Salvia are ornamental herb plants which are related to culinary sage. Many have fragrant leaves and stunning flowers in red, purple, blue and other colours.
Salvias are tender shrubs and they will need some protection frost and cold weather in the UK, so it is useful to keep salvia plants in pots or take late summer cuttings from non-flowering stems to overwinter in a greenhouse.
Salvia plants are usually grown for their flowers (which are are often bright or deep colours) in late summer and autumn. Many salvias have fragrant leaves, Salvia elegans has a particularly strongly fragranced leaves.
Salvias can be grown in large pots or in a sunny border. Salvia plants are hungry and thirsty plants (they are related to mint). They like a good drink and if kept in pots they will need regular water and feed.
Some salvias can get quite large when planted in a garden border, and these may be too big for many small gardens. Smaller growing varieties such as Salvia elegans may be a good choice if you have limited space, and these can be grown in a pot too.
Autumn is the time to consider succulents and winter protection. Caring for your succulents over winter and preparing summer outdoor planted succulents to come back inside over winter is important if you want your succulents to survive over winter. As the weather gets cooler and wetter many succulents will start to suffer, so September is a good time to start checking how they are doing and begin thinking about moving them to a better site (if in pots) or lifting plants which have been planted out in garden beds or rockeries over summer.
Most succulents are easy to care for if you can give them the right growing conditions caring for succulents is easier than most other plants. The two things most succulents need are plenty of sunlight and well drained gritty compost/soil.
They do not like to have permanently wet roots, and most will not tolerate frost and ice (especially if they are in wet soil).
Succulent planting instructions: Caring for your succulent plants and rooted cuttings when they arrive
When your plants arrive, please carefully unwrap and pot up your plants as quickly as possible to minimise stress to them from lack of light and water.
They will not have had light and water for a few days so the sooner you can pot them up and give them a drink, the quicker they will start growing and the better the condition they will be in.
Place them in good light but out of strong sunlight for a week or two, and water – but don’t over-water – them. They may take a few days to recover from their journey, but they should start to grow quickly if treated well.