One of the most popular salvias, Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' (Anise-Scented Sage) is a particularly attractive perennial featuring showy spikes of large, deep cobalt blue flowers, 2 in. long (5 cm), emerging from black calyces. Blooming from mid summer to fall, the blossoms rise along slender, dark stems above a lush clump of ovate green leaves. Aromatic, the foliage exudes a soft anise scent when bruised. Easy and fast growing, this plant is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Evergreen in warm winter areas.
- This tender perennial is hardy to zones 7-10 and is generally treated as an annual in cooler areas.
- Growing up to 2-5 feet tall and wide (60-150 cm), this perennial plant is ideal at the back of the border and mixes wonderfully with the vibrant, hot colors of other perennials such as Crocosmia and Rudbeckia or annuals (Zinnia). Perfect for containers too!
- Enjoys full sun or light shade in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils. Organically rich loam is preferred. Avoid too much shade or the plant might fall over. Provide shelter from cold winds.
- Deer resistant, heat and drought tolerant.
- Remove spent flower spikes to promote further blooms and cut back after flowering is over.
- Propagate by division of established clumps. Take softwood and semi-ripe stem-tip cuttings from new non-flowering growth. Take basal stem cuttings from new shoots that are about 8cm (3in) tall
- Prune plants to the ground in late winter and divide clumps every few years for added vigor