General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 2 to 3 feet or more
Plant Spread: 12 to 18 inches
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Other: Species has red flowers but cultivars come in shades of pink, white, purple, lavender and bicolor,
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: Deadheading flowers ensures more flowering throughout the season.
Uses: Cut Flower
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

Common names
  • Scarlet Sage
  • Red Sage
  • Vanhoutte's Brazil Sage
  • Salvia

Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens) was a featured
Plant of the Day for April 15, 2016.
Photo Gallery

Credit: Hanna Zelenko. Taken August 11, 2005 in Minsk, Belarus.
Location: full sun - zone 7
Date: 2014-06-30
With White Christmas caladium
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-08-04
plants at a gold course in bloom
Location: Washington Park Botanical Garden, Springfield, Il.
Date: 2019-07-24
Location: Woodbridge , Va
Date: 6/15/15
Location: Opp, AL  Z8b
Date: 2023-04-27
Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9b
Date: 2016-11-08
Location: Texas
Date: 2022-04-08
Location: full sun - zone 7
Date: 2014-07-05
With caladium White Christmas
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2006-09-19
Location: Botanical Garden, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: 2014-02-02
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2011-05-30
Location: Washington Park Botanical Garden, Springfield, Il.
Date: 2019-07-24
Location: Botanical Garden, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: 2014-02-02
Location: Laura's garden
Date: 2015-05-19
Location: Botanical Garden, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: 2014-02-02
Location: Atlantic rainforest, Paraty, Brazil
Date: 2013-12-15
Location: Cincinnati, Oh
Date: July 2008
Unripe salvia seeds

Courtesy Robin's Salvias
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: Woodbridge , Va
Date: 2016-05-30
Location: Botanical Garden, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: 2014-02-02
Location: Illinois, US
Date: 2008-08-22

Date: April
credit: Prenn
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on May 12, 2019 12:16 PM concerning plant:
    I really love this forb that is an annual flower in the northern USA because it dies with the first strong frost in the autumn, though it is a tropical perennial from Brazil. Real annuals are like Corn that dies after bearing seed. Scarlet Sage is a reliable annual that is easy to deadhead for better looks and bloom. What I really like are the older, larger cultivars that are 18 to 36 inches high. Unfortunately, the last several years I have not been able to find these larger plants. Instead, I keep finding very dwarf cultivars that get about 10 to 12 inches high, maybe 14 inches. I want bigger not just because of size preference, but these newer small cultivars don't seen to really attract the hummingbirds. I think they have a slightly different flower structure. The female Ruby-throated Hummingbird who comes by my yard in summer looks at the little red sages, but she just goes to the Black & Blue Anise-flowered Sages instead. Back in the 1970's I was looking at the large 2 to 3 feet high Scarlet Sages at the front of my father's house, and I swatted at some big insect near my head, fortunately missing. It was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and I quickly left and let him feed in peace and happiness.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 25, 2013 2:37 PM concerning plant:
    "Salvia splendens (scarlet sage, tropical sage) is a tender herbaceous perennial native to Brazil, growing at 6,600 to 9,800 feet elevation where it is warm year-round and with high humidity. The native plant, rarely seen in cultivation, reaches 4.3 feet tall. Smaller selections are very popular as bedding plants, seen in shopping malls and public gardens all over the world.

    The native type is rarely used or described, though it grew from 4.9 to 26 feet in height. The most common selections are the dwarf sizes that go by names such as 'Sizzler' and 'Salsa', and planted en masse in gardens and malls. 'Van Houttei' reaches 3.3 to 4.3 feet in height. The various types typically have red flowers.

    Named cultivars include S. splendens 'Alba', with white flowers; 'Atropurpurea', with dark violet to purple flowers; 'Atrosanguinea', flowers dark red; 'Bicolor', flowers white and red; 'Bruantii', small, with red flowers; 'Compacta', small, flowers in dense racemes, white or red; 'Grandiflora', large, with large red flowers; 'Issanchon', small, with white flowers striped pink to red; 'Nana', an early-flowering cultivar, with red blossoms; 'Scarlet Pygmy', a very dwarf, early flowering seed race with intense scarlet blossoms; 'Semperflorens', continuous flowering; 'Souchetii', small, with white or red flowers; 'St. John's Fire', dwarf plants with dense, abundant, bright red, early-flowering, long-lasting blossoms; and 'Violacea', flowers dark violet to purple. The cultivars 'Red arrow', 'Vanguard' and 'Van-Houttei' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:
Plant Events from our members
lovesblooms On January 15, 2017 Seeds sown
w/s; descendants of 3' Sangria/Yvonne's cross from duane456; had Sangria's flowers, Yvonne's height
MrsBinWY On March 13, 2018 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On March 10, 2018 Seeds sown
25 seeds (descendants of 'Bonfire') from 2017G in milk jug @ warm room temp
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Need an ID check by plantmanager May 23, 2018 10:29 AM 2
Wrong species by Danita Jul 27, 2019 7:02 PM 2
Beautiful Pic, But Not A Salvia Coccinea Flower by Marilyn Feb 2, 2020 8:16 AM 6
Beautiful Pic, But Not A Salvia Coccinea Flower by Marilyn Feb 1, 2020 10:05 PM 2

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