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Salvia – ornamental herb plants

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.

Salvia - blackcurrant sage - red flowers
Salvia – blackcurrant sage – red flowers

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.

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Growing Herb Plants

Growing Herb Plants

Most herb plants are easy to grow if you can give them suitable growing conditions.

Generally the Mediterranean herbs (including thyme, marjoram, rosemary, sage) need well drained, poor soil, lots of sun, and they don’t mind being dry for a while (once plants are established).

Mint requires rich soil (and will need to be split and replanted in fresh compost every so often), plenty of water and good light, but will not like being in strong midday sun.

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