I recently asked you a question about tropical sage that I purchased in Florida. Looking back at the bottle where the seeds were contained, the other name is “Salvia Splendens-Red.” Does that help you to determine if the seedlings will survive Kentucky winters? Perhaps the name “tropical sage” was just a local name.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello again, Donna: I am glad that you still had the seed packet. Salvia splendens is commonly known as red salvia or scarlet sage. It is indeed an annual for us here in Kentucky since it will not survive our winter temperatures. It is native to Brazil and considered a perennial for those gardeners in hardiness zones 8-10. These plants are readily available each spring at your local garden center. If you still have some seed, save it and plant it next spring either indoors four to six weeks before our frost-free date or directly sow outdoors after May 10. These annuals attract hummingbirds with their spiky, tubular flowers, which are most commonly red but are also available in pink, white, purple, and bi-colored flowers. They are great for a splash of color in the summer garden or in a container. They also work great for cut flowers. Salvia require full sun for the best blooms and prefer to grow in nutrient-rich, consistently moist soil.