Salvia verticillata 'Purple Fairy Tale' is a spectacular first year flowering perennial. The irresistible deep purple petals gather like raindrops in tiered pools to form whorled flowers.
At about 50cm (20in) tall and half as wide. Broad, opposite, lyre-shaped leaves provide a solid base for the tall, branching stems.
Easy to grow, it will begin to bloom just a couple of months after sowing. The plant flowers abundantly, inviting you to make bouquets and to keep up with the deadheading.
Salvias verticillata are some of the showiest plants for large containers and mixed borders. Throughout the summer, this cultivar produces multiple upright, flower spikes in an shade of deep purple.
An upright hardy perennial, the plants grows well in different conditions, full sun to shade in well drained and moist soils. The flowers begin to appear in early summer, and will continue until September if the spent heads are regularly removed. They are highly attractive to bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.
Sowing: Sow February to June
If at least 15°C (59°F) is not possible, do not sow before March. Germination can be slow if a fairly warm temperature is not maintained – around 18 to 24°C (64 to 75°F) seems to be ideal. Start indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frosts are due. Do not cover the seed as light is needed for germination. A fungicidal drench to prevent damping off might be helpful.
Prick out the seedlings as appropriate. For best results the next move should be to a larger pot, increasing the size of these according to growth. From the larger pots, move the plants to outdoor positions at the end of May or early June. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to15 days before planting out into their final positions. Space 15 to 30cm (6 to 12in) apart. Pinch out growing tip when plants are 15cm (6in) tall to encourage bushy growth. Water, fertilise and dead-head regularly.
Salvia require pretty much full sun to bloom they do well if they are planted in the shade but will have fewer blooms and be more 'leggy'. Although drought-tolerant once established, a moderate amount of water must be supplied to young plants. Water freely in periods of drought.
A typical recommendation is that Salvia benefit from monthly liquid fertilising to keep it blooming non-stop, though they will often bloom impressively without such attention.
Remove the spikes of salvias after blooms have faded to encourage continuous bloom. Some gardeners prefer to let salvia flowers go to seed. Wait until new growth begins to emerge in early spring to do your winter cleanup of old stems to avoid freeze damage. The best time to divide perennial salvias is in early spring, before new growth begins.
Flowers Borders and Beds, Patio/Container Plants. Cut or Dried Flowers.
Coastal, Mediterranean or Wildlife Gardens, Bee Keeping, Drought & Heat Tolerant
Salvia is a large genus containing both annual and perennial species many of which come from California and tropical America, although there are a few of European origin.
Salvia verticulata was in the past found in Southern France, Italy and Syria, but today is cultivated worldwide
The genus name Salvia derives from the Latin word salveo meaning 'I am healed' or 'I am well', referring to the medicinal qualities of some species.
The specific epithet verticillata refers to the whorls that grow in verticals.
It is occasionally known as sage or clary, from Medieval Latin sclareia, derived from the Latin clārus meaning 'bright' or 'clear'.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 40mg Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Family Lamiaceae Genus Salvia Species verticillata Cultivar Purple Fairy Tale Common Name Ornamental, Whorled Sage Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Dark purple spires Natural Flower Time July until October Foliage Blue-green foliage Height 50cm (20in) Spread 50cm (20in) Position Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Well-drained/light, Moist, Sandy