Common Name:Mealy Cup Sage
Hardiness ZoneUSDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 11. Widely grown as an annual, in cooler climates. I’ve had it over-winter in my Zone 6 garden, after a mild winter.
Bloom PeriodEarly Summer through Fall
Leaves: Elongated and slightly serrated leaves have a hint of gray to them, especially underneath. They are not fuzzy or thick, like many other sage plants.
Flowers: Multiple stems of small flowers clustered along study spikes.
- 'Argent White' - A soft, off-white selection. 18"
- 'Blue Bedder' - Similar to 'Victoria Blue', but taller. 3'
- 'Strata' - Two-toned. Blue flowers are cupped with white sepals. 18"
- 'Victoria Blue' - The classic deep purple-blue. 18"
The bluish purple color really shines next to pale yellows, like Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' or the buttery Yellow Flower Carpet Rose. It’s also a great way to blend oranges into your garden, tempering harsh, red tones.
Soil: Salvia farinacea isn’t really particular about soil pH. It does, however, need a well draining soil. Mealy cup sage is fairly drought tolerant, but will bloom best if watered during dry spells.
Planting: Mealy cup sage can be started by seed, cuttings or divisions. In cooler climates, it is readily available as a bedding plant. Although Salvia farinacea can tolerate a light frost, it’s best to start seeds or plants outdoors, after all danger of frost has past. You can start seeds indoors, about 6 weeks before transplanting out. Spring is also the best time to divide plants.
No pinching or pruning is required to get the plants to branch. Sunshine will do the trick.
Maintenance:Minimal deadheading is required to keep the plants blooming. Just be sure to keep them watered during dry periods and keep watch for pests.
In rich soil, you shouldn’t need to fertilize at all. If you’re growing your mealy cup sage in leaner soil, fertilizer mid-summer, to prolong the bloom.
Pests & Problems:Pests are rare, although Salvia farinacea can attract aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies.
Fungal diseases may occur, if the plants are grown too close together or in wet soil.