Victoria Blue salvia plant is valued for the deep blue flowers that run up and down its showy flower spikes, which are commonly as long as 8 inches. The foliage is also pretty, being a grayish-green; the leaves are lance-shaped. This type of ornamental sage can be made to bloom all summer long with proper care. Take advantage of its long-blooming quality and use this member of the mint family to fill holes in your sequence of bloom.
- Botanical Name: Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue'
- Common Name: Victoria Blue salvia, mealy-cup sage, Victoria Blue flowering sage
- Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial in its native lands; treated as an annual in the North
- Mature Size: 18 to 24 inches tall, with a spread of about 12 to 18 inches
- Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sun
- Soil Type: Well-drained, evenly moist, and of average fertility
- Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic or slightly alkaline
- Bloom Time: June to September, with proper care
- Flower Color: Deep blue
- Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
- Native Area: Texas and Mexico
How to Grow Victoria Blue Salvia
Plants brought home from the garden center should be installed in the ground only after all danger of frost is over in your area.
It is a good idea to deadhead them if you are striving for the best flowering display possible. Some gardeners prefer to let the flowers go to seed, hoping for naturalization, in which case they will avoid deadheading. Divide them in spring if you are growing the plants as perennials and you wish to gain extra plants for use in other areas of the yard.
These plants do tend to get powdery mildew on their leaves. If you are growing them as perennials, you may not consider this a big problem, since the powdery mildew does no real harm and the plants will come back just fine next spring. But if you are growing them as annuals, you have a small window of opportunity in which to enjoy them, and powdery mildew would spoil your enjoyment. Since powdery mildew is a fungus, and since fungi like moist conditions, the key to preventing it is moisture control:
- Provide your plants with good air flow by giving them enough space (do not plant them tightly together). Good air flow helps the foliage dry off after it rains. Since plant width is up to 18 inches, space them at least 18 inches on center in a mass planting of Victoria Blue salvias if avoiding powdery mildew is your goal.
- When watering, do not spray them from overhead. This gets the foliage wet and invites fungus. Instead, run your garden hose so that the water is directed at the base of the plants, at ground level.
Grow these plants in a full-sun area in the North. The farther south you are, the more advisable it becomes to grow them in partial sun.
The main requirement is that the soil be well-drained. While it is not ideal, they will tolerate clay soil to some degree.
Although they are drought-tolerant perennials once mature, do not forget to water young plants, which have more trouble with dry conditions. Since they last only one growing season in the North (which is not long enough for them to become mature), Northerners will have to water them regularly if they expect to get a good display of blooms.
These plants do not need much fertilizer. Work compost into the soil of your planting bed every few years for them.
Uses for Victoria Blue Salvia in Landscaping
Because of their showy, long-lasting flowers, they are often treated as bedding plants and massed together to form a "sea of blue," especially in the North. In round container gardens, install a Victoria Blue salvia plant in the middle, and let shorter plants in complementary colors trail over the edge, such as white sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). For those who like to bring the garden inside, the flowers can be used in cut-flower arrangements or dried for a longer-lasting display. They are also suitable for cottage gardens.
The deep blue color of Victoria Blue salvia's flowers is no doubt the plant's best feature. Deep, almost true blue (as opposed to the more purplish blue of many perennial salvias) is a highly sought-after color in flowers, especially in the U.S., where people seek red, white, and blue floral color schemes for two holidays during the warm-weather months: Memorial Day (in late May) and Independence Day (July 4).
Match them with sun-loving perennials that flower in yellow or orange for a nice color combination. Examples of good companion plants for them are:
- Coneflowers (Echinacea), especially orange and yellow types
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
- Tickseed (Coreopsis)
- Stella de Oro daylily (Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro')
In terms of their relationships with wildlife, Victoria Blue salvia flowers attract hummingbirds. Plus they are plants that attract butterflies and bees (bees tend to be drawn to flowers of a blue color). Luckily, they are deer-resistant perennials.