Surface sow or lightly cover.
Start in well-drained germinating mix 6-8 weeks before last frost. Keep at 65-75°F.
Direct sow after last frost.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
I can hardly imagine a garden without salvia, for the genus has so many irreplaceable floral gems–easy to grow, trouble-free, many quick to bloom, and growing lustily in gardens and containers. They offer a neverending parade of flowers ( at least until frost) and the entertainment of their attendant hummingbirds. Those pesky deer avoid it, perhaps stayed by the unpleasant aroma of the bruised leaves. Pinch back once plants reach 6" tall to encourage bushiness. The graceful stems of gentian sage are dotted with sky-blue lipped blooms mid-summer to fall. Add to the mixed border with other summer annuals. In fall its tuberose roots can be dug and stored like dahlias.
Do not overfertilize. Mix about 4" of compost into the soil prior to planting.
Diseases & Pests:
Prevent powdery mildew by spacing plants apart for increased air circulation. Aphids can be washed off leaves with a strong stream of water or insecticidal soap applications.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Cut when several flowers on stem are open.