Do salvias reseed themselves?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Salvias, including Scarlet Sage or Texas Sage (Salvia coccinea), have a tendency to reseed themselves. This means that once they have flowered and produced seeds, those seeds can fall to the ground and germinate on their own, resulting in new plants the following growing season. This natural process of self-seeding allows the plant to reproduce and spread its population.

The Scarlet Sage, specifically, is known for its ability to self-seed. The plant produces bright red flowers arranged in whorls on 10-inch spikes, making it an attractive addition to any garden or landscape. As the flowers fade and begin to dry out, they form seed pods that contain the seeds for the next generation of plants.

In terms of cold hardiness, Scarlet Sage is typically suitable for USDA hardiness zone 9 and above. However, in milder climates or near the coast where temperatures may not drop as low, it is possible for Scarlet Sage to overwinter and survive in lower zones as well.

One of the benefits of self-seeding plants like Scarlet Sage is that they can create a natural and continuous cycle of blooms in the garden. As the plants reseed themselves, new seedlings will emerge and grow, eventually producing their own flowers and continuing the cycle. This can result in a larger population of Scarlet Sage plants over time, filling in empty spaces and creating a more vibrant and colorful display.

To encourage Scarlet Sage to reseed and continue blooming, it is recommended to cut back the flowering stems in midsummer. This pruning technique helps promote bushier growth and stimulates the production of more flowers in the fall. By removing the spent flowers, you also prevent the plant from putting energy into producing seeds prematurely, allowing it to focus on new growth and flower production.

In terms of maintenance, Scarlet Sage is relatively easy to care for. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Regular watering is necessary, especially during dry periods, but be careful not to overwater as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Salvias, including Scarlet Sage, have the ability to reseed themselves, ensuring the continuation of their population. This self-seeding behavior adds to their appeal as garden plants, as they can create a natural and continuous cycle of blooms. By understanding and encouraging this process, gardeners can enjoy the beauty of Scarlet Sage year after year.