PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
I can hardly imagine a garden without salvia; the genus has many irreplaceable floral gems. They are easy to grow and trouble-free, many are quick to bloom, and they grow well in gardens or containers. They offer a never-ending parade of flowers—at least until frost—and the antics of visiting 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 and place in a site protected from wind, as salvia branches tend to be brittle. Stake early and deadhead frequently or cut for bouquets.
Mix about 4" of compost into the soil prior to planting. If soil is especially poor, it may be beneficial to feed once a month with an organic water-soluble feed or granular fertilizer.
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 about 1/2 of florets are open.