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As a comment about Hybrid Sage (Salvia 'Scarlet Spires'), Marilyn wrote:

Salvia 'Scarlet Spires' is an introduction by High Country Gardens. David Salman, the founding owner of High Country Gardens discovered it.

It is a fantastic Salvia and is one of the best for attracting hummingbirds. I've seen hummers come up to those flowers for nectar more often than the other Salvias and flowers. They seem to "make a beeline" for Scarlet Spires.

The large flowers just keep blooming and blooming, and the hummers always notice.
Name: Dan
East-central Iowa (Zone 5a)
Salvias Hummingbirder Region: Iowa
Jan 26, 2017 2:17 PM CST
Scarlet spires is one of my favorites. I grow three plants together each year in my sunny north garden bed. It begins to bloom quickly and is a big hummer attractor during the first half of the season when other blooming plants are in short supply. Scarlet spires really lights up at the end of season when cool weather sets in. One negative is, while early in the season it is a neat, compact plant, later in the season it grows large and scraggly. I do give it liquid fertilizer on occasion from mid-season on, so perhaps that contributes to the scraggliness. I should try not giving one of the plants any fertilizer this year and see how it does compared to the others.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Salvias Rabbit Keeper Hummingbirder Birds Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Forum moderator Region: United States of America Bee Lover Butterflies Annuals Container Gardener
Jan 26, 2017 9:04 PM CST

That's great! I'm thinking of growing 2 or 3 of SS in a flowerbed (versus containers) this year along with Kermit's, Flowers By The Sea, Salvia x guaranitica 'Rhythm and Blues'. It's far superior to Black and Blue.

Do you deadhead SS during the blooming season? How about pinching the plant during the season? That might help with the scraggliness.
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!

[Last edited by Marilyn - Jan 28, 2017 6:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Dan
East-central Iowa (Zone 5a)
Salvias Hummingbirder Region: Iowa
Jan 27, 2017 11:45 AM CST
I do cut back several salvias in June/July to keep their size in check. However, I've never done that with scarlet spires. I've thought about it, but knowing from experience a hard cutback means a month without blooms, I decided to just let this plant go and keep blooming. The last couple years I have been cutting the bloom spikes off when they get long, which helps to keep the plants a bit tidier.

I have never even considered growing scarlet spires in a container. If I did, I would certainly cut it back hard in mid summer like I do my container wendy's wish and amistad.

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