Past Plants of the Day forum: Salvias of the Day: Black and Blue

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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 4, 2015 6:01 PM CST
Today's Salvias of the Day is Blue Anise Sage (Salvia coerulea 'Black and Blue').

This plant can be found in the ATP Plant Database at:
Blue Anise Sage (Salvia coerulea 'Black and Blue') .

Please join in, if you own this plant! We would love to know more!



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Blue Anise Sage (Salvia coerulea 'Black and Blue')
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 4, 2015 6:12 PM CST
I have had this salvia twice. Once down in southeast FL in zone 10 and once here in north FL in zone 8. The one in zone 10 did well for me but it did get some shade during the day & I believe that was necessary with what the FL sun can do to plants. However, we moved before I even had the plant for a year so I really can't say long term how it performed there.
As to it's performance here in zone 8, it was not good. I got 2 plants and planted them in full sun & they did not survive the summer heat & sun. The area they were planted in does test a plants mettle and this did not pass the test. I keep hearing how tough it and all salvias are but as to the Black & Blue; it's not tough enough for here unless you baby it some. I am looking for plants that can really take what mother nature dishes out. The daylilys take it but the black & blue salvia couldn't hold up to it.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Sep 4, 2015 7:16 PM CST
Love this plant. I dig the tubers each fall after frost, store them dry in a place that doesn't quite freeze over the winter, and then replant them in spring. My Black and Blue area is really gaining in stature! They overtook some smaller plants this year, but those overtaken weren't hummingbird favorites, so I don't really mind. Big Grin

Mine do get full sun here, but they're shaded in the latter part of the day...say from maybe 5:00 on. The ones that preform the best here are those planted in a mix of composted manure and lots of sand. They don't require much additional water here to look good, but they bloom better if they don't go too long between moist spells.
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Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Sep 4, 2015 8:21 PM CST
The hummers love this plant.
Mine are in full sun all day and mulched but just native soil which is good but rocky
I do have to give them plenty of room or as Chelle stated above, they will overtake surrounding plants
Easy dividing to share or cuttings, love this plant Hurray!
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[Last edited by Jolana - Sep 5, 2015 7:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
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SALL20
Sep 4, 2015 8:40 PM CST
I grow this plant in a large container. I grew it in Austin (8b) and now have it in Houston in (9b). My experience is that it needs a good bit of shade in a hot climate. It will also wilt pretty quickly if it gets dry. It did well until mid summer, then pouted a bit. Now that the temperature has gone down a little, it is putting out new growth and blooms. I expect it will have a good fall season.
Name: Lynne
Houston, TX. Zone 9b (Zone 9b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers I helped beta test the first seed swap
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LynneHTx
Sep 4, 2015 9:31 PM CST
A friend gave me a start several years ago. While I was setting the plant down in the garden, a hummer came to the flowers. They love this plant. I'm in zone 9b. It spreads like crazy here by rhizomes. I try to keep it in bounds by burying edging and stones around the patch to help prevent it from spreading. I don't know if it's working.
The plant gets over 3' tall and I have to cut it back mid summer. It's super happy. Gets full sun.
[Last edited by LynneHTx - Sep 5, 2015 6:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 4, 2015 11:16 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:I have had this salvia twice. Once down in southeast FL in zone 10 and once here in north FL in zone 8. The one in zone 10 did well for me but it did get some shade during the day & I believe that was necessary with what the FL sun can do to plants. However, we moved before I even had the plant for a year so I really can't say long term how it performed there.
As to it's performance here in zone 8, it was not good. I got 2 plants and planted them in full sun & they did not survive the summer heat & sun. The area they were planted in does test a plants mettle and this did not pass the test. I keep hearing how tough it and all salvias are but as to the Black & Blue; it's not tough enough for here unless you baby it some. I am looking for plants that can really take what mother nature dishes out. The daylilys take it but the black & blue salvia couldn't hold up to it.


@flaflwrgrl

I suggest you plant 'Black and Blue' with afternoon shade, since you're in zone 8b FL. Even though I plant my Black and Blue mostly in containers (20 inch or larger) in full sun here in Northern KY zone 6a, they still wilt some with high heat and the drought.

I really like the info @chelle zone 5b stated, "Mine do get full sun here, but they're shaded in the latter part of the day...say from maybe 5:00 on. The ones that preform the best here are those planted in a mix of composted manure and lots of sand. They don't require much additional water here to look good, but they bloom better if they don't go too long between moist spells." Great idea for next year! Maybe I can top dress mine with some compost for this year.

