Red, Salvia darcyi, survived well through the desert winter months that hit in the mid 30’s and does superb in the high heat as long as it is watered everyday! It is a thirsty plant during these temperatures of 100 degrees or more. I recommend larger pots than the ones I used.
This is by far the MOST hardy, successful flower in my Arizona Garden! This perennial Salvia will generally grow from between eighteen inches and thirty-six inches, yet there are some that are much smaller. Mine is averaging about 20 -22 inches. The red salvia in the picture is a young plant that actually started from a fallen seed. The photo above is just after I pruned the finished red flowers. From having Salvia (red and blue) for over 2 years now I have learned it is best to trim them quite far down the stem to gain a thicker shrub. Best of all this flowering plant is critter proof. Last year the desert rats, squirrels, and rabbits ate most of our flowers except the Salvia. Since then, we are determined to have a rat-proof, squirrel-proof, rabbit-proof thriving Garden. Quick note:Hummingbirds love the flowers and will visit your garden often!
To keep your Salvia looking vibrant and encourage better flowering, deadhead the plant. You can do this by pinching or cutting off the flower spikes with spent blooms, I like to use small pruning shears.
Red salvia flowers can form a striking border when massed together. It is a good choice for a bedding plant. Some people call this perfect Arizona plant, Scarlet Sage.
Propagating cacti is very easy. First gather the cactus cuttings from the parent plants. Make sure your knife is clean and sharp before cutting your cactus. For paddle cacti a single pad makes a good cutting.
For branching cacti, be sure the cutting is taken from a joint on the mother plant. Cutting on a diagonal angle is beneficial to the mother cactus so water doesn’t pool on the healed cut. Never handle a cactus with your hands.
To grow a successful cactus you MUST let the fresh cutting callus over and heal. Place them in a dry, warm place for up to 2 weeks. The larger the cut surface is, the longer it needs to dry. This may sound extreme but remember cactus are drought tolerant. If you choose to use a rooting hormone make sure it is powder! Do not let your cactus cuttings get moist or wet.
It is easiest for your cactus cuttings to root during warm weather. According to the University of Arizona, the best time to propagate your cacti is during August & September when the soil temperatures are warm and conducive to rooting. Some shade is best for rooting and will prevent your cactus cuttings from sunburn.
Pick a good container with drainage holes for your callused cactus cutting.
When planting your cactus use a well drained soil mixture designed specifically for cacti. Plant the cutting about 2 inches deep and pack the soil around the cactus. I also use small rocks to help keep the cuttings from falling over. Wait about 2 weeks to water; then soak the cactus well and let it dry out another 2 weeks. The biggest problem for growing cactus is over-watering. Too much water causes the roots to rot.
The photo above is a prickly pear cutting that I planted in well draining soil in southern Arizona. I’m starting a cacti garden on a rocky hill using different species of cactus cuttings.
Cactus are dormant during winter. Do not water a cactus during cold weather unless it looks shriveled.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The abundant showy flowers produce a good amount of nectar making them attractive to hummingbirds and some people have named salvia: HUMMINGBIRD SAGE.
Goldfinches and other birds visit the Salvia plant to pick out the tiny brown seeds hidden in the calyces.
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.
Hardy Salvia has been a jewel in our garden and definitely worth a try. 🙂