How to Care for Scarlet Sage

Overview

Scarlet sage is a member of the salvia family. It grows up to 2 feet high with bright red flowers borne at the end of spikes that rise above the rest of the plant. Scarlet sage blooms in mid to late summer, and continues blooming until killed by frost. This is an excellent plant for a front-yard flower garden. The red flowers are visible from quite a distance and will be noticed by both foot and vehicle traffic passing by.

Step 1

Find a site for scarlet sage that is in full sun. The soil should be on the sandy side and fast draining. Scarlet sage does well in hot, dry areas.

Step 2

Improve the soil. Add a 3-inch layer of sand to the surface of the soil. Dig it in with a shovel by turning over the soil. It is not necessary to remove rocks or gravel; scarlet sage thrives under these conditions. Rake soil smooth.

Step 3

Broadcast the seed in the seedbed and lightly firm it into the soil with your hand. Water with a fine mist from a hose end sprayer. Scarlet sage will take up to 30 days to germinate; be patient and mist the seedbed as needed so it stays moist but not wet until germination occurs.

Step 4

Thin the plants when they are 2 to 3 inches high, so they stand 8 to 10 inches apart.

Step 5

Keep the seedlings relatively moist until they are established. Water when the surface of the soil seems dry, but do not over-water. Thereafter, water only as needed if rainfall is scarce. Scarlet sage thrives under hot, dry conditions and will not grow well if they are kept too wet.

Step 6

Put down a thin layer of gravel or landscaping rock if desired to control weeds. Do not use a thick layer of mulch that holds in moisture; soil in the growing bed of scarlet sage should be allowed to dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Hose end sprayer
  • Gravel mulch, if desired

References

  • Care for scarlet sage.
Keywords: how to care for scarlet sage, care for scarlet sage, scarlet sage

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.