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Growing Good Food at Home

Scarlet Sage

Scarlet Sage

Scarlet Sage

Scarlet Sage

Although most salvias flower in shades of blue, scarlet sage (salvia coccinea) is a striking exception. Also known as tropical sage, blood sage, and Indian fire, this beauty is native to the southern US, growing wild from South Carolina to Florida and west to Texas. There it blooms from February to October, with loose blossoms that range in color from white to pink to salmon and bright red. Though considered an annual, it reseeds easily and grows in sun or shade. This ornamental sage will attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Its strong fragrance is pleasant to humans but repels most deer.

Sun Exposure

  • Full sun

Soil pH

  • 6.0 to 7.0

Hardiness Zones

  • 8 to 10 as a perennial


  • Grows 1 to 3 feet in height
  • Spread of 1 to 2 feet


  • Water deeply 1 inch a week
  • Moist but well-drained soil


  • Showy, widely spaces blossoms on spikes
  • Leaves are hairy with scalloped edges
  • Best for landscaping, shade color, ornamental gardens

Have you ever grown scarlet sage? Please tell us about your experiences with scarlet salvia.


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