WOOLLY WHITE SAGE
Salvia candidissima well deserves the common name of Woolly White Sage.
As it grows more and more woolly and covered with shimmering silver hairs, as the summer heat builds.
Silver velvety leaves sitting flat to the ground
Salvia candidissima forms beautiful rosettes of silver, velvety leaves that sit flat to the ground.
So the foliage rosette is very decorative and attractive in it’s own right at all times, even when not in flower.
Showy stems of creamy white parrot beaks
But then in summer upright stems soar up from the velvety rosettes, and erupt with neatly stacked whorls of creamy white blooms.
So Salvia candidissima really puts on a shimmering show with it’s large summer blooms, looking like flocks of parrot beaks, as well as the woolly, silvery foliage.
Soundly hardy & dwarf perennial
Salvia candidissima closely resembles it’s more well known and much loved cousin, Salvia argentea (Silver Sage).
However I find S. candidissima even more useful as it is more soundly perennial and long-lived. While S. argentea is usually regarded as a self-sowing biennial.
So you will have beautiful S. candidissima permanently in your garden design – and it does make a splendid front edge plant or groundcover under tall roses with those ghostly silver woolly rosettes.
Ideal for smaller gardens or banks
Salvia candidissima also has a more mat forming and dwarf habit than S. argentia.
Making it ideal for smaller gardens; front edges; around rose bushes; and down banks.
As well as in decorative pots.
Perfectly adapted to sunny exposed or dry positions
Plant Salvia candidissima in Full Sun as it is perfectly adapted to sunny, exposed or dry positions, as a native of Greece, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
Where it grows on rocky hillsides and shrugs off winter frosts, as well as summer heat.
It is water-wise and happy to exist on minimal extra water.
And requires a very well drained position, particularly in the winter.
Making it perfect for banks, areas with poorer soil, sandy or gravel conditions.
Bees & birds love it while rabbits & deer do not
Bees and honey-eating native birds really appreciate the massed blooms for their nectar.
But rabbits and deer do not find the plant particularly attractive fodder because of the aromatic oils in foliage and stems.
Hardy, easy, low maintenance
60cm High in showy creamy, white flower heads x 60cm Wide of woolly foliage flat to the ground.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Sow seeds of Salvia candidissima at any time of year in a punnet indoors.
Sow indoors for quick, early plants: First sow the seeds in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then pat the seeds gently to the surface of the mix to ensure good contact.
Now barely cover the seeds with sieved mix, sand or grit.
Because light these seeds need light for germination.
Now thoroughly moisten the mix by standing the sown punnet in a shallow water bath, and allowing the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.
And continue to keep the sown punnet consistently moist, but not waterlogged, by misting from a spray water bottle, as required.
Covering the punnet with a clear plastic/glass cover helps to maintain consistent moisture.
Temperatures of 15-25C approx. are best for rapid and optimum germination.
So you can use a heat mat to maintain warmth in cooler parts of the year, if you have one.
Now place the sown, moist punnet in a warm, well lit area (but not in any direct sunlight).
Seedlings emerge in approx. 10-14 days.
But do not discard the punnet too quickly after the first seeds have popped up – as these plants naturally stagger their germination.
Seed Count: 5 seeds per pack (seed of this unusual and beautiful species is scarce).
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