina nursing her young
javelina nursing her young

It will take about 3 months for the reds, baby javelinas, to gain the salt and pepper look of adult collared peccaries.  The young javelina reach adult height in 10 months and both sexes are mature.

For more information and javelina facts:    http://tjsgarden.com/2012/11/17/arizona-javelina-pig-like-collard-peccary/

Because Javelinas breed throughout the year, have early maturity, and the ability to have two litters per year… collared peccary are considered as having the greatest reproductive potential of any North American big game mammal.

 

Arizona Javelina, collard peccary – are pig like desert dwellers

What looks like a gray wild boar in AZ and TX?  Javelina – hairy, smelly and oh so adorable!  

Javelina look like wild pigs but they are actually in the genus Pecari and members of the Tayassuidae family.  One way to tell the difference between pigs and peccaries is by the shape of the canine tooth, or tusk.  In pigs, the tusk is long and curves.  In javelinas the tusk is straight.  Collared peccaries have large tusks that sharpen when the mouth opens and closes with which they can slash a predator or unsuspecting human.

Javelinas originated from South America but are common in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.   In the United States javelina are found mainly in the southwest.

Javelina with raised hair
Javelina with raised hair

The photo above is a javelina in our Arizona driveway who was not happy with me taking his picture.  See the hairs standing up on his back!

These pig like mammals are grayish, black with a faint white band of coarse hair around the shoulders.  The “collar”.   Collared Peccary are compact and weigh up to 60 pounds with dainty three-toed hooves. 

javelina with baby
javelina with baby called a red.

The word Javelina,  comes from the Spanish word javelin which means spear, referring to their long, pointed canine teeth.  Javelina moms are very protective of their young and will charge if they feel any threat.  When anyone in our area sees a herd of collard peccary with young we turn around and go the other way to keep out of danger!  Javelina can run up to 25 miles per hour.

Baby javelina are born year round but most often from November to March.  The newborn javelinas are reddish-brown and so cute!!  Newborns are called reds.  The average life span of the javelina is 7 1/2 years.

arizona wild pig eats cactus
Collared Peccary, Javelina in the southwest

Their diet consists mainly of prickly pear cactus.  Javelina kidneys are very efficient and filter out oxalic acid found in the cactus.  Collard peccary are omnivores that eat mesquite beans, tubers, seeds, insects and garbage.

Arizona Javelina
Arizona Javelina collared peccary

These omnivores have poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell. The javelinas around our desert neighborhood know exactly when the trash cans will be placed out for pickup!

collard peccary
Javelina look like wild pigs

Collard peccaries are expert desert-dwellers.  They like to forage in social groups during the early morning and evening, then sleep in the shade of mesquite trees during the hottest time of the day.  Javelinas will roll around in water and mud to keep cool.

To enjoy more newborn javelinas – http://tjsgarden.com/2013/01/01/newborn-baby-javelinas-arizona/

baby desert wild pig
baby javelina – collared peccary

Often you may smell a javelina before you see it!  They have a musk gland at the base of their rump that they use to mark trees, rocks and even each other with a sharp scent similar to a skunk.  This scent allows individual javelinas to keep in contact with the herd.

herd of javelina
herd of javelina

Javelina herds rely on each other to defend territory and protect against predators.

Natural predators of javelina are dogs, coyotes and mountain lions.  Arizona game hunters also target javelina.  Personally,  I enjoy their funny demeanor and I like to let them do their piggy thing in peace. 🙂