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Salvia guaranitica

Salvia guaranitica

SAL-vee-ah gwar-an-IT-ih-kah Audio

This perennial produces long spires of large, deep blue flowers from mid-summer to frost. It forms a tall bush 6 feet tall by 2 feet wide that is great for the back of the border. It is drought tolerant because of its unusual, moisture-conserving rhizomes.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsSalvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and mixed borders. The flowers are made up of two lips: the upper one forms a hood over whiskery stamens and the lower lip, which itself is wide and toothed. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them. 

CareOutdoors: grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade; it is drought resistant. Indoors: grow in full light with shade from the heat of day; water sparingly in winter

PropagationSow seed of perennials in spring. Divide in spring.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, rust, stem rot, fungal leaf spots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites.

  • Genus : Salvia
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 10, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Characteristics : Attracts Hummingbirds
  • Tolerance : Drought Tolerant
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Growth Rate : Fast
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
View Comments


  1. user-7007225 09/22/2014

    My black and blue is growing and flowering but is getting sparse at the bottom of the plant. Anyone know why? Joe

    1. riverp 09/28/2016

      They become quite woody at the base but freely branch out at some height. In my experience its best to train them early on to branch out lower down, this way they wont fall over either. When they or the whole clump has already become woody you risk losing the whole plant if you cut back hard to promote bushiness. Root rot and death often follows. I've had some good success cutting hard back almost to the ground in early spring but also just as many loses so if you just have the one plant and not an extended season for seedlings to germinate might be better to take cuttings. Keep pinching out the cuttings as they grow until you have the desired bushiness, this way they will flower lower down as the plant is broader than tall. You wont lose flowers either as they only flower late in the season. Also trim away old flowering stalks down to two or three leaves in general maintenance, this keeps them bushy and not leggy and promotes more flowering. Dont plant in rich soil or fertilise with high nitrogen as this promotes top heavy growth and weak damage prone plants, poor soil and maybe some potash is best, around about flowering you can use some well dilute phosphate but its not terribly necessary. It's not a terrifically long lived plant even in ideal climates and will eventually become irreparably woody, whole clumps fall over and die off after a couple of years. To prevent this you can divide. They renew themselves with under ground stolons so just using a shovel cut down into the ground early spring or late dry season after pruning, cut down at intervals to create separate clumps which you can transplant or leave where they are. They like a dry winter rest and in optimum climates can remain pretty much evergreen, just needing light tidying up when the rain starts. They also self seed readily providing you with plenty of seedlings each year which may or may not come true to type but are always blue, so you always have it around. With this colour who can have too many!

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