The large brilliant red spikes of Scarlet Sage are a common sight in gardens and parks in the summer. For those who like colourful and flamboyant blooms, this plant is ideal.
Theare small, only 13-38mm (½-1½in) long, and are surrounded by bracts. They are packed together in clusters at the end of the flower .
Scarlet Sage grows to a height of 38cm (15in). The newer forms usually only grow to 30cm (12in) and are more suitable than the species for planting in window-boxes.
Colours and varieties Forms developed from Salvia splendens include the scarlet ‘Blaze of Fire’ and the purple-flowering ‘Royal Purple’. Another sage, S. horminum, is a taller plant with branchedand pink or purple bracts.
The brilliant red Scarlet Sage will overwhelm palerand should be grown with white or other bold-coloured plants. Try mixed plantings of white petunias, marigolds and blue lobelia. For a simpler statement, grow it with foliage plants such as a variegated ivy.
1 GrowFebruary—March in a box or propagating tray of . Sprinkle some compost over them and keep evenly moist.
2 Cover with the lid or piece of glass. Keep at 18°C (68°F). If you do not have a heated propagating tray, aon a warm windowsill or shelf over a radiator is fine.
3 Whenare large enough to handle prick them out into . Pinch out the tips of young plants when they are 5-8cm (2-4in) high to encourge bushy growth.
Looking after your plant
Harden your plants off before planting them out in their final position at the end of May. Put them outdoors in a sunny spot during the day and bring them in again at night.
Plant in window-boxes, large pots or tubs, using a good soil-basedcompost. Place the plants about 23cm (9in) apart. They need a good deal of sun but should be protected from the wind, so grow in a warm but sheltered position and they will flower all season.
Water moderately and regularly. Feed with a standard liquid fertilizer once or twice during the summer.
Pests And Diseases
Scarlet Sage is generally trouble-free. However, it may be attacked by insect pests.
Yellow stippling on theis caused by the red spider mite.
Treatment: Spray the plants with a suitable.
Weak growth can be a sign of attack by. Treatment: Spray the plants with cold water. If the attack is serious, use an .
This is a fairly easy plant to look after but do not plant it out until the danger of frosts has passed. Pinch out the growing tips of young plants when 5-8cm (23m) tall to encourage bushy growth.
- : Use a soil-based compost. Pot into individual pots when the plants are large enough to handle. is unnecessary.
- Water moderately at regular intervals throughout the growing season. It may be necessary to water daily in very warm weather.
- Feeding: Feed 2-3 times during the summer with a standard liquid fertilizer.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: The plant thrives in full sun.
- Temperature: should be germinated at 18°C (65°F). Put young plants outdoors in a warm but sheltered position.
- Bedding plants are usually available from garden centres and nurseries in late spring for planting out in May. Alternatively, seeds in February or March.
- Choose plants with good growth and healthy .
- Scarlet Sage is a half- that is usually grown as an .
A bold plant with fiery-red flowers, Scarlet Sage is impressive when grown in massed. It is suitable for the back of a window-box or for tubs on the or balcony.