SALVIA PATENS

Salvia patens



If you are looking around for autumn flowering plants, you will quickly find out that they are in short supply. But that doesn't mean there aren't any! In fact, if you do your research well then there are plenty, but can you get hold of them? Probably not, unless you are tenacious!

Salvia patens illustration
One such plant is the gorgeous Salvia patens, a native to a wide area of central Mexico.

It was introduced into horticulture in 1838 and popularized by William Robinson - an Irish practical gardener and journalist whose ideas about wild gardening spurred the movement that evolved into the English cottage garden

Salvia patens is frequently treated as an annual by gardeners due to its sensitivity to hard frost, and is usually planted out in the spring with bedding plants once the threat of late frosts of over.

Its cultivar 'Cambridge blue' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. William Robinson praised the species in the 1933 edition of The English Flower Garden. The said that:

'...doubtless, the most brilliant in cultivation, being surpassed by and equalled by few other flowers...'

Cultivation

Salvia patens flower
In the colder areas of northern Europe Salvia patens can only be considered as a  half hardy annual, but in the warmer, southern regions it can be grown as a short lived perennial so long as they are planted in sheltered conditions.

It require a warm, sunny position, and to be on the safe side, plant out Salvia patens at the end of May, in ordinary, well-drained garden soil.

Pinch out the growing tips of young plants, once they reach 2-3 inches high, as this will encourage branching.

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