Thursday, August 1, 2013

Today's Favorite Plant - Salvia clevelandii

In all honesty, I adore this plant everyday.  I have previously professed my love for other Sages, but this one is really hard to beat.

Even when it is not in flower, the perfume that comes from the leaves alone is worth growing this plant.

When you walk past this plant, you smell it on the air and want to know where it comes from.

When you walk past this plant, you want to hug it or pet it.

When you pick a piece of this plant, you want to rub it all over yourself.

It smells that good.

Salvia clevelandii has attractive blue/gray foliage, reddish stems and tubular blue flowers in summer. The flowering spikes rise up to a foot above the plant, holding 1-3 whorls of lilac-blue blooms that are enjoyed by hummingbirds and all manner of insects.

It gets about 3' tall and wide and does great in full, hot sun.

It is a good filler plant for the boarder as it blooms all summer. This one is mixed in with herbaceous peonies long since done blooming and other pink and red Salvia and Lobelia that are also summer flowering. 

This IS NOT a plant for soggy soils though. While it is drought tolerant and does appreciate some summer water, it also wants excellent drainage.  Mine is planted where there is a lot construction gravel in the soil, so the drainage is very good.

I deadhead it all summer and into the fall to keep it shaped and tidy. I often dry the leaves from my cuttings for potpourri along with lavender. But I wait until early spring to reduce the overall size of the plant and remove anything dead from over winter.

Any plant that smells this yummy, is worth a try in the garden!

Salvia clevelandii in the sunshine.
Salvia clevelandii  with Salvia x 'La Trinidad Pink'

Busting out all over!

Easier to see the red stems in this picture.


  1. I love this plant...but won't even try growing it...not with my soil! I'll just enjoy it in your garden :-)

  2. Oh you're killing me! I love this plant. I received mine as a gift from my friend Kate, it did wonderfully for two years then kicked the bucket. I so miss that scent in the garden, amazing!