‘Black and Bloom’ sage plants dazzle in the garden

‘Black and Bloom’ sage plants dazzle in the garden

Salvia ‘Black & Bloom’ and Salvia ‘Saucy Apricot’ form a dazzling marriage of rare garden colors.Norman Winter, HO/TNS

Cobalt and indigo blue is an accurate description of ‘Black & Bloom’ sage, one of the hottest plants on the market.

When I first heard the plant’s name, I thought it was a knockoff of ‘Black & Blue’ sage, which I love. But this is not the case. Ball FloraPlant is the company behind the engineering of sage, and it’s something special. ‘Black & Bloom’ Salvia guaranitica has winner written all over it.

This hummingbird magnet is tough as nails and can withstand heat and cold.

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This hardy sage grows up to 48 inches tall and wide; Its leaves are thicker and able to withstand more sunlight than its predecessor. The stems are strong and black, which makes the cobalt blue flowers with black sepals even more showy.

As further proof of their amazing performance in the garden, they are included in the Southern Living Plants and Sunset Western Garden Collection. You should be able to find this gorgeous plant at your local garden center.

Certain combinations of Black & Bloom simply amaze me, such as the pairing with Vermillionaire cuphea, another champion in the world of hummingbird plants. The red-orange and yellow tubular flowers play against the cobalt blue flowers of the salvia.

Another captivating blend is ‘Saucy Apricot’ and ‘Black & Bloom’. These two unusual garden colors combine well.

For best blooms, choose a location in full to part sun. This plant is winter hardy in zones 8-10, but only with good drainage. It will bloom from summer to frost.

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Prepare your bed by adding 3 to 4 inches of organic matter, such as fine pine bark or compost, to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. While preparing the bed, add 2 pounds of a 12-6-6 slow-release fertilizer with simple nutrients. Plant the sage at the same depth it grows in the container, leaving 2 to 3 feet of distance from other plants.

In Houston’s warm climate, the block may need to be divided within three years. Divide in early spring as new growth appears. Make sure you come into winter with an extra layer of mulch.

Due to its height, ‘Black & Bloom’ should be planted at the back of the border. Try it with rudbeckias like ‘Prairie Sun’, or lantanas like ‘Cosmic Firestorm’, which will give you a wonderful backyard habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Norman Winter is a horticulturist, garden speaker, and author of Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.

    (tags for translation) Blue 

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