Salvia (Perennial) Growing Guide

Salvia officinalis

Salvia (Perennial)

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil.


Full sun to partial shade.

Frost tolerant

None. Salvias need warm temperatures at all times.


Mix a standard application of a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil prior to planting. In midsummer, drench plants with a liquid plant food to stimulate new growth. In containers, feed salvias every two weeks and do not allow them to dry out completely.


In warmer areas, salvias can be used in open shade, where they work well with nicotiana and sprawling petunias. In containers, a single salvia can serve as the upright element, surrounded by mound-forming herbs or trailing flowers.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow salvia seeds indoors in moist seed starting mix, and provide warm conditions and very bright light. Most gardeners buy salvia seedlings, which are widely available as bedding plants.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Salvias love warmth but not drought. Provide plenty of water, and be generous with liquid plant food. Red is the most common colour, but varieties are available in numerous colours and bicolours. The tubular flowers attract hummingbirds.


Clip off old salvia branches after the flowers fade to insure steady production of new flowering spikes. Salvias make good short-lived cut flowers for garden bouquets.


Whiteflies can be a problem, and are best managed with two or three sprays of insecticidal soap, seven to ten days apart.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Salvia (Perennial)