Salvia (Salvia splendens 'Bonfire') in the Salvias Database

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

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 12 - 24 inches
Plant Spread: 12 inches
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: Deadheading flowers ensures more flowering throughout the season.
Uses: Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

Cloudless sulphur butterfly on bloom

'Bonfire' was a featured
Plant of the Day for May 9, 2016.

Photo gallery:

Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Jul 24, 2013 7:45 PM

I grew these plants from seed. They germinated very quickly for me here in the spring ~~ in less than 7 days they had sprouted.
The plants are forming roots off the stems as far up as 3 inches above the soil line & I can see that they would be quite easy to root from stem cuttings.
The butterflies, bees & hummingbirds go crazy over the blooms. The plants are almost always in motion from the insects & hummers working them.
They take drought, sun, & high temperatures quite well. We have had numerous days when the temperatures reached the mid to upper 90's & the sun was blazing for a minimum of 9 hours. During these times the plants will get wilty, especially if there is a breeze causing transpiration to the maximum; however, they bounce right back when the temperature drops below 90.

They reseed readily & grow well in pots also.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jun 28, 2020 10:41 AM

I found this older cultivar listed in my old Ball Seed Catalog of 1976 listed in the "Tall section" as it was expected to get about 26 inches high. The taller Scarlet Sages take longer to come into bloom than the shorter cultivars, but it is worth the wait of about 2 or 3 weeks.

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Plant Events from our members
dragonfetti On April 5, 2015 Seeds germinated
dragonfetti On March 26, 2015 Seeds sown
CR container
NikkiGerena On June 14, 2017 Plant emerged
NikkiGerena On June 11, 2017 Seeds sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Salvia coccinea Bonfire by flaflwrgrl Jul 13, 2014 11:22 AM 5
Recommendation for annual salvias? by DonShirer Jul 12, 2014 2:42 PM 5
Talking Salvias by Marilyn Nov 11, 2013 9:54 PM 250
WooHoo! Salvia! by wcgypsy Mar 20, 2017 3:54 AM 112

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