Updated at: 27-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Salvia is a popular choice for gardeners because of its leaves, which can appear dusty or brightly colored. Sage (Salvia officinalis, USDA zones 5 through 10) and chia (Salvia hispanica, USDA zones 9 through 12) are examples of salvias that are used in cooking. As a psychoactive drug, S alvia divinorum_ (zones 3 through 9), is sometimes used as a recreational substance.

Others in the species serve no utility than to enhance the aesthetics of the landscape. Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii), which thrives in zones 8 to 11, as well as the bright crimson sage (Salvia sativa) (Salvia splendens, zones 10 through 11).

What Is Salvia?

Plants in the mint family are known as salvias. Perennial and annual salvias are known to exist in the world, with 960 varieties total. Warmer areas like the southern United States, Europe, and Central America are ideal for shrubs. They thrive in full sun or light shade, and are quite drought tolerant.

How to Deadhead Salvia May Night - YouTube

They have aromatic scents, and their flowers tend to be tubular, with two stamen and usually two lips that insects and occasionally hummingbirds pollinate. They branch off from tall, woody stalks, and their fruit tends to be small nuts.

Reasons to Deadhead Salvia

Flowering plants with aromatic scents are often tubular with two stamens and usually two lips that attract insects, as well as hummingbirds, to pollinate their blossoms. Nuts are the most common form of fruit, and they grow on long, woody stalks.

It’s a simple procedure, although it can take some time. Deadheading salvia has its own set of considerations. In the case of salvia, timing and sanitation are the most important factors.

Deadheading in a Nutshell

The process of deadheading is straightforward. Using scissors or hand pruners, just cut off the faded blooms. On long stems are the blooms. The first step is to locate the highest pair of leaves on the stalk. There should be two little buds on the leaves, which will develop into fresh flowers. Trim the stem just above the buds with instruments that are as sharp as possible. For every dead flower stalk, perform this procedure once more.

A plant’s blooms will perish first if its stalks and roots are healthy.

When Is the Best Time to Deadhead Salvia?

The secret to successfully deadheading salvia is to do so at the appropriate time of year. As the summer progresses, the flowers of salvia species begin to fade and fall off. Trimming the plants now is the time to do so.

In addition, they begin to drop their little, nut-like seeds at this time. If the plant is cut before it goes to seed, it can continue to bloom until the end of the year.

In order to enable perennial varieties of the plant survive the winter, it is best to cut the plants down to their stalks (nearly to their roots). There are less nutrients being used up in this way during the chilly winter months, which saves money in the long run.

Make Sure to Clean Your Tools

Before commencing the procedure of deadheading, clean any equipment that will be used. Plants can become infected with a number of pathogens if they are handled with dirty instruments, and in extreme circumstances, they can die.

Chlorine bleach, trisodium phosphates, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and many more substances can be used to clean shears and knives. Preventative maintenance of tools is beneficial. Make sure the blades are cleaned and disinfected after each use to guarantee that the cuts are clean, both in terms of germs and quality. When deadheading a plant, be sure to follow this step carefully to avoid any mistakes.

How To Deadhead Salvia Easily


You must examine your tools for deadheading salvia in advance, just as you must do when deadheading other plants. Your tools must be sanitized and disinfected in order to avoid the spread of pests and diseases. Pathogens can enter your plants through deadheading, and this could lead to the death of your salvias.

Which of the following can be used to disinfect and clean instruments? Disinfectants such as chlorine bleach and isopropyl alcohol are readily available for your tools. More so, don’t forget to sharpen your shears and knives because a clean cut will also ensure that you won’t damage your plants, while also keep them looking good.

How to Deadhead Perennials. Garden Tutorial by Maria von Brincken, Landscape Designer - YouTube


You’ll need something to clean and sanitize your instruments. It’s not hard to locate disinfectants like chlorine bleach and isopropyl alcohol for your instruments. Keep your shears and knives sharp to guarantee that you don’t harm your plants, and to keep them looking excellent, as well.

Salvia plants bloom throughout the summer, therefore this is the best time to plant. By the middle of the season, the flowers will begin to fade, so it’s a good idea to deadhead them. Because you’ve plucked the old blossoms, the plants may now concentrate on growing new ones.

Deadheading in the midst of the season, on the other hand, will inhibit seed development. The blooming of salvias can continue into the winter if you do not re-seed them. To ensure that your perennial salvias survive the winter, you may want to trim down your plants after the flowering season.


Salvia’s method of deadheading is similar to that of other plants, thus there’s nothing unique about it. Remove the dead and faded flowers after ensuring that you have sharp and sanitized prunes or scissors. As a helpful tidbit, look for the stalk’s uppermost pair of leaves.

You want to avoid the buds in these leaves because they will turn into new flowers later on. Use this as a guide on where to trim the stalk because you can cut above the buds. You can also apply this technique to the stalks without buds but bears dead flowers.

There are buds in these leaves that may eventually develop into new flowers, therefore you should avoid them at all costs. Because you can cut above the buds, use this as a reference for trimming the stalk. This method can also be used on stalks that have no buds, but nevertheless bear dead flowers.

Caring For Salvia

It is best to avoid the buds in these leaves, as they will eventually produce fresh flowers. Because you can cut above the buds, use this as a reference for trimming the stalk. Stalls with no buds but dead blooms can also benefit from this strategy.


