Blue Hill Salvia

Growing Tips, Plant Attributes

Blue Hill salvia (image) is part of my salvia collection. It offers light blue blooms.
Blue Hill is a popular cultivar for a perennial salvia. David Beaulieu

Taxonomy and Plant Type for Blue Hill Salvia

Even experts in plant taxonomy have a difficult time deciding on the botanical name of 'Blue Hill' salvia plants. You will encounter all of the following scientific names for plants similar to the one in the picture here:

  • Salvia x superba 'Blue Hill'
  • Salvia x sylvestris 'Blue Hill'
  • Salvia x sylvestris 'Blauhügel'
  • Salvia nemorosa 'Blue Hill'
  • Salvia nemerosa 'Blue Hill'

They sometimes bear the common plant name, "garden sage" or "meadow sage." 'Blue Hill' is the cultivar name. This cultivar was originally developed by a German plant developer named Ernst Pagels. It was marketed in Germany as 'Blauhugel.' That translates into 'Blue Hill' in English.

Blue Hill salvia plants are herbaceous perennials. They are in the mint family, which makes them related to, for example, spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum).

Characteristics and Plant Care

These perennials put out small, lavender-blue flowers on spikes and reach 18-20 inches in height, with a spread a bit less than that. The flowers are a lighter color than those found on 'May Night' salvia and 'Caradonna' salvia (closer to a true blue). This is apparently why "blue" was incorporated into the cultivar name.

'Bordeau' and 'Blue Spires' are two more cultivars that are reasonably blue in color. Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' is an even nicer blue, but it is cold-hardy only to USDA zone 8, meaning that someone like me (in zone 5) can grow it only as an annual.

If you deadhead Blue Hill salvia flowers, the plants will flower all summer long. These perennials tend to flop over at the sides. To support them for a better display, consider encasing the plants in a peony ring. Another way to solve the problem of support is to plant them close enough to other perennials in your flower bed that there is no room for flopping over (that is, allow neighboring plants to support them). If you wish to avoid altogether worrying about supporting them, consider growing either 'May Night' or 'Caradonna,' instead: both tend to stay more erect than does 'Blue Hill.'

Sun and Soil Requirements, Growing Zones for Blue Hill Salvia

Grow Blue Hill salvia flowers in a sunny area with a well-drained soil. The plants will grow best in a spot that receives full sun. This is a drought-tolerant perennial. But as with most plants, it will be necessary to pay attention to young specimens to make sure that they are sufficiently irrigated.

Blue Hill salvia flowers are best grown in planting zones 4-8.

Uses for Blue Hill Salvia, Plus Wildlife and Pest Information

Some gardeners like the smell of salvia foliage, but many do not. If you fall into the former camp, Blue Hill salvia leaves are "fragrant" enough to warrant drying, so that you may include them in potpourris.

Being of intermediate height, these perennials can work well in either the front row or the middle row of a flower border or other planting bed, depending on the heights of the surrounding plants.

Blue Hill salvia flowers are plants that attract butterflies and bees. Fortunately, deer are not attracted to these plants, making them deer-resistant perennials.