Hardiness for Salvia 'Black & Blue'

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I stopped by a new nursery and fell in love - with Salvia 'Black & Blue'. Unfortunately I'm in zone 6 and it's hardiness starts at zone 7. Has anyone found a way to successfully overwinter this beauty? To me it was worth it even as an annual but I'd really like to have it overwinter. I may not be able to find it again. I've never tried to grow something outside its hardiness zone. I hope someone can help me!

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Put it in the warmest spot in your garden with the most sun exposure. Put a good, thick layer of mulch on it and hope it works!!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I fell in love with him too, but he could not commit... The relationship was doomed, he was a hot blooded Mediterranean type, and I was a cool Scandinavian. Seriously though- I am in zone 8. I used to live right by the lake (near Seattle, mild summers, mild winters), and it was even cooler there in the summer due to the water. I had a lot of sand, and generally Salvias and Penstemons did great. I could not keep Salvia 'Black and Blue' alive over the winter, and it just never grew as well as my other Salvias. It seemed to want more heat in the summer, and less wet in the winter. Maybe put him in a pot, and roll him into the garage in the winter?

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

If you have a heated garage or sunroom you can dig it up in October, pot it and place it where it gets some sun and replant after danger of frost is over in Spring

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I have grown salvia B&B for years.
It's late bloom contrasts nicely against the fall colors.
It spreads a little rampantly, but then is controlled by it's marginal hardiness.
Does OK for me despite marginal zone.

Thumbnail by Weerobin
Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Wow, that's the flower that I fell in love with!!! Thanks pepper23, mimlakestevens, arfitz, and weerobin for your humor and insights. I have decided to keep them in pots and try to overwinter them in the basement I guess. I think the garage would be too cold. Looking at the hardiness zones I imagine they dont want to be frozen at all. Maybe the unheated basement will be cool enough. How cold does it get for you, weerobin?

Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

I am in zone 6a and have had a Black and Blue Salvia for 4 years. I don't do anything special and it just keeps coming back. The first year it returned, I was floored as I had not expected to see it again. The next year, I had my fingers crossed and there is was again, growing right next to a May Night Salvia. Now, I kind of expect it to come up in the spring and I would probably be very upset if it did not return. No increase here, just the same single plant comes back.

My B&B is planted in a mixed perennial bed about 6 feet from the house and facing a south and east exposure, which gives it sun most of the day. I mulch with shredded pine bark mulch every year, but that's all it gets in protection. I just consider myself lucky that it likes it here enough to keep returning every spring.

Linda

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I want your luck!

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Ok, that's great to hear, Igrowinpa. Does it do well and bloom?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

We moved from zone 6a to 6b this year.
Lowest winter temps often in single digits, but rarely below 0 anymore.

Hobart, IN

I grow mine in a pot indoors over winter and generally take a few cuttings. You could experiment with some of the cuttings without spending more $ to test the hardiness.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Of course, a great idea. It also spreads a little by runners, so some you could pot up a portion for the garage and experiment with a portion outside in the elements.

Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

Let's just say that my plant holds it own. It had never been huge and it has never increased or decreased in size. It probably looks the best this year that it's looked the whole time I've had it. It has never been a great bloomer and has not even started to bloom yet this year. As a matter of fact, I'd like to move it. You know how flower beds tend to change size and shape over time, my B&B is really a little tall for where I have it, too close to the front of the border, but I'm terrified to dig it up and move it, afraid that it might not come back!

The suggestion about the cuttings is a good one. Try growing it in a pot over winter. Or, you could keep seeds from it and start some indoors next spring just in case it doesn't come back. As I said, I was definitely not planning on ever seeing it again after the first summer. It's return was a pleasant surprise.

I picked up an even nicer salvia called Salvia Patens - Patio Deep Blue 3 years ago at a garden center some distance from my house - it's north of here, so they are probably in zone 5. It was sold with the annuals. I planted it and it did very well. After doing some research, I read where it is hardy to zone 7 or even 8 - depending on where you read about it. The next spring, I was doing some clean up and thought that there were weeds coming up in the spot where it had been planted. I'm so glad I didn't pull them out but instead looked up an online picture of what the leaves look like on Salvia Patens. We are on year number three now and this is another gorgeous blue flower, larger and taller than B&B. I save seeds from it every year...just in case.

Linda

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

the best way to get it to survive the winter is to uproot it and pot it and cut it back and keep it an unheated or heated garage over the Winter. I have tried to protect it with 2" of Mulch where I have planted it outdoors but even with the relatively mild Winters we have been having. it doesn't make it thru the Winter

Hobart, IN

When DD lived in TN zone 7, 'B&B' survived the winters in the ground. That might be the limit.

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I couldn't help but show a picture or two of the "Back and Blue" Salvias I bought. The hummingbirds love them as you can see. The chartreuse leaves with the dark blue flowers .... Stunning.

