Salvias

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  • #14856

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Kath Widdowson has posted this to the TOS Monarchs list:

    I see the NZ Gardener online newsletter was promoting Salvias for Monarchs.

    Quote from NZ Gardener. They are in full bloom and are such an arresting colour right now," says Jennifer. "But even more breathtaking was the sight of about 20 Monarch butterflies on the blooms! One more autumn delight before the butterflies go to bed with the garden for the winter." Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ is floriferous and foolproof.

    Kath Widdowson

    Salvia is the botanical name for sage. If I remember my Latin correctly from school, "salvia" it means to save. Wikipedia says: "Both botanical and common names are derived from the Latin salvere ("to save"), referring to the long-believed healing properties of salvia."

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  • #27522

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Thanks Jane and I will now purchase the plants from the person;-)
    I wanted to make sure first before I purchased.

    I know what your saying when you say If I was offered a hotdog or a pot of garlic king prawns, I know which I would eat first, and it’s not that I don’t eat hotdogs!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmm yummy prawns;-)

    Thanks
    Char

    #27518

    Jane
    Participant

    Darren,

    It happens to us all at some point LOL We are all perpetual learners after all. I too have this happen : ) Bog sage is S uliginosas common name, but the fact is it is rampant just about anywhere. Salvia fainacea Victoria Blus is rewally gorgeous and wont get out of hand and run around either. It usually behaves as a biennial in cold gardens, but a bit like swanplants – it can last longer especially if you give it a snip back occasionally.

    Char,

    Salvia mexicana is a lovely thing too. Very tall and the bracts are purple and lime green which a very attractive combination. I have it growing here, and it was in the perennial border, but took over an entire corner, so is now on the railway garden. (‘Alba’ is the white form of the same plant. If you see any plant with ‘Alba’ as a suffix, you can be sure it will be white, just as ‘Rubra’ will be red.)

    Another lovely large Salvia is ‘Black Knight’. Again it is a biggy at about 1-1.5 mtrs, but the flowers are a gorgeous dark inky purple. Looks great here and is flowers mid-late season.

    As for the butterflies, well as you said Charlotte, the butterflies do love salvias, but, much like us if there is something more favoured nearby, and most of us have buddleia, they will ignore everything else. they display their favouritism just as we do. If I was offered a hotdog or a pot of garlic king prawns, I know which I would eat first, and it’s not that I don’t eat hotdogs!!!

    The big thing about Salvias, other than for the butterflies, is their variation in flowering times some being very late-season, their variety of size, and above all the form and colour in the garden. Blues and purples always look terrific in the garden, and I would go as far as to say they cannot be overdone. Blue/purples make a great foil for all the flashier hot colours and create a very complimentary look. If you are offered any Salvia cuttings – TAKE THEM : ) you won’t be disappointed, especially for your St Maleme garden Darren. Any big salvias will be invaluable. Really the only upkeep they require is cutting to the ground in winter, so that they regenerate a flush of new growth each year.

    #27516

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Jane have you heard of Salvia mexicana blue and mexicana alba at all?

    Thanks
    Char

    #27515

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Don’t worry Darren, I had the same thing happen to me. Several years ago after we moved into our house in Whakatane I read an article that suggested the plant Soleirolia soleirolii (Syn.Helxine soleirolii) commonly known as baby’s tears, was a hostplant for the Yellow admiral. Deciding to trial the plant, I found a nursery that advertised them (no photograph) and had 6 small plants couriered. On opening the carton I was stunned to find it was the same plant I had out the back smothering my rockery. Oh well – win some,lose some.

    #27514

    Darren
    Participant

    Oh I feel like such a noddy! I did a search for Salvia uliginosa to see if I could buy some somewhere, and when some pictures came up I thought, “hey, that looks familiar”.

    Not long after we moved into our current house I was admiring a friend’s garden, and she kindly pulled a variety of plants out and put them in a bucket for me. I had no idea what any of them were called, but I planted the contents of the bucket in various spots around my property.

    Sure enough, I have something that looks (to me) exactly like Salvia uliginosa growing outside my lounge window. In, I might add, an extremely dry spot. *sigh*

    #27513

    Darren
    Participant

    I saw some Salvia farinacea Victoria Blue in the clearance bin at my local mitre10, and I thought I’d heard people talk about “salvia” on here so I grabbed them. They are in a pot on my deck near my main butterfly garden, and I’ve never seen a butterfly anywhere near them. My wife likes the colour though.

    #27512

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Thanks Jane for the tips on the Salvia plants.
    We intend to buy some more for our gardens and I see on Trade Me there are a few people selling a few at reasonable prices.

    We already have the pineapple sage plant in our garden in a couple of places;-)and also a red salvia which has flowered for so long and just in the last few weeks we have seen the butterflies on the red salvia.

    They do still prefer the last of the Buddleias that are flowering in the garden still.

    Thanks
    Char

    #27509

    Darren
    Participant

    Yes, my thoughts exactly when I read your post.

    Google is a great way of finding answers to questions, but first one needs to know the right questions to ask, and that is where practical knowledge and hands on experience are invaluable.

    #27500

    Jane
    Participant

    Thats good Darren. I was thinking of your Maleme Street garden project and Salvia uliginosa or Bog sage would be perfect for there.

    #27495

    Darren
    Participant

    Thanks for that Jane, now I know what to look for!

    #27491

    Jane
    Participant

    Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ is indeed a terrific plant. Fast growing, true indigo in colour, prolifically floriferous, long flowering season from spring until mid-winter. In my Palmerston North garden it is still in full bloom along with Salvia leucantha (a gorgeous two tone pruple), and the slightly less floriferous but pretty Salvia patens. Still flowering here also is Savlia ‘Waverly’ a lower growing at approx 60cm two tone purple and white. Salvia ‘Marcus’ is another which is pretty and a low ground hugging grower. Salvia uliginosa, the bog sage, is a pretty sky blue invader, ideal for that wild butterfly wilderness, where plants are allowed to range.

    The abovementioned are all growing happily here with very little attention except an annual haircut. The butterflies love them and they look terrific milling about with all your other plants!

    There are thousands of salvias, most in shades of blue or purples, but many in pinks and reds including the delicious smelling and long flowering pineapple sage.

    Jane

    #27489

    Charlotte
    Participant

    We have a few salvias planted in our gardens and have noticed the Moanrchs form time to time feeding on the red salvia we have.

    Cheers
    Char

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