Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Salvia Argentea

Salvia argentea foliage last summer

Salvia argentea in bloom now with Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' in front and Papaver 'Lauren's Grape'
     While I am on the subject of the new plantings in the bed by my front door, I want to show you Salvia argentea.  Although I have tried to grow this plant in the past, I never had much luck with it.  This time, however, I was successful.  This salvia is a biennial, like Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' which I described a few days ago.  The problem I have had with it is that it is liable to rot over the winter time in our rainy cold winters.  So this time I planted it on the sloping side of this new bed.  As I mentioned previously,  I added 10 yards of sandy loam to the bed which raised it somewhat and created the slope that I planted the salvias on.  Also, the fact that the loam was sandy increased the drainage capabilities of the bed.
      I planted three of these salvias, which I got from Bainbridge Gardens, one of our local retail nurseries.  I have noticed Salvia argentea is widely available this year in local nurseries. Two of the three plants were on the most sloping part of the bed, while the third was on a less sloped area.  Interestingly, the plants on the greatest slope did the best over the winter, even though all of them survived.  The moral of this story is that if you want these plants to live over the winter in this climate, remember drainage, drainage, drainage!
     I have read that many people grow these plants as annuals because the foliage is so great that it doesn't matter if they ever bloom.  Indeed, I have seen it recommended that you cut off the flower spikes as they come up to maintain the foliage and to prevent them from blooming.   This, it is said, will keep them living longer.  I have never tried this so don't know if it works.
     Of all the furry grey leaved plants I have grown over the years, I must say that Salvia argentea has the most furry tactile leaves of all.  Just remember, if you want to grow it, give it good drainage, full sun, and do not let it get overshadowed by other plants.


  1. Linda, I must say again that you are a wonderful gardener. Thanks for you lovely in-depth posts. Cynthia

  2. A very brief and informative being shared here, as not many of us know some facts on how to take and cultivate Salvia argentea.

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