Salvias: Vibrant Spires for Your Coastal Bend Garden - The Bend Magazine

Salvias: Vibrant Spires for Your Coastal Bend Garden

Discover the different varieties, benefits, and tips for growing these gorgeous flowers in your garden.

Salvia flowers with hummingbird

Salvias | Photo from Shutterstock

Salvias are perennial flowering plants that bloom from early spring through late fall in the Coastal Bend. They are prolific and drought-tolerant, bring gorgeous color to the garden and are easy to grow, even in the heat of summer. 

With over 1,100 varieties, salvia flowers come in nearly every color under the sun, and many varieties have leaves or flowers that are edible or medicinal. Salvias are sometimes called sub-shrubs because they are smaller but bushy in growth.

The plant is an excellent attractor for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, especially in the hottest part of summer when few other flowers bloom. Mystic, indigo, amante, hot lips and Mexican bush sage are some of the top salvia varieties to grow in your Coastal Bend garden.


Mystic Spires: A popular variety with extremely prolific blooms, this is a smaller plant that does well in pots. The flowers are blue and continuously rebloom from spring through fall. Spacing: 18” | Height: 30” to 36” 

Indigo Spires: Similar to Mystic but larger, this variety features blue flowers on dark calyxes. Make sure to prune, as these can get leggy. Spacing: 36” | Height: 48”

Amante: With hot pink blooms on purple to black calyxes, this variety grows tall. Prune the top 1/3 of the stems in early spring for more dense, lush blooms. Spacing: 36” | Height: 48” to 60”

Hot Lips: Bi-color, red and white flowers turn completely red in the hottest parts of summer before fading to black to red and then white before falling. A less hardy variety, hot lips do not rebloom well. Spacing: 18” | Height: 30”

Mexican Bush Sage: A more compact variety, this features purple flowers on dark calyxes. Spacing: 24” | Height: 36”

“Profusion” Series: The salvia Profusion series are smaller with shorter flowers, but have incredible rebloom capability. Plant several together for a stunning flower show. Spacing: 24” | Height: 36” 

Gardener’s Notes

Growing Up

To grow this plant successfully, ensure proper spacing and well-drained soil. Plant in full sun with some afternoon shade, and group several for a fuller appearance. It regrows from its roots, so it can survive hard freezes. Add organic compost each spring — avoid fertilizers — and water regularly without overwatering. Fortunately, it’s not prone to pests.


To promote continuous blooms, pinch flower tips and deadhead often. For denser growth, prune the top 1/3 of the stems early in the season. Salvias make great cut flowers and last for days in a vase. They grow lusher in the second and third years in the ground. Bring potted salvias indoors during freezing weather for growth in the second year.

Fun Facts

The Salvia Wish Collection is a range of hybrid salvias bred in Australia, which includes three varieties: Ember’s Wish, Love and Wishes and Wendy’s Wish. Buying any of these flowers donates a portion of the sale proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Australia Foundation, granting life-changing wishes to critically ill children.