Flowering shrubby salvias are all the rage right now – easy to grow, rewarding, colourful, attract sunbirds are but a few of their numerous attributes. Recently there has been spate of new introductions on the salvia scene, some outstanding whilst others could best be described as disappointing.

Here are two different types of shrubby salvias that have proved their worth time and again. One is a recent introduction whilst the other has been around for absolute ages. Salvia Salmia is new on the market and has already proven to be a winner in the garden with a profusion of colourful blooms for months on end. Evergreen shrubs that grow from half to one metre high and as wide with pink, purple or orange blooms filled with nectar that attracts sunbirds to the garden.

Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage) on the other hand has been around since time immemorial. Form large spreading clumps some 60 to 80 cm tall topped with slender flower spikes with bracts below tubular flowers creating a two-tone effect. Colours include white bracts with pink flowers, mauve bracts with white flowers and mauve bracts with purple flowers. Sounds confusing but simple to understand when you see the plants. Require little or no attention and yet reward with masses of bloom, especially during the autumn. Prune back hard after flowering to promote new growth and more blooms.

Both of these Salvias are cold and frost hardy. Fantastic garden plants for a broad spectrum of climates. Check out these and some of the other salvias available now.