Sassy Salvias

Salvia splendens, also known as red Salvias, rank as one of the best flowering annuals, so this year, why not add Salvias to your flower beds, as a creative way to add a touch of oomph to your garden.

With summer truly upon us flowering bursts of brilliant red and dusty green foliage, will keep the heat alive well into autumn.

CON1809_smallWhile Salvia splendens is commonly known as red Salvia, the funny thing is - they are actually available in various colours. Red is definitely the most popular, but if your heart desires or your garden plan demands, look out for burgundy, lavender, purple, salmon, white and even a red and white flower. Certainly something for everyone.

Salvia’s have a well deserved respect amongst gardeners. Not only do they make excellent borders to any size bed, they work well in mass plantings and also make an interesting addition to cut flowers for vases too. With a few trays of seedlings and minimal time, you can transform almost any area into a welcoming explosion of colour and charm.

Salvia splendens are reliable and easy to grow, requiring minimum care and “just enough” water. Salvias enjoy the direct sun which seems to enhance their rich red colour, although they do perform well in dappled shade areas too. These are plants of beauty and are especially popular with people who garden for pleasure. Adding to its popularity is the fact that they aren’t fussy to their growing conditions and in turn this makes them ideal to those living in townhouses or those of us who have barren spaces to fill, because you are almost instantly rewarded with magnificent colour.

Salvias flower for long periods, through summer and can even push through into autumn if one uses the deadheading technique. Deadheading is important after each flush of flowers as it encourages the plant to keep pushing out new buds. This also helps to keep the garden looking neat and prevents the plant from putting all of its energy into the flowers that are past their best.

DSC_1774_smallOf the garden plants available, flowering annuals offer the most immediate rewards. Not only are Salvias’ a source of nectar and pollen, attracting butterflies, and bees into your garden, they delight the eye. On the down side, they are also loved by snails and slugs so keep an eye out for these critters.

When transplanting your seedlings bear in mind the following: the best time to transplant is in the cool of the day, late afternoon. Water your Salvia splendens while they are still in the seedling tray, this helps the soil to sick to the roots.

When removing the seedlings from the tray, press carefully from the bottom up, this helps to ensure that the root ball stays intact. Seedlings should be watered again the following morning. Salvias’ should be fertilized every four to six weeks.

One of the greatest pleasures of planting annuals is their versatility. They present themselves in a variety of different colours and forms, which means that there is a suitable plant for every position in the garden. One of the greatest reasons for growing annuals is that they are instantly rewarding. They grow with such abundance, that when you cut their blooms, they are hardly missed as tomorrow there will be more.

Whether your garden is small or even pocket sized, growing to roughly 60cm in height, Salvia Splendens’ add that something extra.

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