SALVIA SPLENDENS

SALVIA SPLENDENS

The sage genus, which belongs to the Laminaceae (Labiate) family, includes many species: some are aromatic and edible (Salvia officinalis), others are ornamental (Salvia splendens), and others yet are wild. Their name comes from the Latin salvus=healthy or salus=health. Salvia splendens is native to South America and, although it is perennial in its natural habitat, in Italy, it is cultivated as an annual plant. There are many cultivars of different sizes, from a few decimeters up to 1 m tall. These plants have erect stems that, at the top, bear a spike made up of many little, colourful flowers. The flowers can range from red, to mauve, to white. Excellent for borders in full sun, they may also be placed in part-shade but, with a lack of light, these plants easily become stringy (lengthening their stems and bearing few flowers). Sage plants fear the cold and temperatures below 10°C can slow down their growth. They enjoy moist soils, rich in organic substances. They may be cultivated in vases, however, in this case, the compost used must be a mix of 70% organic compost, while the remaining part can contain inert material. They require humid soil and must, therefore, be watered frequently; when cultivated in vases, the smaller the vase, the more frequently they must be watered. Every 15-20 days it is advisable to add to the irrigation water a soluble ternary fertilizer. These plants are very resistant to disease, but may easily be attacked by snails and, in hot weather, by oidium. The latter may be kept in check with applications of sulfur.

pianta da fiore salvia