‘Black and Blue’ salvia is really more blue and purple than black, but you know how these things go in the garden world. Dark purple is often considered black and identifying colour is mostly down to a bit of wishful thinking. This salvia is also reported to attract hummingbirds, hence the common name, hummingbird sage, but it does not live up to the hype there either, at least not in my garden where nary a hummingbird has been seen and not for want of trying.
No matter. The blue is stunning, shocking I’d say against bright chartreuse green leaves. And while it hasn’t magically conjured up a hummingbird, it does bring the pollinators out in droves. Look what happened while I was shooting these photographs!
Like all salvias the smell is aromatic and unique. I’ve had a piece in my pocket all day that I’ve pulled out now and again to smell in an attempt to write this description. It’s sweet and reminiscent of the fruit sages. Sometimes I smell pineapple or apple and a hint of anise. The leaves are roughly textured and remind me a little of anise-hyssop, especially the chartreuse variety.
- Climate: Zones 7-11. Definitely not my zone, which means I have to decide whether I’m going to try and overwinter a cutting indoors or just let it go.
- Conditions: Like all salvias it likes it warm and bright with well-draining soil that does not become waterlogged. However, I find that while this one can tolerate a dry spell now and again, it seems to prefer consistent moisture to maintain that bright, lush foliage.
- Container Growing: I’ve been growing mine in a very large container and I’ve found that it can’t take too much sun or too much dryness in a pot (even a very big one). For that reason I’ve had to step up the watering regime (why I could not show you the whole plant since the lower leaves suffered when I neglected to provide enough water) and I keep it in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.
- Blooms summer to frost.