Anise sage (Salvia guaranitica) is a plant that has a profusion of beautiful dark blue flowers that are rather tube shaped and can be over an inch long. The plant tends to be bushy and in good conditions it can grow up to five feet tall, though it can be trimmed to a shorter height. Although it is related to garden sage (Salvia officinalis), which is used to flavor foods, anise sage is normally grown as an ornamental. When the leaves are bruised, they have a mild anise scent. The flowers also carry the anise aroma.
This species of salvia is native to tropical South America, including much of Brazil. It is sometimes called hummingbird sage or blue sage. Although the plant is a perennial, in most places in the north it is grown as an annual because it isn’t cold hardy. It is, however, highly attractive to hummingbirds, honey bees and butterflies.
This plant like full sunshine, though it will tolerate a small amount of shade. It will grow in most soils that drain well and the plant also grows well in regular potting soil, in pots. It grows in soil that is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
The plant is quite tolerant of heat as long as it gets enough water; roughly one to two inches of water per week during the heat of summer, so that the soil is moistened well during growing season. If the plants are in pots, they may require more water than this, since pots tend to dry out faster than the soil in flowerbeds and gardens.
In the garden or flowerbeds, anise sage should be allowed one to two feet of well-worked soil for the root systems and several feet in each direction to be able to bush out. This plant is a good one to have if you are growing a garden with plants like squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber or peppers, because it draws in honey bees and butterflies that help pollinate the flowers. It can be grown from seed or purchased as seedlings.
To prolong the flowering of this plant, dead-head the flowers that are spent and beginning to shrivel up. This also encourages more flowers to grow.
This is a great plant to grow near walls, borders or places that you want to hide.
Anise sage is one plant that I recommend for gardeners, because it draws in the pollinators, it is beautiful and it smells good. It requires very little care, though it does like moist soil. Still, it is also great in places that get very hot during the summer, since it withstands heat and drought well. It also isn’t very appealing to deer, so it can even be useful as a deterrent.
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Posted in food and plants and tagged anise sage, blue sage, borders, flowers, growing, hummingbird sage, Salvia guaranitica by rextrulove with 4 comments.