Salvia azurea
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Salvia azurea Blue Sage



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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. If you rub or brush against the leaves they will emit the aromatic smell typical of Salvia species. The bloom period of Blue Sage is in late summer through early fall, attracting lots of bees and butterflies to the nectar. 

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.

Spring potted plants (3-packs and trays of 38) ship when all plants are well-rooted and transit-ready, early May through June.  Fall potted plants (3-packs) ship when all plants are well-rooted and transit-ready, late August through September.

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

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.

1 Question asked on Salvia azurea






Q Mary • September 14 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.
A Prairie Moon • September 14 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'.
SEED:

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, download: Seed Starting Basics.

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:

Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date; Spring shipping is typically early-May through June, and Fall shipping is late-August through September. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care 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
over $100.00: 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will 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 a day or two upon receipt.

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 38 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.

Delivery:

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.

FOR MORE DETAILED SHIPPING INFORMATION, INCLUDING CANADA SHIPPING RATES (SEED ONLY), PLEASE SEE 'SHIPPING' AT THE FOOTER OF THIS WEBSITE.

iDetails

Seeds/Packet
100
Seeds/Ounce
7,000
Germination Code
A
Life Cycle
Perennial
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
Height
5 feet
Bloom Time
August, September, October
Bloom Color
Blue
Advantages
 * 
USDA Zones
4-9
Plant Spacing
18-24"
Catalog Number
SAL04F