Not a species but a much loved cultivar Salvia Van Houttei has large deep red flowers and the real beauty of being very long flowering, the warmer the longer it flowers. (see picture right)
A reasonably tall growing cultivar it will reach around 1m and the only problem it seems to have is being frost tender, so some protection is need.
Lots of sun, but some protection from the hot afternoon sun seems to work well. Although fairly drought tolerant, a little water during dry spells is required.
As it seems to flower almost all year round pruning can be continual as well, remove spent flower heads (they rarely seed and do not come true anyway) cut back any lanky growth as well. A fantastic plant for attracting birds and butterflies to the garden.
In terms of origin Salvia van houttei is thought to be a sport of S. splendens however some think it might be a species after all, the jury is out on that one.
Salvia Van Houttei Care
This is a very easy care plant once established. It grows well in the garden as well as in containers. Like many salvias, Salvia van houttei will become woody after 4 or 5 years. The answer to this is replace the whole plant from cuttings or offsets.
- Position – Full sun to a little shade.
- Soil – Humus rich well drained.
- Flower colour – Red with a darker calyx.
- Foliage – Mid green.
- Flowering period – This is a long flowering plant almost year round in warmer climates. Flowering can decrease in the heat of summer.
Pruning Salvia van houttei
Two pruning methods can be used.
- Hard prune each year in early spring.
- Remove 1/3 of all stems from established clumps each year.
Plants can be propagated by division or from cuttings with relative ease. Try planting with some golden flowering plants for a great display. Salvia van houttei is the best red flowering salvia that you can buy.