Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens 'Dancing Flames') in the Salvias Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 3 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet
Leaves: Variegated
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Flower Time: Summer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip

Salvia 'Dancing Flame' foliage and flower.

'Dancing Flames' was a featured
Plant of the Day for October 22, 2015.

Photo gallery:
Location: Tropical Garden, facing South. Date: 2012-04-25
By Trish
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Location: My garden, Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens in South Amana, IADate: 2009-09-25
By LarryR
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Location: My garden in Northern KYDate: 2011-10-06
By Marilyn
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Location: My garden in Northern KYDate: 2011-10-28
By Marilyn
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Location: My garden in Northern KYDate: 2010-06-11
By Marilyn
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Location: My garden in Northern KYDate: 2011-10-28
By Marilyn
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Location: My garden in Northern KYDate: 2013-09-17
By Marilyn
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This plant is tagged in:
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Posted by krancmm (Texas Gulf Coast - Zone 9b) on May 16, 2012 7:39 PM

'Van Houttei' is itself a cultivar of Salvia splendens even though it looks quite different than the stubby cultivars. It may be closer to the native Brazilian species. Neither ITIS nor The Plant List even have it as a synonym.

In 9B, during a ghastly freeze (for us) in 2011, "Dancing Flame' killed to the ground, but remained root hardy. It wasn't as fast to return as other tropical type plants. Then last summer it suffered through the worst drought recorded in my area. However, with this last very mild winter and adequate rain, it's already 4' x 4'. Last year I gave one away that had outgrown it's space - 5'H x 6+'W.

Hishtil, the Israeli grower who developed the plant, suggests that it would be hardy in US Zones 8-10. However, if it killed to the ground with 4 nights between 25-27 degrees (day temps in 40s-50s), I question whether it's going to be even root hardy in Zone 8. Even in 9B I took cuttings last fall just in case. BTW, cuttings root very easily.

Also reckon that in the warmest, most humid climates, it may get up to about 6'. Concur about sun and drainage requirements - a.m. or filtered in the hottest climate and decent drainage, but it's definitely not drought tolerant. It wants that typical "moist, but well drained."


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Posted by Marilyn (Northern KY - Zone 6a) on Dec 8, 2011 7:07 PM

I've planted Salvia 'Dancing Flames' (in a container) before, but this year it looked even better!

I always had it planted with other plants and this year was no exception. I had planted two different Pentas and Salvia 'Black and Blue'. As I look at one of the photos I had posted, I remember now that I had added compost in addition to the potting soil. That might be the key for it looking better this year. Of course, I had fertilized it and kept up on the watering.

Next year I decided to plant it in container by itself, since it looks so great. It will grow and bloom better without other plants competing with it.

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Posted by Trish (Jacksonville, TX - Zone 8a) on Apr 29, 2012 4:46 PM

There is some dispute about the hardiness of 'Dancing Flames', (Most people say hardy to zone 8), as well as the taxonomy (some say Salvia van houttei, some say Salvia splendens). It does best in morning sun and afternoon shade. As with all salvias, make sure it has good drainage.

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Plant Events from our members
variegatagal On February 23, 2017 Miscellaneous Event
No sign of basal growth. Will continue to leave root stock and observe.
variegatagal On March 31, 2016 Obtained plant
Online purchase 3/24/16
Vincent Gardens
1960 East Baker Hwy
Douglas, GA 31535
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
My Mail Order Plants For 2013 by Marilyn Apr 4, 2013 12:13 AM 43
Talking Salvias by Marilyn Nov 11, 2013 9:54 PM 250

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