The 2022 Louisiana Super Plant title goes to… | Entertainment/Life

The 2022 Louisiana Super Plant title goes to… |  Entertainment/Life

Here at the LSU AgCenter, we select new Louisiana Super Plant selections every fall and spring.

Usually, only a specific cultivar or variety of plant receives this prestigious designation. But this year, we couldn’t choose just one.

Salvias are an excellent addition to the warm season landscape, and with a wide range of colors and sizes available, it can be difficult to decide which one you prefer. That’s why we awarded the title of Louisiana Super Plant of Summer 2022 to all sagebrush plants.

White Flame salvia is a white, heat-tolerant salvia that blooms abundantly.

Louisiana Super Plants are university-tested and industry-approved plants that are not only beautiful, but can also withstand the Louisiana climate. Salvias fit the bill perfectly.

Salvias are the largest member of the Salvia family, with thousands of species found worldwide. Hundreds of species are native to the Americas. Salvias are herbaceous flowering plants of both annual and perennial types. They are abundant bloomers and very attractive to pollinators.

The flowers are long spikes called panicles or panicles and come in bright colors of blue, pink, purple and red – and sometimes white and yellow. The flowers are often tubular or bell-shaped, making them attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. All sage plants have a high nectar content.

Red salvia

Salvias perform well in containers. These red tubular flowers are magnets for pollinators.

Salvia plants are most prolific when planted in full sun and in well-drained soil. Because of their height, sage plants are best planted in the middle or back of flower beds. They are stunning when planted en masse. Salvias also do well in container plantings alone or paired with cover. They make a great addition to pollinator gardens and rustic themed gardens.

Many salvia plants are drought tolerant once established. They have few pests or disease problems. Fertilize in early spring with a slow-release granular fertilizer or use a liquid feed several times during the extended flowering season.

Salvias come in a wide range of heights and spreads. Most reach heights of 2 to 4 feet with the same spread. Space plants at 24 to 36 inches for best growth.

Salvias grow quickly and will provide color and greenery for a complete look in no time. Make them look tidy in the fall with light pruning. Many varieties do not require deadheading; However, doing so will encourage new flowers to appear. Many are perennials and will return each spring after freezing temperatures. Plants that have sustained freeze damage can be pruned in the spring before new growth appears.

Annual sage plants are warm-season plants, while perennials will bloom year-round if not killed by a frost or freeze, returning year after year from hardy rootstocks. Salvia often self-propagates, so you may find seedlings that you can use in other parts of your landscape.

The colorful, slender tubular flowers of these plants make gorgeous blooms and last for several days in a vase indoors. With so many colors to choose from, include a wide selection to add dimension to your gardens and provide options for pollinators.

The LSU AgCenter recommended some selections based on excellent performance in experiments at its Hammond Research Station. You can use some of them to create a red, white, and blue display just in time for the 4th of July celebrations.

Roman Red has showy crimson flowers on compact, upright plants. They look stunning in a mass planting and can be used as a border accent. The native red sage is the scarlet sage, also known as red sage (Salvia coccinea). It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies with its rich red tubular flowers that appear from spring through fall. It is fairly drought tolerant.

White Flame provides white flowers in a compact habit and has excellent thermal performance. It matches the height of Mystic Spiers Salvia. Mystic Spiers Blue Improved is a gorgeous blue salvia in compact form that produces tons of true blue flowers. It tolerates heat and humidity and has been “improved” because it sheds its dead petals, maintaining a cleaner appearance. Blue Suede Boots, a hybrid variety of Rockin’s Salvias series, has light blue flowers, each with a black calyx.

These hardy plants tolerate heat and drought, and are also attacked by pollinators. Add dramatic sage plants to your gardens this summer and enjoy the show.

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