Growing Guide
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Annual Flower

Also known as Scarlet Sage
Salvia splendens
Lamiaceae Family

Flaming red is the signature color of this striking, fragrant plant. Bears flowers in profusion on tall, erect spikes. Newer hybrids with pink, purple or white flowers add to the appeal of this long-time garden favorite.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Prefers moist but well-drained soil.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Spread: 0.75 to 1.25 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • violet
  • white

Species has vivid red flowers. Newer hybrids in a wide mix of flower colors.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers borne on square stems above the foliage.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive - Self-seeds some, but not usually a problem.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Brazil.
  • fragrant - Foliage has a light, pleasant fragrance.
Special uses:
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. Do not cover the seeds, as they need light to germinate.

Germination temperature: 65 F to 70 F

Days to emergence: 14

Maintenance and care:
Remove dead flowers to prevent self-sowing if desired.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

‘Salsa’ series: 1.5' tall plants which retain their compact growth habit all summer. Flowers in shades of red, purple, pink and white. Bicolors are also available, with red, rose or salmon colored flowers with white tips.

'Firecracker' Series: Dwarf, compact. Flower colors include blue, orange, white, pink and bicolors. Blooms continuously.

'Sizzler’ series: wide variety of flower colors in bright and pastel shades of pink, red, maroon, purple and white. A salmon and white bicolor is also available.

‘Bonfire’ series: bright red flowers on 2’+ tall plants. Flowers late into the season.

‘Red Arrow’: early blooming 1’ tall plants with spikes of large, brilliant red flowers.