Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) Red Sage Salvia Flower Heirloom Herb

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Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) Red Sage Salvia Flower Heirloom Herb


Height 2 to 4 ft (.6-1.2 m.)

Salvia, also known as Scarlet Sage and Blood Sage, is a tender herbaceous perennial plant native to Mexico, and is widespread throughout the Southeastern USA, through Central America, and into northwestern South America (Columbia, Peru and Brazil). It is the only native USA sage with red flowers. Although characterized as a perennial, if you live in an area with cold winters, Scarlet Sage is typically grown as an annual. Plants can be overwintered  indoors - dig up the plant and place the root ball in a container; store in a cool, dark place until spring and replant.

Scarlet Sage is best known for its spiky and upright to vase-shaped habit and brilliant red coloring; plants are adaptable to full sun or part shade with equal ease. This is a perfect addition to meadow gardens, butterfly gardens and cottage gardens; great for containers and borders also. Scarlet Sage has long lasting mounds of red tubular flowers that also attract hummingbirds.

Scarlet Sage herb is not aggressive or invasive; plants occupy designated areas without taking over, as some members of the mint family are prone to do. Plant in rock gardens, borders, mass plantings and with other salvias.

  • Full sun; will perform well in part shade
  • Soil: well draining sandy loam, rocky soil or fertile soil
  • Start scarlet sage from seed indoors approximately 3 to 4 weeks prior to the last frost. Press seeds lightly into the soil or cover with perlite, as seeds need light to germinate. Transplant seedlings outdoors after all risk of frost has passed.
  • OR direct sow seeds outdoors in the spring through summer, or even as late as fall in warmer areas. Minimally cover and lightly water in.
  • Germination: 10 to 30 days
  • Spacing: 18 to 24 in  
  • Care: regular pinching or trimming of spent flower spikes, encourages continuous blooms. Regular watering of the salvia herb is necessary if it does not rain. Salvias in containers may need watering daily during the hottest summer days. 
  • Scarlet sage care includes fertilization. Incorporate time release fertilizer when planting scarlet sage herb in spring, for nutrients to last throughout the growing season, or use a balanced fertilizer according to label directions.
  • Harvest: seeds grow in bell-shaped flowers along the sage stem- they are fairly large and can be easily seen in the plant. Once the seeds turn dark and flowers begin to turn brown, cut the flower stalk and place upside down in a paper bag. As the seeds ripen, they will fall into the bottom of the bag
  • Seed Count: 25