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  HOME AND GARDEN » Annuals  


salvia.jpg (19786 bytes)The bold colors and striking texture of salvias create instant focal points in the garden. Also known as scarlet sage, the sturdy plants do not need staking, only occasional pinching back to keep more flowers coming. Bright red salvias can be seen from far away, or you might use some of the newer colors, such as salmon, to bring dramatic color to partial shade. Salvias have a strong upright growth habit that works well with formal landscaping styles. Not to be confused with perennial salvias, the annual salvias will bloom continuously from the time they are planted until frost.


salvia1.jpg (26843 bytes)When planting salvias in beds, cultivate the planting site at least 8 inches deep, and mix in a 2-inch deep layer of flower planting mix, compost, or other type of organic matter. Just before planting, mix in a timed-release fertilizer that has a high middle number in the fertilizer analysis, such as 11-40-6. The extra phosphorous helps the plants develop extensive roots.

In midsummer, you can rejuvenate your salvias by cutting back old flower spikes and fertilizing the plants. Use sharp pruning shears to remove withered spikes. Then fertilize your salvias with 17-17-17 with timed-release fertilizer. Sprinkle this "booster feeding" into the soil between the plants and water well. When growing salvias in containers, fertilize them more often by sprinkling a teaspoon of fertilizer per plant atop the soil in the pots about once a month.




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