Name: Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’
Type of Plant: This is an annual herb in my area, but a perennial in zones 8-11. Grow this plant in full sun, and enjoy the fruity fragrance of the foliage.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: You say you want color in your yard and garden? You say that your perennial garden doesn’t have much pizzazz after mid-summer? You say you want a plant that you can add to cocktails and show off on Instagram? Have I got a plant for you!
Beautiful, bright lime-yellow leaves all summer long with no maintenance. Grows to three feet tall and wide over the summer. Red flowers that support late-to-migrate hummingbirds (see my story here) and give us reason to celebrate even as the days grow shorter.
Add to all of that, the leaves smell of pineapple and can be used in cocktails or simply for aromatherapy. And if your perennial garden has mostly early to mid-summer flowers, simply place three to seven of these Salvias in between your perennials and they will politely stand back through the earlier part of the season, only to boldly grow over the fading peony and daylily foliage in September.
A Word to the Wise: Be sure to buy some of these plants in late May when you’ll find them in your garden centers. Don’t be put off by the fact that they are a bit wimpy at that time of this time of year. Before you place them in the soil, scatter some time-release fertilizer around the area where they will grow, and plant them in the center of that area.
If your new plants only have two or three stems when you buy them, pinch the very tippy top leaves off of those stems to encourage branching. You won’t have to do that more than once. These Salvia will bush out well on their own after an initial pinch.
I love this plant and a couple years ago it was everywhere in the garden centers but it seems now I have to hunt for it. Found a couple at Avant Gardens in early July and hoping to see flowers but it doesn’t matter because the foliage is oh-la-la. I have it with Salvia Black and Blue another summer fav.
Thank you for highlighting this great plant.
Hyannis Country Garden has this plant every year since it’s included in the Proven Winners offerings. I’m sure that Soares Flower Garden Nursery also has it.