Short and Sweet, Black and Blue

Every growing season we get “the question.”

Turns out some magazine (Fine Gardening, Southern Living) decides to print an article about saving the monarchs (this year’s question), or saving the bees (last year’s question), and then everybody and their brother comes into the store, wanting to buy milkweed to save the monarchs. I am not exaggerating when I say they come in droves. Fine Gardening has no idea. (I actually don’t know what magazine the story was in this year, but since Fine Gardening or Southern Living are generally the culprit, they get picked on.)

Hey, I’m all for saving the monarchs and the bees (love the bees) but may favorites, the hummingbirds, seem to have been looked over this year. So, while I am not Fine Gardening or Southern Living, this is my attempt to get the hummingbirds what makes them happy. I’m featuring a plant that is a) gorgeous b) cheap c) easy to grow in container or landscape d) a bit different e) is hummingbird crack.

In our area it is a bit tender, meaning I treat it as an annual. Depending on the winter, it will either make it or not (last winter would be a not), but that doesn’t stop me from buying a flat of it each year and filling up my containers with it.  And, yes, you can still buy it now, and plant it now, though I’d probably stick with containers this late into the season. It will continue blooming right on through September.

So, go feed a hummer! Here it is.

Oh, but some details first. The blog post is short and sweet, the plant is not. It can get quite tall, almost 4 feet. Mine generally stay closer to 2.5, or 3. Width is about 36″. Can tolerate some shade but not much without getting leggy. Does not like clay soil, great soil is not absolutely necessary, but clay is too wet. Blooms July to frost. Zones 8-10, Butterflies dig it, too. Deer tend to stay away from it (unless you live in Connestee Falls and well, all I can say is, consider moving). We sell it at the store. That’s where I get mine.

Finally, here it is.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’