Salvia x superba 'Blue Queen' is one of the finest Salvias we know, attracting bees and butterflies to the garden and prompting exclamations and double-takes from visitors.
A very useful dwarf and compact strain, it is a vigorous, clump forming variety with branching, flower spikes above blue-green foliage and lance-shaped leaves. The plant is a spectacular source of dark, intense colour and narrow, vertical form.
Masses of pencil-thin, vibrantly colourful bloom spires arise on this perennial sage, so densely set that they present a solid wall of colour in the border. The rich, deep blue-purple spires bloom in early summer and then repeat their fine show later in the season.
Salvia x superba is a hardy variety that is easy to grow, this fine variety will flower the first year from an early sowing and are perfect for filling in the gaps left by spring-flowering plants.
Not fussy about soil, this hardy variety flourishes in blazing sun and tolerates drought, they are easily divided in spring, every three to four years. The plants are great for attracting wildlife like bees and butterflies to the garden and the flowers are useful for cutting.
The ease of growing this adaptable plant should encourage everyone to find a place for it in their garden.
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.
Coastal, Flowers Borders and Beds, Mediterranean or Wildlife Gardens, Patio/Container Plants. Cut or Dried Flowers. 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.
The exact origins of Salvia x superba are unknown, though it first appeared in cultivation, and its parents are believed to include Salvia x sylvestris and Salvia amplexicaulis. Salvia nemorosa has also been suggested as a direct parent or close relative, but with so many similarities between these species and hybrids, there is no conclusive evidence
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 letter 'x' before the species name refers to it being a hybrid and the species name superbus simply means 'superb'.
Named and described by Carl Linnaeus in 1762, the specific epithet nemorosa is derived from the Latin nemus meaning ‘forest’ - a reference to its typical habitat in groves and woods.
Pronounced SAL-vee-ah nem-or-OH-sah. It is commonly known as the Woodland sage or Meadow sage and occasionally referred to as the Balkan Clary.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 25 Seeds Family Lamiaceae Genus Salvia Species x superba Cultivar Blue Queen Synonym 'Blaukönigin' Common Name Ornamental Sage Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Royal Blue blooms, July until October Foliage Blue-green foliage Height 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) Spread 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) Position Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Well-drained/light, Moist, Sandy