@beckygardener You're in zone 10a FL. Can you as a fellow FL gardener give some tips to Ann (flaflwrgrl)?

@mellielong As another FL grower (zone 9b), can you offer Ann some tips also?
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


[Last edited by Marilyn - Sep 5, 2015 2:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 5, 2015 4:04 AM CST
The problem is..... I don't have any shade except shade that is way too far from a water source & even then there's precious little of it. Oh yes! I DO have shade but it's WAY too much shade & that area is too wet. Shrug!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Sep 5, 2015 4:24 AM CST
Mine have done well in a planter on my deck. It's shady in the morning and gets intense sun from about noon until early evening.
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Sep 5, 2015 6:45 AM CST
I have had Black and Blue Salvia for a number of years. My first attempt to grow it was unsuccessful. I had it growing in a hot, south-facing sandy front garden bed that received sun all day long. It did ok at first but eventually died. I may have either over-watered or under-watered it. I was never able to determine the cause of it's demise.

The second time I grew it was in a 3-tiered raised bed. I can't remember when I got this newer plant. I believe I've had it about 5 years. It was once again planted in an all-day sunny spot, but the soil was amended (not all sand). I had it planted in the top-tier area of 2' x 2'. It loved that location! It grew to about 2 1/2 ft. tall and had branches hanging over the top raised bed wall. Unfortunately for me, it loved that location a little too much. It sent out underground runners and started popping up in the lower 2 beds. I finally had to remove it! I planted it in an 18 gallon plastic bin container. It did great the first year, but has been languishing ever since. It is just a shadow of it's former self now. I have read that it will not thrive and will eventually die in a container. That seems to be true for me. Each year it gets smaller and smaller and blooms less. Once it dies in the bin, I probably will not replace it. I have other salvias that serve to attract hummingbirds and butterflies much better than my Black and Blue salvia.

In the ground, Black and Blue can get quite large and spread by underground runners. It is invasive here in the ground in my yard. It took me 2 years of digging up the underground runners that kept popping up new B & B plants in my 3-tiered bed. I had originally planted it because it was considered a hummingbird magnet. I did see some hummer usage along with butterfly usage, but it was not one of the favorite salvias used regularly by the hummingbirds. Perhaps that is because I mainly have hummingbirds in Winter when B & B tends to be more dormant.

I had also read somewhere that B & B has been propagated by tissue culture which has produced weaker plants that may not live as long. If you have an original rooted cutting of this bush, consider yourself to be very lucky!

Mine is prone to whitefly and black sooty mold. It can also develop root rot if the soil does not drain fast enough after rain or watering.

It does not produce seeds. Propagation is by rooting cuttings, dividing the plant, or by removing the underground runners and replanting them.
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Name: Duane
Gresham OR (Zone 8a)
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duane456
Sep 5, 2015 10:48 AM CST
When I originally bought B&B I planted it next Salvia hot lips (thinking red, white and blue). Hot lips got so big, it overshadowed B&B. I ended up splitting in half to another area and they are doing very well there. Next to a fence and gets mainly full sun here in Oregon. I don't dig the tubers. I always think it didn't make it thru the winter, but always comes up late. So if you live in my area--give it time. Also when I split it in half, I thought I got it all. I still have one plant that struggles up thru hot lips every year. I've had this plant , now, for 4- 5 years I think. Hummers are always around it. It looks best from mid July thru Oct.
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Sep 5, 2015 11:24 AM CST
Since I was asked, yes I have Salvia 'Black and Blue'. I actually have it in a couple spots in my garden. I keep meaning to move the one and it keeps not happening. Mine are in half-shade, I guess? They get shaded most of the day with afternoon sun. I also have volunteers popping up but I thought they were self-seeding. I haven't pulled any in a long time so I can't remember if they were their own plants or spread by underground runners. As for cold hardiness, they die back to the ground each year but keep coming back in the spring.

