Sage for dry soil

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A selection of shrubby Salvias particularly suited to dry soils. The salvias presented here withstand prolonged summer drought. They are species native to semi-arid regions in summer: Mediterranean surroundings, mountains of Texas and Mexico, steppes of central Europe and the Middle East. More or less hardy, they are grown in our gardens in very well-drained soil, in the sun. Among the most understated, there is the Salvia chamaedryoides, a shrub with silver foliage and small intense blue flowers from May-June to October. But also the lavender-leaved sage (Salvia lavandulifolia), very aromatic, with lavender spikes, spontaneously found in Spain and the south of France. Let's also mention Salvia lycioides, with small intense dark blue flowers. Better known to gardeners, Salvia microphylla, S. x jamensis and S. grahamii are also plants that are not very demanding in water. Among their many hybrids and horticultural varieties, the hybrid 'Royal Blue', 'Bleu Armor', 'California Sunset' or even 'Christine Yeo' have distinguished themselves by their performance in dry or even very dry soil. The foliage of these plants, generally aromatic, is deciduous to evergreen or semi-evergreen depending on the varieties. Their honey-scented flowers appear for a long period, often from spring to summer, gathered in flower spikes. The bushy salvias are, in general, not very water demanding once well rooted. They are plants for sun and well-drained soil, with a preference for limestone. A sunny rockery, a raised bed enriched with gravel or an exposed slope will be enough for them. 

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