Thumbnail by rteets Thumbnail by rteets Thumbnail by rteets
Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Rteets, those are some great photos!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Ditto! Truly great photos!

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

I agree!

Hobart, IN

Thanks for posting that pic! I always wondered about the light-colored foliage - thought maybe I wasn't supplying the right nutrients since I grow mine in a pot.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Wow, I'm jealous. Mine doesn't have chartreuse foliage at all - ordinary dark green.
The contrast looks great. And you pics really show it well.

Btw, another great late-blooming blue flowered plant standing out against chartreuse foliage are the new gold-leaved blue-mist shrubs (caryopteris). They need good drainage.
I think this one is called 'sunshine blue', but I think there are several similar cultivars.
The 2nd pic shows how the insects love the blooms.
Btw, ignore the weeds...

Thumbnail by Weerobin Thumbnail by Weerobin
Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Weerobin, I love your picture of "Sunshine Blue". I just traded for some of those and I'm very excited about them. They look lovely.

My Salvia lured the hummingbirds in again today for some more pictures. They will go to it before they go to the feeder which is only 3 feet away. I love this plant!

Thumbnail by rteets Thumbnail by rteets Thumbnail by rteets
Hobart, IN

My 'Sunshine Blue' is just starting to bloom. I always look forward to it and the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' in the fall. 'SB' stayed small in part shade until we cut down two big oaks two years ago and it really ballooned in size and has forced me to find other homes for plants that it's now smothering.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

rteets- WOW you are some photographer!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Excellent. Enter the DG photo contest later this year.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

For those wanting to try one, check your Lowes clearance racks. In my area, they have some in great shape (just bloomed-out) for $1-2.

Montgomery, AL(Zone 8b)

Black and Blue has beautiful blooms
here it grew to fast and spread
it grew to 5 foot tall by 7 foot wide ..
in my flower bed..
It was beautiful but I do not have room for
it.
It loves heat , afternoon shade, morning sun
and did well in humidity here in south alabama
zone 8.
Sheri

Thumbnail by Sheridragonflys
Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

After the horrible winter we had here in western PA this past year, I'll be anxious to see if some of my salvia still come back. S. Black and Blue is one, as well as S. Patens Patio Deep Blue. Both have been here for several years now but I really don't expect to see them this spring. While we did have a lot of snow cover, we had temps well into the minuses. I don't remember a winter like this one since the mid 90's. We've been so spoiled with the easy winters that this last one took us all by surprise.

I'll be sure to post if I see any sign of growth on B&B and PDB.
Linda

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

My now 3-year-old B&B came back...I was shocked. I am not so sure about the younger ones. There is hope, though!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great! We should all be so fortunate!

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Yeah, everyone for your help. I put my two Back and Blue Salvias in an unheated, bright bedroom and watered them once a week. They both died back to the ground but are now sprouting and getting ready for another year of magnificence. I am very happy.

Thumbnail by rteets
Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

Good for you,rteets! I don't see any sign of life on my plant which has been here for about a half dozen years, in the flower bed. I think this past very cold winter might have done mine in. But, it has always been late to show any sign of growth, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Linda

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Mine is still frowning very very slowly....but it is growing. More (younger ones) are starting to show life, too. :)

Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

I finally dug around the area where my B&B Salvia was and it is no longer there. Looks like the winter did indeed do it in. But, to my surprise, a 4 year old Salvia Patens Patio Deep Blue is coming back. I would have never believed I'd see it this spring after the winter we had, but it's just now coming up. And it's only supposed to be hardy to zone 8!

Linda

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That's great. It's the unexpected return of some plants that's such a cause of joy.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

I am sorry to hear about the BB. :( I am glad to hear about the PDB, though. :)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Black and Blue roots really quickly, so if you know someone who overwintered a plant indoors, you are in luck!

Himrod, NY(Zone 6a)

I lost all my BB's also. I bought them from Select Seed three years ago and they did wonderfully. Where I had them is a micro climate that is about 6b to 7. A 'U' shaped garden with house to the north and east and a garage to the west so that all that area gets is mainly from the south. I am saddened that they did not survive this past cruel winter but not totally surprised. Heavy snow covered them for most of the winter, which I thought would be a plus. I guess not.

In February I purchased a plug flat of BB's and potted them up under lights in the basement and they did well until I got heavy handed with Super Bloom and then it seems I burned the life right out of them. Such stupidity on my part, I knew better but thought I just wanted to give them that push.

Thanks for such an informative thread.
~~Joy

Lansing, NY

I am a gardener in Ithaca NY, zone five,and have been amazed to have Black and Blue Salvia overwinter outside next to a buildings on the south side in two different locations.I never expected them to overwinter but instead of digging them out as I often do with annuals in late fall,I just cut off the dead top. They lived and have come back 4 years now. I think it is because they have big tubers for a root system as some salvias do. Wonders never cease!

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