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In The Garden: Tropical sage can provide garden diversification

By Staff | Jun 25, 2019
PHOTO PROVIDED Tropical sage

Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) is a vibrant Florida native perfect for an island butterfly garden and an interesting addition to any native landscape in South Florida.

Tropical sage, also known as blood sage or scarlet sage, is a red flowering sage species that thrives in full sun, well-drained soil, is drought tolerant and grows best in the hot and humid weather when other plants suffer. The native plant grows 3-4 feet tall, spreading from 1-2 feet in width.

The flowers of the species are a bright red color that grow on a long stem out of the herbaceous perennial. This species of saliva looks best when massed together as a tall groundcover. To maintain a neat looking landscape with the species, cut the plant back at the end of the year after it finishes flowering and foliage begins to die.

The tropical sage plant is a great wildlife attractor for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds as its trumpet-shaped flowers provide the best access to the nectar. The native beauty provides an abundant supply of nectar due to its blooming from spring to fall and is also a vigorous self-seeder, creating dense thickets that provide protection for small birds and reptiles, so it also helps provide garden diversification.

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit “http://www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden”>www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.