PlantsSalvias→Blackcurrant Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips')

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Blackcurrant Sage
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Give a thumbs up Salvia

Also sold as:
Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips'

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Spread: 24-36 inches
Leaves: Fragrant
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Bi-Color: Red and white
Other: Sometimes all red, and sometimes all white.
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Other: Deadheading flowers ensures more flowering throughout the season.
Inflorescence Height: 36 inches
Foliage Mound Height: 24 inches
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Awards and Recognitions: RHS AGM
Child plants: one child plant


The Top SalviasThe Top Salvias
By dave on September 12, 2015

We open the Salvias Celebration Week with a look at the top cultivars, top comments, most thumbed images, and more!

(Full articleno comments)
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'Hot Lips' was a featured
Plant of the Day for January 29, 2016.

Photo gallery:

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Posted by TomThumb on Oct 3, 2016 8:59 PM

My favorite plant in my garden, it blooms almost non-stop here in zone 8 from spring till frost, the blooms cover every bit of it, and it attracts the hummers like crazy. Anywhere I take this plant with me, I'm sure to make some winged friends. I've tried providing them with other hummer-friendly plants, but they always prefer Hot Lips. A small start will quickly grow into a large shrub in two seasons. I think everyone should grow this plant!

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Posted by bonitin (Ghent, Belgium - Zone 8a) on Jun 4, 2012 3:38 AM

This is an amazing plant. When I bought it the flowers were bicolor: red and white. The same plant later on produced entirely white flowers, and now the first blooms in late May-June are entirely red. It proved to be very tough too, having gone through a very severe winter with long periods of hard frosts without damage. It is very drought resistant too.

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Posted by DavidLMO (Zone 5B/6 - NW MO - Zone 5b) on Sep 20, 2015 10:23 PM

I love Hot Lips. Even here in Zone 5B. It winters over indoors without missing a beat.
The flower form is neat in that it can be all white, all pink or some combination. Some of the coloration is caused by temperature changes, so a new flush may be different. On my plants, I often have all 3 color schemes at the same time.

Very easy to grow from cuttings. I have taken them at various times, and they always take. But I usually do it in Fall when I am cutting the plant back to bring inside.

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Posted by Deebie (midstate South Carolina - Zone 8a) on Jun 3, 2016 9:21 AM

I love growing this plant, as it looks different as the season goes on. I do find that it does not like as much sun as some of my other salvias. It sulks in full sun for me, so I had to move it to an area with filtered sun. It looks much better with the move.

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Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 29, 2011 9:03 PM

I had this plant last year in 2010 but it is not hardy in my zone as it died over the winter. Too bad as it is a prolific bloomer that was in bloom when I bought it early spring and it stayed covered in blooms until a hard frost.

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Posted by kqcrna (Cincinnati, Oh - Zone 6a) on Jul 28, 2014 3:48 PM

I have this plant in a container near my front porch and the hummingbirds visit it often. It has produced mostly solid red blossoms with just a few bicolor ones.

I have not found any seeds on this plant all summer, though I see that @duane456 posted a photo of seeds. Does it really set seeds? My salvia coral nymph is setting seeds fast now that the weather has cooled and days are getting so short, but I see none on Hot Lips.

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Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on Apr 11, 2014 6:52 PM

I love this Salvia! Great grower too. Love the red and white combo flowers! Attracts hummers, butterflies, and bees. It's great in a container. A joy to grow and is long blooming.

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Posted by TexasPlumeria87 (Plano, TX - Zone 8a) on Apr 28, 2017 6:58 PM

A great plant, though I have to trim it back a few times each year, otherwise it would take over my flower bed. I've seen quite a few pollinators show interest in the blooms. It's also pretty easy to start from cuttings.

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Plant Events from our members
flaflwrgrl On April 15, 2015 Bloomed
flaflwrgrl On October 29, 2014 Obtained plant
From Santa Rosa Gardens in pot.
fstins1 On April 24, 2015 Obtained plant
variegatagal On May 19, 2018 Transplanted
variegatagal On February 22, 2017 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Never recovered, considered dead
variegatagal On September 5, 2016 Maintenance performed
Pruned back 2/3rds of plant.
variegatagal On March 6, 2016 Obtained plant
Covington's Nursery and Landscape
5518 President George Bush Highway
Rowlett, TX 75089
carlysuko On July 24, 2017 Maintenance performed
Rooted cutting doing very well. Especially after feeding with compost tea made with Dr. Earth's organic gold fertilizer.
carlysuko On March 27, 2017 Potted up
Potted up five rooted cuttings into individual pots. All doing very well.
MunchkinsMom On March 27, 2017 Transplanted
Planted with 'Yucca Do' and Tulips in pot at deck post nearest pond.
MunchkinsMom On March 15, 2017 Obtained plant
Dogwood eBay $4.95 2 1/2" Pot, about 6" tall
taterpye On August 11, 2020 Obtained plant
Plant Delight (2) planted in large black pot left on deck
taterpye On August 1, 2020 Maintenance performed
Cut back from 3 ft to 1 1/2 feet
carolem On December 26, 2017 Maintenance performed
pruned back lightly; getting too leggy. The heat of summer and flowers have been sparse. Trying to induce new flowering growth.
dnrevel On October 31, 2020 Winterized
Took softwood cutting today and 2 weeks ago. Planted the Salvia in a sheltered spot today surrounded by feverfew. We'll see if it will survive the winter. Hopefully it will regrow from the softwood cuttings if not.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
How about a thread for which salvias and agastaches are you growing from seed? by MrsBinWY Aug 7, 2021 8:30 PM 36
Which salvia are you buying for the new year? 2021 edition by Miamiu Aug 17, 2021 6:23 PM 71
Which salvias are you buying for the new year? by Miamiu Oct 2, 2020 12:56 PM 263
Salvia after a hard frost by gardenfish Nov 16, 2019 5:45 PM 2
Amethyst Lips by carlysuko Oct 23, 2019 11:33 AM 3
Are there any salvias that bloom from spring to fall? by Miamiu Nov 16, 2019 6:41 PM 13
What Are You Going To Buy For 2019? by Marilyn Oct 9, 2020 2:04 PM 107
How did your Salvia garden grow in 2018? by Danita Dec 1, 2018 10:04 PM 28
Low growing "tame" salvia by Kabby Apr 23, 2018 12:52 PM 11
Salvia Flare question by joannakat Feb 18, 2018 2:48 PM 15
Germinating salvia seeds. by carlysuko Mar 24, 2017 3:09 PM 8
Salvia 'Pink Lips' by Monty72 Sep 4, 2019 7:32 PM 26
Can the roots of salvias kill irises? by tx_flower_child Oct 3, 2016 12:37 AM 14
which salvia attracts most pollinators? by bhart90 Aug 30, 2016 10:46 PM 20
Salvia greggii Seed Question by TexasPlumeria87 Jun 10, 2016 1:30 AM 5
Salvia Coccinea Seed Question by TexasPlumeria87 Jun 4, 2016 5:20 AM 30
Salvias from seed take two! by jg0613 May 28, 2016 1:55 PM 57
Cutting back Salvia by fstins1 Oct 30, 2020 5:22 PM 8
Little Kiss have you grown it? by Sheridragonfly Sep 1, 2015 5:53 PM 5
Plant List Orders For 2015 by Marilyn Apr 20, 2016 12:57 AM 20

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