Salvia plants are also known as sage plants and are a landscaping plant. Most varieties are drought tolerant and produce blooms that are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. There are many different sizes and types of salvia plants. They are useful as border plants or specimen plants. Some salvia plants thrive in shade and others in full sun. Garden sage is a type of salvia that is edible and is used in cooking. According to Floridata, "There are more than 700 species of salvia and many people consider them among the finest of garden perennials."
Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) is native to the desert southwest of the United States. When established, it is very drought tolerant. For best results, shear back by one-third in winter when the plant is dormant. This promotes lush growth and better bloom production. There are varieties that produce white, blue, red or pink flowers, and some varieties produce flowers with two colors, such as white and red in each flower. According to About Salvia, "Being so beautiful and easy to take care of, the salvia greggii is one plant that every garden needs."
Indigo Spires Sage
Indigo Spires sage (Salvia x "Indigo Spires") grows up to 5 feet tall and produces outstanding spikes of blue flowers. In mid-summer, when the first flush of blooms start to fade, cut back by as much as three-fourths and the plant will regenerate and bloom again in the fall. The Indigo Spires sage is not as drought tolerant as other salvia varieties and wilts during the hottest part of the day without additional water. In warmer climates, Indigo Spires salvia may need to be watered every day. According to Floridata, "Indigo Spires is one of the most dependable butterfly magnets you can grow. "
Edible sage (Salvia offinicialis), or garden sage, is used in cooking and for making herbal teas. According to Desert Tropicals, "Common sage is a culinary herb used as pork and poultry seasoning." It is a low-growing variety of salvia and prefers well-drained soil. Some types have purple or variegated leaves. The blooms are not outstanding on edible sage plants, although they bloom in spring producing pink, purple or blue flowers. The edible sages are low growing, up to 24 inches high.