Trending in Salvia
The salvia category has seen a plethora of new annual and tender perennial varieties over the past few years. The genus consists of over 1,000 species of herbs, perennials, annuals and shrubs! It’s easy to get lost in the world of salvia.
GPN contributor Vaughn Fletcher discusses the salvia category in his November article, “Salvias Galore.” He says it is important to highlight the features and benefits of some of the significant current varieties and new introductions for 2020.
The salvia varieties he chose to highlight were trialed across the country at Costa Farms, Young’s Plant Farm, University of Georgia, Metrolina Greenhouses, Colorado State University, Penn State University and Raker-Roberta’s. They all exhibit heat tolerance, drought tolerance, abundance flower count and attractiveness to pollinators. Their differences include height, structure, color, leaf shape, texture and plant size.
If you would like to read Fletcher’s full evaluation, click here. In the meantime, here are a few of his favorites.
‘Vibe Ignition Purple’
This petite salvia is extremely heat and drought tolerant and thrives in dry conditions. It was flowering prolifically in North Carolina, Dallas Arboretum and Penn State in late August. The series matures at 24 inches and is hardy to Zone 7. Applications include containers, cuttings and xeriscape gardens.
This farinacea series was introduced in 2018 and is comprised of three colors: Light Blue, Violet and Dark Blue. Icon is a uniform, compact and floriferous series with vibrant and prolific flowers. It matures at 12 to 16 inches and can be used in borders and mixed containers.
‘Purple and Bloom’
With a contrasting non-fading inflorescence of black calyxes and violet-purple corollas, this new intro is dramatic and bold. The leaves are elongated and heart shaped with a deep green color. This variety was in multiple trials in beds and large containers, and the flower canopy was clearly visible and colorful.
Green Fuse Botanicals
Comprised of five unique colors, this new series was introduced last year and was an impressive standout in multiple trials from south to north. It is a ‘Wendy’s Wish’ type but with a more compact form. The series is day length neutral, and its application includes quarts, gallons, landscape beds and as a thriller in large containers.
‘Unplugged So Blue’
This farinacea species is a 2020 introduction and complements ‘Evolution’ and ‘Blue Frost’. The true blue multiple flower spikes were plentiful and reflected an intense brightness. This variety matures at 18 to 24 inches and can be used as a compact thriller in combinations and landscape areas.
Summer Jewel Series
This was a strategic year to reintroduce the dwarf annual Summer Jewel series to the summer trials program. Every variety is an All-America Selections winner, and Red is also a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. This seed series is a breakthrough in breeding and continues to match interspecific varieties in flowering with multiple flowers stacked on the stem and a compact, upright habit.
The vegetative Farina series was bred by Volmary and is represented in the American market by Benary+. This is a complete series with six colors. It has been in summer trials for three years and has demonstrated outstanding uniformity, sturdiness, minimal flower cycling and multiple flower spikes. It matures at 12 to 16 inches.
Have you seen an increase in your salvia sales? Which varieties are your top sellers? Are you growing or trialing any of the above varieties? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.