Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: August to October
- Flower colour: dark purple-blue
- Other features: softly hairy foliage
- Hardiness: half hardy (will need protection during winter)
The flower colour of this glorious perennial is quite simply breath-taking, and this coupled with the plants strong architectural presence, will ensure that heads will be turned towards the back of the border. From late summer to late autumn, 30cm long upright spikes carry sumptuously coloured purple-blue flowers, which are held at their bases by near-black calyces - hence the name 'Black and Blue'. This is a vigorous plant, but it is not fully hardy, so it will need some protection in winter. Therefore, it is ideally suited to grow near a sheltered, south facing wall.
- Garden care: To prolong flowering remove the flower spikes as soon they start to fade. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant in autumn to help keep the roots warm.