‘Black & Blue’ Salvia Plant of the Month October 2019

Blue is the rarest color among flowers—I’m not sure why plant hybridizers  try to make white forms of normally-blue flowers (white delphiniums, I’m looking at you).  Happily there are many blue-flowered plants untouched by the bleaching hand of the hybridizers. Salvia guaranitica  is one such plant, especially the popular variety ‘Black and Blue’ salvia.

Sometimes called “blue anise sage”, this tall-growing (3-6 feet)  shrubby perennial is hardy to 10 F (-5 C), producing lovely purple-blue flowers heavily in early summer, then again for several months in autumn, right up until a hard frost.  During the few months in high summer that the show slows down, the plant still produces nice crinkled (think seersucker) mid-green leaves. Just give it full sun and water when dry (say once or twice a week in summer) and enjoy having the blues.  

Happy gardening, Grant