Salvia azurea

Blue Sage

$3.00 - $60.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.

Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

Tray of 38
Out of Stock
3 Pack

Salvia azurea, Blue sage is an easy-to-grow and beautiful plant for medium to somewhat dry soils. This is a Salvia that has no trouble over-wintering in southern Minnesota without winter protection even though it originates in the middle states (see RANGE MAP tab). It might also be called Azure Blue Sage or Pitcher Sage.

In a prairie planting or naturalized setting the unusual clear blue blooms are visible from a distance despite the plants relative sparseness. The blue is a welcome sight among the many yellow prairie flowers of early fall. This bloom period of Blue Sage of late summer through early fall, attracts lots of bees and butterflies to the nectar.  If you rub or brush against the leaves they will emit the aromatic smell typical of Salvia species, which also keeps it safe from most herbivores like deer and rabbits. The Hermit Sphinx Moth uses species in the genus Salvia as host plants.

This plant has a tendency to "lodge" or flop over, especially in rich soils, so if you are not growing it in a plant community with grasses and other clumps to lean on, avoid fertilizer, pinch or stake, and/or provide sturdy neighboring plants with more mass to support this tall plant.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots April/May October 1 year
Potted 3-Packs May/June September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots
Potted Trays of 38* May/June N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
*This species is also available as part of a 9-plant Pollinator Power Pack (spring or fall) or 38-plant Mix & Match Tray (spring only).

Salvia azurea - Blue Sage

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

4 Questions asked on Salvia azurea

I want to thank you for introducing me to blue (azure) sage. It is very easy to grow from seed and grew well this summer. My planting looks very much like blue fireworks! A local hummingbird is also happy to feed from it. Next year I will pinch it back in June but otherwise, it's a total winner. Thanks again.
Thank you for sharing your love of this plant Mary! It is blooming right now for us too in SE MN and we adore it - as do the Monarchs and bumblebees! Yes, I can see cutting it back a bit early in the season so it will bloom a little shorter than the 5'.
Is this seed ok to lay down in Fall with other seed to come back in Spring?
Hi Kirsten, Yes! If planted in the late fall, they should germinate the following spring. Avoid planting in the early fall when they might germinate, or the seedlings may be unprepared to handle their first winter.
I have several plants now from your nursery. I had checked the range map and thought it could be considered native to central Iowa, but was told this week it is not. Ichecked the Missouri Botanical Garden site. It mentions 2 sub-species, one of which occurs further north into Minnesota. Do you know which of the 2 you are offering?
Hi Walter. The plants we have growing here are from a Central IL genotype but have surprisingly always done well. We rarely see them winterkill. So, despite it being not native here, it's growing and setting seed.
Hello! I was wondering how long it takes for this plant to bloom when planted from seeds - if I plant the seeds this spring, will it bloom this year, or the following year? Thank you for all you do!
Hi Nicole. Blue Sage is a very competent grower. Although it is never a guarantee, there's a darn good chance the potted plants or bare root plants will bloom their first year. The variables of starting from seed make the bloom period more difficult to estimate. Sometimes it will bloom from seed within a single growing season - and sometimes it takes a second summer to set flowers.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
5 feet
Bloom Time
August, September, October
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Deer Resistant
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code