Rockin salvias color, performance and pollinators
Rockin’ Salvia lives up to its name in Georgia. I’ve never claimed to be a Madison Avenue marketing expert, but the Rockin’ name given to sage caught my attention as odd. Then again, who am I to tip the proven winners of one of the most successful plant collections in the history of horticulture.
It’s true that Rockin Deep Purple and Rockin Fuchsia check the list. They are Rockin with Color, Rockin with Performance and Rockin with Pollinators. That makes them winners in my book. I could tell they were winners before I had a chance to farm. I just unpacked several sage plants with a Vermillionaire cup and placed them on my driveway as I walked into the house to get a cold cup of tea. When they returned just a few minutes later, they were already being pummeled by hummingbirds, sage-grouse, and cophea.
I’ll add that I’ll also be sharing the Rockin salvia Blue Suede Shoes, which will be released next year and have Champion written on them as well. These plants are already in my garden and in commercial farms around town, so I have to agree that the proven winners have already chosen the most appropriate name.
You’ll find Rockin’ Salvia at your local garden center this year, which is a perfect fit as we celebrate 2019 as the Year of the Salvia, which I wrote about back in March. At the time I didn’t realize that I would be so fascinated by this relatively new series.
The Rockin Deep Purple and Rockin Blue Suede will reach 30 to 40 inches in height while the Rockin Fuchsia is slightly shorter. They are all listed as salvia hybrids and all have black or dark calyxes. They would have you believe that Salvia garanitica or anise sage could be a parent. They are described as perennials in zones 9 and warmer and I promise they are worth every penny to grow as annuals.
Think about how much fun it is to grow flowers for hummingbirds versus hanging feeders, using sugar, or purchasing hummingbird food. You will not be changing the water cleaning feeders but will simply watch them feed on the plants you grow them for. You will also bring bees and butterflies. I’ll probably still hang the feeder as well.
Also in the Rockin Series are Rockin Playing the Blues and Rockin Golden Delicious. Rockin Playing the Blues is of similar origin to Indico Spires, or Mystic Spires and Gold Delicious is a colorful pineapple sage that will have red flowers. They will also bring hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
Your landscape combinations are only limited by your imagination. I had the opportunity to photograph Rockin Fuchsia salvia partnered with Truffula Pink gomphrena in a large horse enclosure that had Superbells Coralina calibrahoa over the edge for a simply dramatic look.
Sunshine and well-drained, organic-rich soil will give you a green thumb when it comes to growing rock sage plants. We can all celebrate that they are not on the deer list. The growing season is still early, and some of you may say it hasn’t arrived yet, never mind that you have a great opportunity to grow rockin’ salvia for the hummingbird season of your dreams.
Rockin’ Fuchsia salvia, Truffula Pink gomphrena and Superbells Coralina Calibrachoa create a dazzling container. (Norman Winter/TNS)
This Ruby-throated Hummingbird was seen feeding on Rockin’ Deep Purple in Old Town Columbus, Georgia. (Norman Winter/TNS)
This Ruby-throated Hummingbird was caught feeding on a Rockin’ Deep Purple plant at the author’s home. (Norman Winter/TNS)