Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Scarlet Sage, Salvia
Salvia splendens
(sal-ve-ah splen-denz)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Sage is a member of the Mint Family: feel its square stem. It is an annual that will grow up to 3 feet tall. Flowers are in terminal racemes of bright red, with newer varieties of purple or white.

What is it used for?

Scarlet sage is commonly used as a bedding or a border plant. Its bright colors do not always combine well with other plants. Sage looks especially splendid with white flowers and silvery-gray foliage.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Plant scarlet sage 12 inches apart in the full sun with moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Remember to remove the faded flower spikes.

What are its primary problems?

Sage seems to have a problem with keeping a continous color. Be on the look-out for slugs which will eat holes in the leaves.

How do we propagate it?

Sow the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost Maintain a 65-70 degree temperature until germination, 55 degree after germination, or sow outdoors when the night temperature are still above 50.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.