From velvety soft buds to two inch long majestic flower, Salvia Buchannii Velvet Sage is one show stopping Salvia. Needless to say, this deep maroon flower is a hummingbird magnet. Even if it doesn't over winter in your zone, consider growing it as an annual.
Dwarf Velvet Sage
This Dwarf Velvet Sage (Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara ') is only a dwarf on a comparative level. It can reach two feet tall plus long flower spikes bringing it to three feet high, & spreads into a four foot loose mound even with seasonal shearing to keep it fresh. The wild species of Velvet or Wooly sage would be larger still.
Its spikes of deep purple-blue flowers have the velvety texture that provides the species with the common names Wooly of Velvet. It loves bright sun & needs little or no watering other than provided by the sky.
We got it for a low-maintance sun-garden along the street. Although it is a desert plant it easily adapts to cooler weather, just so long as it is strategically located to get as little as possible rainwater running down to it, placed in perfectly well-draining soil. It prefers poor soils to rich or humusy ones.
It dislikes shade especially in our temperate zone & will become leggy & brittle if unhappy with its portion of sunlight. It can tolerate some shade in hotter climates than ours. In summer the flowering stems can become so heavy they are weighted down, but this makes for a pleasing fountaining look rather than fallen floppy look, & it is not necessary to stake 'Santa Barbara.'
It is a good companion plant with other low-maintance perennials & shrubs. Ours grows in the company of dwarf blue hyssop, sun roses, Hidcote Lavender, a nearby Butterfly Bush, & so on. Because it is an airy shrub it lets sunlight reach the ground, so does not hinder the succulent groundcovering Trailing Iceplant around the base of the sage. When this sun-garden was extended, 'Lambrook Gold' Euphorbia & an evergreen 'Aztec Pearl' Mexican Orange shrub were added nearby.Back to Top