They are appreciated for the beautifulflowers, theornamental sagesthey are lively, durable and easy to usecultivate. There are different species and many varieties ... in short, sage is not only the aromatic plant that is used in the kitchen, but also a beautifulflowering plantto grow in the garden.
There are many: the number of species that can be identified with the name ofsage exceeds 900 units. Theresalvia officinalisit's just one of many. We have already told you about the properties of thewhite sage, today we focus on the beauty ofornamental sages, better defined asbotanical sages.
Ofornamental sagesthere are annual, biennial and perennial species. Among the more than 900 species are herbaceous, suffruticose and shrubby. They grow in the most disparate habitats, more than half of the species are native to the Americas, the rest are native to Asia and Europe. Depending on the habitat, there are species that are more or less resistant to cold and that are better suited to our Mediterranean climate.
Theornamental sageslocal are those found in the Apennine woods: they resist the cold well, they want a shaded exposure for half the day and abundant irrigation. Among these is the speciesSalvia flutinosa.
Theornamental sagesnative to warm areas, such as Salvia discolor, they cancultivatein the garden (outdoors) only in Southern Italy and in areas with a mild climate. Those who do not live on the coasts cancultivatethese sages in pots so as to transfer them to a protected environment during the winter.
Thereornamental sageS. leuchanta (originally from Mexico) is a very vigorous plant and has a late flowering, perfect for coloring the garden in less suspicious times, when autumn has come. Under ideal conditions, flowering can persist even in winter and spring. In practice, thisornamental sageit begins to bloom in the fall and continues to produce flowers until the following spring… it stops flowering in the summer. This plant, however, can only be grown in the ground in the hottest areas of Italy.
Theresalvia splendensit's abotanical sageappreciated for its orange-red flowers. The flowers remain on the plant for a long time. It is a perennial plant grown as an annual. Flowering lasts all summer. It is a good solution forcultivate borderscolored. There are very low varieties even if the species of origin reaches 150 cm in height.
Among the othersornamental sageswe remember the salvia azurea and the species salvia discolor. The first comes from the United States while the second comes from Peru. In both cases we are faced withplants herbaceous plants that produce delicate-looking flowers.
The discolored sage has dark purple flowers. It reaches 50 cm in height and can be grown in the open ground even in the North: it resists well at -10 ° C.
The same cold tolerance characterizes Salvia Azurea. It reaches two meters in height, has blue flowers and fragrant leaves.
How to grow ornamental sage
Thereornamental sageit is easy to grow: all the species mentioned have no special needs and do not require large onescare. The only care required is a careful choice of the species: the cold can damage the sage, so be careful to choose a species that can adapt to your climatic region.
Thebotanical sagesthey are quite rustic: proper planting is enough to guarantee the plant an excellent seal.
When digging for planting, prepare a drainage layer at the bottom of the hole. Then add a 5 cm layer of gravel.
Replace 2/3 of the excavated soil with a given mixture, in equal parts, of fertile soil and sand. This way you can offer theornamental sagea very draining substratum.
In case ofpotted ornamental sage, use organic-based soil mixed with coarse sand in a 2: 1 ratio (for every 2 parts of soil, add one part of sand).
Always at the time of repotting or planting, add fertilizer to the hole (or pot). The ideal fertilizer is the cornunghia: a handful will suffice. Thereornamental sagedoesn't want large doses of nitrogen, so avoid any liquid fertilizer. Prefer small doses of gradual release fertilizer. A single fertilization per year is enough.
Theornamental sagesthey want a semi-sunny or sunny position (depending on the species). In all cases, it should be wet sparingly, letting the soil dry out between one irrigation and the next.
Not sure where to find ornamental sage seeds?
Know that these plants are easy to reproduce even by apical cuttings (to be done at any time of the year except for the colder months).