Plant health and blossoming should be supported by the steady conditions in the greenhouse. The type and variety of salvias you have will influence where the best place to plant them is. The greatest place for blossoming is in a location that gets a lot of sunlight.

Water and feeding

Salvias will thrive in a well-draining soil that also retains moisture. During the summer, be careful not to overwater salvias, but also don’t let them dry up completely. Salvias, on the other hand, don’t need fertilizer to bloom properly, but you can compost and mulch every spring.


Salvias can be pruned once they have done blooming in addition to deadheading regularly during the season. Check the lower section of the plant for woody stems and cut them off. As a general rule of thumb, salvias should be pruned after the first deadly frost in order to keep them healthy.

Salvia, who are you, exactly?

Salvia is a member of the mint family (Lamiceae) and may be found on nearly every major continent except Antarctica, with more than 900 species. In other parts of the world, they become shrubs that remain green all year round. Herbaceous plants lose their leaves in the winter and die back, whereas woody plants persist after losing their foliage.

Salvia does best in soil that is well-drained and hot and dry. If your garden is overly wet, swampy, or shady, you probably shouldn’t plant salvia.

That being the case, why would I bother writing about Salvia?

First and foremost for their beauty, ease of care and dependability as a flowering companion in the garden. Salvia is unfazed by drought, deer, rabbits, woodchucks, beetles, or slugs, and continues to thrive throughout the season.. They don’t require a lot of attention, but the attention you do give them will pay off handsomely. Few things in life can be relied upon to this degree.

In addition to helping the environment, planting Salvia is a terrific idea. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are just a few of the beneficial pollinators they attract. As a result, our gardens benefit from their presence, as well as the birds and insects that pollinate our local produce.

Did I mention they’re beautiful?

What is Salvia used for?

Lots! As a culinary and medicinal ingredient, salvia dates back centuries to the Mediterranean, where it was first grown.

Culinary sage is used in more recipes than we have time or space to list here. Cooks everywhere love it for its sweet and savory flavor that goes well with poultry and pork, pairing perfectly with many other classic herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Aside from treating snakebites and digestive problems, it has also been used to relieve ulcers and treat digestive difficulties.

What about Salvia for an ornamental garden?

There are far too many recipes that call for culinary sage for us to mention them all here. In the kitchen, it’s popular because of its sweet and savory flavor that pairs wonderfully with poultry and pork. It also works well with rosemary and thyme. It has even been used to treat snakebites and calm ulcers as well as digestive problems.

Other favorites of mine in the Salvia family are:

  • With long-lasting drifts of pure white flowers and narrow leaves, Salvia nemerosa ‘Snow Hill’ has a compact growth habit.
  • Salvia nemerosa ‘Eveline,’ with its big, ovate leaves and tall, pink flower spikes in May and June, has a more open growth habit. Deadheading after the initial bloom can cause this plant to send up a few new pink stalks, but it doesn’t rebloom as frequently.
  • Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna,’ with its darker purple flowers and closely packed clusters, gives the garden a stiffer, more erect appearance.
  • Dark purple flower spikes are clustered on the stem of Salvia verticilata ‘Purple Rain,’ which has a larger serrated leaf. Somewhat less rigid than the Nemerosa kind, but nonetheless stunning in its own right.

If the annual Salvias that grow as perennials closer to the equator bore you to tears (if that is even possible), check out the perennial Salvias that grow in northern regions. It doesn’t matter if you can only grow them in the summer; their beauty is still unrivaled.

How to Deadhead Salvia | Hunker

The following are my top four picks:

  • Sage and Pineapple
  • Sage of the Blue Angels
  • Salvia ‘Black and Blue’
  • Salvia Red Lady

Watch as they burst into color in the summer heat after starting them early and feeding them soluble fertilizer.

The secret to bigger, better blooms

You can obtain as many as four blooms a season from perennial Salvias if you dead-head them (remove the old, spent flowers). This year’s flowering will continue all season long if you give it a decent pruning following its first flush of bloom.

I’m referring to careful dead-heading when I say “appropriate trimming.” Gardeners frequently use shears or scissors to get at the plant. That is absolutely NOT how it should be done. If you haven’t previously seen the video above, now might be a good time.

Observe the branching architecture and track the old flower stalks down to where two new leaf sets and buds are growing on either side of that main stem. Because the plant is well-structured and predictable, this is a simple and worthwhile task. A slow start is understandable, but soon enough you’ll be able to rapidly and effortlessly deadhead Salvia, without even thinking about it. In my opinion, the task is a type of meditation for me.

Salvias are a New England favorite because of their beauty, dependability, and ease of maintenance, regardless of whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener. If you haven’t already, plant some in your garden. This is a great thing to do for both the insects as well as for you!


There aren’t many plants that are both hardy and lovely at the same time. To get the most out of this beautiful plant, it’s important to know how to deadhead it properly. The technique itself is simple, and you simply need to pay attention to the tools, timing, and the actual process.

In the middle of summer, start removing the dead or faded blooms with sanitized and sharp tools. Check the top of the plant, which is where the flowers fade fastest, by cutting above the fresh buds. When performing routine care, don’t forget to cut back on the woody stems.

Generally speaking, salvias are low-maintenance plants, however deadheading them will ensure that they continue to produce blossoms. In the greenhouse, they can be grown with other plants to attract pollinators. To affect blooming, you don’t need to fertilize salvias, but deadheading and trimming will keep them healthy for future seasons.