An Unexpected Star: Rose Marvel Sage
When I received samples of these Rose Marvel sage from Ball Floraplant last year I had mixed first impressions. I'm not usually a fan of pink – although this did at least have some depth to the color which intrigued me and really pushes towards more of a rosy-lavender shade. However, since I have found sage to be drought tolerant and both deer and rabbit resistant I knew I at least had to give it a fair trial. I'm so glad I did!
- The National Garden Bureau has included this variety in their celebration "2019 – The Year of Salvia nemerosa"
- Repeat bloomer without deadheading (great for lazy gardeners)
- Really fat flower spikes means you get big color impact from a small plant – ideal for petite gardens and patios
- Even when not in bloom the colored stems are attractive
- Disease resistant
- Stays compact
- Doesn't flop or need staking
- Easy to grow
- Attracts bees and butterflies
- Laughs at rabbits – seriously. And my rabbits are out to taste everything this year.
- Grows 10-12" high (the basal foliage) – the flowering spikes take the height to 24"
- Best in full sun (6-8 hours direct sun)
- Average-dry soil
- Hardy in zones 4a-9b
- I have never fertilized these.
- My soil in the test area is average, somewhat moisture retentive, amended clay. I use a mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds
- My test area received 8 hours of direct sun in summer
- These were given supplemental water once a week during their first season. I don't expect them to need any this year (year 2)
- In year 2 (this year) these started blooming in mid-May and still have flowers five weeks later. In year 1 (last year) I received them as small, non-blooming plants in May or June. They began flowering in early August and continued until late September.
- Think FOLIAGE FIRST! (Where have you heard that before?!) Frame them with more colorful foliage such as the deep copper-colored conifer Rheingold arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Rheingold') and the variegated green and gold foliage of DoublePlay Painted Lady spirea
- Repeat the vertical spikes of Rose Marvel by combining it with a dwarf lavender.
- Perfect for pollinator gardens with yarrow (Achillea) and hyssop (Agastache)
- Combine with grasses e.g. Carex 'Cappuccino'
Where to buy
These should be readily available at all good nurseries and garden centers. I also found a few online stores that still had them in stock (many were sold out for the season). Try here, here, and here.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these online stores and cannot personally vouch for their quality or service – but would love to hear from you if you choose to purchase from them.