Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.
Scarlet sage, scientifically known as Salvia coccinea, is a species of salvia that looks like a perennial but is generally not cold hardy in Louisiana. It is a re-seeding annual in the majority of the state but can be an “in-ground” perennial in warmer summer locations.
All salvias do best in full sun. They prefer well-drained soil and can be planted spring through mid-to-late summer. Flowering is abundant during summer and fall. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Pinch them back occasionally to control height and encourage more blooms.
Varieties include the popular Lady in Red, Snow Nymph (white flowers) and Coral Nymph (coral, pink flowers). A new group – the Summer Jewel varieties – has white, red or pink flowers. Summer Jewel varieties grow 18-24 inches tall compared to heights of 30-36 inches for other varieties.
Scarlet sage is easy to grow from seed, and many varieties are All-America Selection winners.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture