Mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea) has stunning purple-blue flowers that attract pollinators and brighten the landscape. The name may not sound terribly pretty, but the plant also goes by the name blue salvia. These salvia plants are warm region perennials but can be used in other zones as attractive annuals. Continue reading for some comprehensive blue salvia information.
What is Mealycup Sage?
An adaptable plant, mealycup sage thrives in either full sun or low light situations. The striking flowers are borne on long spikes which stretch half as high as the bushy foliage. Blue salvia is not bothered by deer, drought tolerant once established, and makes lovely cut flowers. Some tips on how to grow mealycup sage will soon have you enjoying this plant, which is equally at home in the herb or flower garden. The plant’s species name 'farinacea' means mealy and comes from the Latin word for flour. This references the silvery dusted appearance of the leaves and stems on farinacea sage. Mealycup sage has small oval to lance-shaped leaves that are softly furred and silvery on the underside. Each leaf can grow 3 inches long (8 cm.). The clumping plant may grow 4 feet (1 m.) tall. Plants bear numerous flowers on terminal spikes. Usually, these are deeply blue but may be more purple, light blue, or even white. Once flowers are spent, a small papery capsule is formed that some birds enjoy as food. Blue salvia will provide a color display from spring well into summer. Plants are not hardy and will die back in most zones once fall chill arrives. Propagation through seed is easy, so save some seed in northern climates and plant in spring after all danger of frost has passed. You can also propagate through softwood cuttings taken in spring.
How to Grow Mealycup Sage
Only those gardeners growing mealycup sage in USDA zones 8 to 10 can use the plant as a perennial. In all other zones it is an annual. The plant is native to Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico where it grows in meadows, plains, and prairies. Farincea sage is in the mint family and has a very pungent scent when leaves or stems are damaged. This is a very useful plant in borders, containers, and mass plantings. This elegant wildflower is easy to grow and enjoy. Provide either a full sun or partial shade location with well-draining soil that has been enhanced with compost or other organic amendment. In areas where the plant is a perennial, regular watering is necessary. In cooler zones, provide water at installation and then deep, infrequent watering. Plants become leggy in boggy soil. Deadhead the flower spikes to encourage more blooms. The two primary problems when growing mealycup sage are aphids and powdery mildew.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
How To Pick A Perfectly Ripe Watermelon
Pick the the ripe watermelon from the bunch every time.
By Amy Grant Published
10 Stunning Plants For Winter Color – These Expert Picks Will Bring Your Garden To Life
This winter, add a welcome burst of color to borders and pots with this expert-curated selection of flowers, shrubs, and trees
By Melanie Griffiths Published
Varieties Of Salvia For Part Shade Or Shade
Besides being easy to grow, salvia or sage plants are versatile and some even enjoy partial shade. Read on for more.
By Laura Miller Published
Mexican Bush Sage Care: How To Plant Mexican Bush Sage
Choosing flowering plants that encourage diversity of wildlife in the garden is a key aspect of creating a lush, green garden oasis. Mexican bush sage plant is an ideal choice for those wishing to establish perennial plantings that will thrive all season long. Learn more here.
By Tonya Barnett Last updated
Autumn Sage Care: Growing An Autumn Sage Plant In The Garden
Selecting perennial flowers can be one of the most difficult aspects of planting flower borders or landscapes. The autumn sage plant is a perennial that has gained popularity. Not only is this plant versatile, but it offers a season filled with flower blooms. Learn more here.
By Tonya Barnett Last updated
Hummingbird Sage Plant Care: Tips For Growing Hummingbird Sage Plants
As the name may suggest, the hummingbird sage plant has pitcher shaped flowers which attract hummingbirds. Click here for growing information.
By Laura Miller Last updated
Salvia Cutting Propagation: Can You Grow Salvia From Cuttings
If you have salvia and want more of these easy-care beauties, nobody can blame you. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to propagate. Can you grow salvia from cuttings? Click here for information about salvia cutting propagation.
By Teo Spengler Last updated
Mojave Sage Information: Learn About Mojave Sage Care In Gardens
What is Mojave sage? Native to Southern California, Mojave sage is a woody shrub with aromatic, silvery-green foliage and spiky lavender blooms. Click on the article that follows to learn more about this vibrant, dry-climate plant.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated
Eyelash Sage Plant Care: Tips On Growing Eyelash Sage Plants
Looking for an easy care bloomer that attracts hummingbirds? Look no further than eyelash leaved sage. What is an eyelash sage? Click on the article that follows to find out about growing eyelash sage plants and care.
By Amy Grant Last updated
Purple Sage Planting Guide: What Is Purple Sage And Where Does It Grow
Used to sandy, poor soil, sage requires little maintenance and is perfect for filling in areas where most other plants would die. Click this article to learn more about growing purple sage plants and the care of purple sage in gardens.
By Liz Baessler Last updated