The Salvia ground cover genus is vast and includes around 900 species with numerous different types to choose from, with flower colours ranging from electric blue, to purple, to bright red, white and lemon yellow. The name Salvia comes from the Latin word salvere, which means “to heal”, and Salvia have been used for their herbal and medicinal qualities since ancient times. Choose between annuals often used for bedding schemes, hardy herbaceous salvias or woody tender types. They also make a fantastic cut flower with a long vase life. Try planting them with Helenium, Stipa Grasses or Eryngium for a great variety of colour and types of flower.
Salvia ground cover flowers are typically colourfully packed on upright tubular stems with a split lower petal. Their foliage shapes and colours are also very varied and often delightfully scented when crushed. Growing up to 150cm high depending on the variety, these wonderful long flowering plants compliment any bed or border, and the bees and butterflies will love them! Deadhead them regularly to encourage more blooms and enjoy washes of colour in the garden for months on end.
Types of Salvia Ground Cover
Salvia ground cover are easy to care for and require very little maintenance. They will thrive in well drained, soil in full sun though will tolerate partial shade. Give them a good soaking of water when planting and getting established, and then you should only need to supplement rainwater during dry spells. If clumps of Salvia become congested, we recommend dividing them every 3-4 years.
As a rough guide when planting Salvia as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
How to grow Salvia
Position: Full Sun
Foliage: Annual, Perennial
Soil and site: Well drained, neutral to alkaline soils
Flowering time: Spring to late Autumn
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: Height to 150cm, spread to approximately 80cm depending on variety
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. Divide overcrowded plants every few years.