The genus Salvia includes over 600 species of plants, including the familiar culinary sage and many ornamental varieties with small, tubular flowers ranging in color from white to a purple so dark, it's often simply called black. Many species of salvia are native to various parts of the U.S., so if you want a carefree, natural looking landscape, seek the salvias that grow near where you live.
Most salvias are perennial plants that start from seed fairly easily. If you want to search for interesting varieties of salvia, the Internet is a good place to find the plant that will suit you and your landscape.
Finding and Buying Salvia Seeds
Study your garden areas to determine what colors and heights of salvias will fit in well. Salvias range in size from low-growing ground covers to tall plants with long flower spikes, so your existing landscaping can be your guide when you are shopping for the right salvia.
Decide the flower color that will complement your other landscape plants, or simply one that you particularly like. Perhaps you have several rose bushes, all with red flowers; a contrasting flower color, perhaps white, in the front of your rose garden can serve to spotlight both plants.
Consider purchasing a mix of varieties. The Salvia splendens variety ranges in color from white to pink, to red to purple, so if you want a blast of colors in one area, a mix such as the "Sizzler" will suit you well. (See References.)
Purchase seeds at a nursery in your area if you have a good one that carries a large selection of seeds. However, they might carry only Salvia officinalis (standard culinary sage) and perhaps Salvia splendens or Salvia victoria, which are commonly grown landscape plants in urban and suburban areas.
Go online to examine the multitude of choices. Many seed companies offer Salvia seeds---when you order seeds from an online source, you have the ease and convenience of searching, deciding and shopping at home. Swallowtail Garden, Horizon Herbs and the Thyme Garden all offer good selections of Salvia seeds. (See References and Resources.)