All about Salvia: types, characteristics and much more

Salvia are plants that are grown both for their ornamental value and for their medicinal properties. In addition, there is a wide variety of species that resist frost, so they can be kept outside throughout the year.

Knowing them is very interesting because they are very adaptable plants, capable of living just as well in a pot as in the garden soil.

Origin and characteristics of Salvia

Plants of the genus Salvia are herbaceous or shrubs, with an annual or perennial cycle, found in almost the entire world: in Central and South America there are about 500 varieties, in Central Asia and the Mediterranean region about 250, and in East Asia about 90 . They are characterized by developing stems that are more or less straight, angular, and with entire leaves, toothed or composed of pinnae or leaflets..

They bloom during spring or summer, and when they do, they produce clusters or panicle-shaped inflorescences from which small white, blue, yellow or red flowers emerge. The fruit is small in size, and has an ovoid or oblong shape.

Types of Salvia

What are the different types or varieties of sage? If you have no idea which one to plant in your garden or in a pot, then you will be able to know the most popular species:

Ethiopian sage

Sage is a plant with various uses

The Ethiopian sage is a plant native to Eurasia that reaches a height of 50 centimeters. It develops straight stems, and produces whitish flowers of about 15 millimeters that are grouped in wide inflorescences with many twigs.

Sage apiana

Salvia apiana is a small plant

The Sage apianaor white sage, is a subshrub or bush native to California, in the United States. Grows up to 1 meter tall normallyalthough it can reach a meter and a half. The branches grow upright, and from them sprout leaves about 4 to 8 centimeters long, as well as white flowers with lavender spots.

salvia canariensis

Sage can be grown in gardens

The salvia canariensis It is a shrub native to the Canary Islands that grows to 2 meters. It is a variety that has large, lance-shaped leaves and flowers grouped in inflorescences of a very intense pinkish-purple color.

sage farinacea

Sage is an ornamental plant

The sage farinacea It is a perennial herb native to Mexico and the United States. It grows up to a meter in heightalthough it is more common to stay with 90 centimeters or less. Its leaves are lanceolate, green and, unlike other salvias, shiny. Its flowers are blue and grouped in inflorescences that arise from the upper part of the stems.

Spanish sage

Salvia hispanica is a herbaceous plant

The Spanish sage it is one of the most common. It is known by the name of chía, and it is an annual cycle herbaceous native to America (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica). Reaches a height of up to 1 meterand has leaves about 4 to 8 centimeters long of green color, and whitish flowers.

Sage leucantha

Salvia leucantha is a plant that blooms in spring

The Sage leucantha is an herb native to Mexico that grows about 40 centimeters tall. The leaves are green and lanceolate. Its woolly, lilac and white flowers are characteristic of this species, something that makes it very ornamental.

Salvia microphylla (before Sage grahamii)

Salvia microphylla is a plant that produces red flowers

The Salvia microphylla It is a perennial shrub native to southeastern Arizona, North America. Grows up to 120 centimeters talland develops erect stems from which oval, aromatic leaves emerge (said to smell like mint). The flowers are reddish, or white and red, depending on the variety or cultivar.

Woody sage

Sage is a perennial herb

The Woody sage is a perennial herb native to Europe that reaches 60 centimeters. Its leaves are oblong or elongated, and it produces very dense inflorescences. The flowers are lavender, pink or white.

Sage officinalis

Salvia officinalis is a common plant

The Sage officinalis it is common sage. It is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region that reaches 70 centimeters in height. It has erect stems covered by short hairs, and its flowers are purplish-white in color.

saga talksis

Salvia pratensis is an ornamental plant

The saga talksis it is a perennial, robust and aromatic plant that we find in Eurasia. Grows only about 20 inches tallwith an inflorescence that triples in size composed of purple flowers.

Salvia sclarea

Salvia slcarea is a small plant

The Salvia sclarea It is a herbaceous plant known as clarea. It is native to the Mediterranean, reaching as far as Asia. Grows up to 1 meter tallalthough in winter the aerial part dies, leaving only a rosette of basal leaves. The inflorescences are made up of lilac, pink or white flowers.

shining sage

Salvia splendens has red flowers

The shining sage It is a perennial or annual herb depending on the climate known as scarlet sage native to Brazil. It grows between 40 and 120 centimetersand has elliptical leaves, with a serrated margin, and red flowers that are grouped in tubular inflorescences.

What is Salvia for?

Salvia is a plant that has several uses:

  • Ornamental: it is very pretty. It looks great in pots, as well as in gardens. Its flowers attract insects that are beneficial, such as butterflies or bees.
  • Culinary– Often used as a condiment in meat dishes.
  • Medicinal: many species of sage, such as S. officinalisare cultivated for their medicinal properties.

What are the properties of sage?

Some species, such as S officinalis, have been found have astringent, antiseptic, stimulating and even anti-sweat properties. In addition, it can be used to relieve respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. This makes it highly recommended to include them in our diet, since thanks to this we can have better health.

How do you take care of yourself?

Sage is an easy-to-grow plant

What is the care of sage? If you want to grow one, or more, in your garden or in a pot, we recommend that you take care of it taking into account what we are going to tell you:

  • Location: these plants must be in the sun, so it is advisable to keep them outside. If you choose to have them indoors, then find a room where there is plenty of natural light.
  • Earth:
    • Pot: if they will be in pots, put a mixture of peat or mulch (on sale here!) with vermiculite (for sale here!), perlite (for sale here!) or cheek in equal parts.
    • Garden: they will grow well in light, fertile soils.
  • Irrigation: salvias need moderate watering. For this reason, they should be watered about 4 times a week during the summer if the temperatures exceed 30ºC and there is drought, but much less the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer it is interesting to add a little organic fertilizer, such as guano, manure, etc.
  • Multiplication: Salvias multiply by seeds and cuttings in spring.
  • Rusticity: most of them withstand cold and frosts down to -4ºC, but there are exceptions such as S. splendens which is sensitive to low temperatures.

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All about Salvia: types, characteristics and much more

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