Xeriscaping – Landscaping With Blues in Arizona

Xeriscaping – Landscaping With Blues in Arizona

Its a rare thing to have real blue tones in the blooms of plants. Sadly, none of them are totally true blue, but a few come very close and will shine in your Phoenix or Glendale landscaping. The beauty of Salvia farinacea picture here is not just its striking blue violet blooms. Here you have a hardworking perennial that in many other areas of the country is a highly sought after annual flower. Lucky you… this member of the Salvia family is hardy in our mild climate.

Any plant that falls under the name ‘Salvia’ is also a member of the sage family. Some of these are culinary herbs, but many have the showy flowers that are prized in landscapes and gardens everywhere. These plants produce scented foliage and flower in a range of tones: white, pinks, red, and blues to purples. Salvias prefer a well drained soil and deal with dry periods very well. This makes them an excellent addition to the xeriscaping landscaping that we use in Arizona.

Some call this particular blooming beauty Texas Violet Sage or Victoria Blue Sage, and it’s oldest common name is Mealycup Sage. The color of the petals is pretty close to that of antique cobalt glass that was all the rage in the Victorian era and is most likely how it was name Victoria Blue. The profusion of bloom in Phoenix or Glendale landscaping will begin in March and continue until sometime in November. There aren’t a lot of plants that will deliver an incredible 9 months of bloom to color your outdoor living areas and curb appeal.

When using blues in your landscape design, keep in mind that this flower color recedes where others like pinks, reds and white or yellow come to the forefront. This has to do with the visible spectrum of light, as well as on some plants the closeness in tone between the blue of the bloom and the green of the leaf. Salvia farinacea has light green to silvery leaves so the gorgeous blooms aren’t that easily lost against the foliage. You will enjoy the most impact from this perennial’s flowers if it is backed by a light colored wall or mass of plants. The light tones of our adobe walls are a perfect way to make the blue blooms really pop. Combined with bright blooming plants like red or yellow, you will have a color show that is phenomenal.

The spike flowers will be borne in abundance in full sun and require no deadheading to continue to pump out fresh blooms. This makes it a low maintenance plant for the busy homeowner. A native of southern Texas and Mexico, this perennial sage is right at home in sandy or sharp draining soils. While it is very drought tolerant, if you really want it to shine in your Glendale xeriscaping or patio garden, it is advisable to give it some water, at least once a week. This will allow your plant to really flourish and blooms to appear in thick, beautiful profusion.

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