I really like the looks of this Salvia but I can't say I see butterflies using it. Even the bees seem to like 'Mystic Spires' better. I think this Salvia's flowers are too tubular for most butterflies. They prefer the simple red and pink ones you can find at the big bix stores. As for the hummingbird, I haven't seen it on this Salvia but that may be because I can't keep it off my firebush.
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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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lovesblooms
Sep 5, 2015 12:28 PM CST
I planted a start of Black and Blue this year. It's a nice clump about two feet tall and wide that I wish I'd given more space. I gets full sun and then dappled shade in the afternoon. I love the color, but it doesn't actually pop the way I'd hope--the blue is so velvety, and the calyxes so dark. I'll be moving things around, and I think I'll mulch it well this fall, because last year's start didn't survive our winter (no mulch).
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Sep 5, 2015 12:32 PM CST
I definitely agree about giving it space. That's why I need to move the one, but like I said, it hasn't happened yet. Too many garden chores, not enough Melanie to go around.
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 5, 2015 3:08 PM CST
Thanks for all your comments and tips everyone! Thank You! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

Black and Blue is always a true annual for me every year and I treat it as such. It dies with the freeze and winters we have.

This year is the first year that I planted it into a 24 inch container. Along with Black and Blue, I planted a couple of Pelargoniums (annual geraniums), a couple of Petunias and a few Salvias. Black and Blue has really taken over the pot and not left much room for the other ones. Salvia 'Mulberry Jam' is the only one that shows more blooms than the others at this time, but it is squeezed out on the side of the pot. It is also a taller Salvia in the pot, so that might be why it is able to hole its ground somewhat. To me and my experiences with Black and Blue, it needs to be in a container by itself, as I've done in previous years and not add other plants with it, since I want the others to grow, bloom and be their best. I've it just outside our patio door and the Hummers love the flowers. I think next year, I'll plant it by itself at the back of our side entry driveway in a spot that will get afternoon shade.

Whenever the unusually high heat and humidity moves out next week, I'll try to take some pics of it.

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


[Last edited by Marilyn - Sep 5, 2015 3:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 5, 2015 3:49 PM CST

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Sadly, this is one of the salvias that succumbed to the drought here in California. We're conserving water, and this plant required more water than I could spare.
Name: Judy
NW MO (Zone 6a)
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jg0613
Sep 5, 2015 5:08 PM CST
Wow I have been off here a few days and missed a lot! Lots of great pics and info here!! This is the Salvia that we got first of any, last year. We only had it in container then. This year we have 2 in container (one front porch and one back patio) and 2 in ground, both in back yard but 2 different areas- both in ground I have moved twice because of need for more sun). Each of my 4 gets varying amounts of shade. Pics are one in container on back patio and one in ground that gets the most sun of the 2 (but still some shade). Last year we didn't try to see if it would come back but have since read many people in my zone have had them overwinter so this year we are going to try. We love them and hummers love them. This is my husband's favorite so far and one near the top of my list (Amistad is #1 for me because it is a great plant overall but also purple is my favorite color and Amistad's blooms are such a beautiful purple)- the blue blooms of the Black and Blue are right up there too though. Most of you have more experience than me but a few things I have learned by experience with these: they do better with more sun but do need some shade, and they do need good drainage BUT they also need huge quantities of water, especially when very hot, and the ones in container need even more than the ones in ground. If it is hot the ones I container need watered 2 or more times a day or they wilt (but if caught right away and given a good drink they have bounced back). In ground unless it rains heavy they need good watering at least once a day, twice if very hot. For us it is a small price to pay for their beauty and hummingbird attraction. However we are not in severe drought area. And Agastaches needing less water gives some balance. Thanks everyone for input and pics. @Marilyn this Salvia of the day is a great idea! I know there are not as many Agastaches but might be nice to have a weekly Agastache? Smiling
Thumb of 2015-09-05/jg0613/cb8abf
Thumb of 2015-09-05/jg0613/b3f8f6

Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Sep 5, 2015 5:53 PM CST
Great pics Judy! I tmailed you info regarding how to submit your pics and you should submit these two great ones for sure!
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Sep 6, 2015 4:25 PM CST
jg0613 said:....this Salvia of the day is a great idea! I know there are not as many Agastaches but might be nice to have a weekly Agastache? Smiling


Because there are two plants listed in this forum, Dave said I'd need to pick one of the two for plant of the day. Since there are 1,802 Salvias at ATP right now and a lot more members probably grow them over Agastaches (186 anise hyssops), I thought the Salvia of the day to be the best choice. I'm sure that would eliminate an Agastache of the week. Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


[Last edited by Marilyn - Sep 6, 2015 4:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Judy
NW MO (Zone 6a)
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jg0613
Sep 6, 2015 5:25 PM CST
@Marilyn
Thanks for explaining- since I am new on here there is a lot I do not know yet. What you said makes perfect sense and I love Salvias and Agastaches equally- they are tied as my top favorites!

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