How to Grow May Night Salvia

may night salvia

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

May Night salvia plants are known for the rich color of their flowers. They are also valued for the colorful wildlife that they attract to the landscape. They are just one member of a fascinating genus of plants that has something different to offer to growers with a wide variety of tastes. Fast-growing May Night salvia plants are herbaceous perennials. They are in the mint family, medium-sized, and should be planted in the late spring or early summer. .

May Night salvia flowers may be used in cut-flower arrangements, and the dried leaves are sometimes used in potpourri. Some folks eat the young, tender leaves in salads, or alternatively, include them for seasoning in cooked dishes (they are not, however, everyone's cup of tea). But most importantly, the long blooming period of May Night salvia makes it a workhorse in the perennial bed. This fact, along with the rich color of the flowers, constitutes the main reason for growing this perennial.

May night Salvia is a plant that attract butterflies, and these popular perennials will also draw hummingbirds and bees to your landscaping.

Botanical Name Salvia sylvestris
Common Name May Night wood sage, woodland sage, meadow sage
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 1.5-2 ft. tall, 1-1.5 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Well-draining
Soil pH Acidic, 7.0
Bloom Time May-June (unless flowers are deadheaded, then they can bloom all summer)
Flower Color Dark purple-blue
Hardiness Zones 4-8 (USDA)
Native Area Europe, Asia
Toxicity Non-toxic to humans, pets, and livestock

May Night Salvia Care

May Night salvia are gorgeous purple-blue perennials that are suitable for a wide range of growing climates. They're low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free.

The plants bloom in the latter half of May. This long-blooming perennial plant bears small, flowers on spikes and reaches 18 to 24-inches in height, with a similar spread. The lance-shaped leaves add to their vigorous appearance.


Grow May Night salvia flowers in an area with full sun.


May Night salvia needs well-draining soil to be a successful plant.


Although they are drought-tolerant perennials once established, a moderate amount of water must be supplied to young plants.

Temperature and Humidity

May Night salvia flowers are best grown in planting zones 4-8.


Salvias require little or no fertilizer.

Is May Night Salvia Toxic?

May Night salvia is not toxic to humans or pets. But, some types of salvia have hallucinogenic qualities and if you're not sure what you or Fido have eaten, call your doctor or veterinarian to be safe.

May Night Salvia Varieties

  • Salvia officinalis'': You may know this as the herb sage. Sage figures prominently in Thanksgiving dinners for Americans as a flavoring ingredient in stuffing.
  • 'Salvia divinorum': gets the most buzz because it has hallucinogenic properties
  • 'Salvia splendens': has spikey features and (usually) red flowers
  • 'Salvia argentea': boasts pretty, silver leaves


If you remove the spent blooms, May Night salvia plants will flower all summer long. Such long-blooming perennials are a joy to grow for gardeners who care about sequence of bloom.

Propagating May Night Salvia

May Night Salvia stem cuttings can be grown in either water or soil. To do so, use a sharp, clean gardening shear to cut 2- to 8-inch cuttings. Place the stem in clean water or clean, moist soil. Replant when roots are 3/4-inches long.

Potting and Repotting May Night Salvia

May Night Salvia does well in containers, but add a gravel/mulch mixture to the soil to help prevent drought.


If your May Night salvia is in containers, bring them inside for the winter months if you live outside their hardiness zones.

Common Pests/Diseases

Scale insects and whitefly have been known to attack salvias. If either of these insect pests bother your plants, spray them with Neem oil, a popular product for organic pest control.

closeup of may night salvia

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

may night salvia

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

may night salvia on a hill

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

may night salvia

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova