How to Grow Salvia Splendens | Scarlet Sage Care

Last Updated: 18.10.2023
Written by
Chandrima, a flower enthusiast and writer at India Gardening with over 5 years of content writing experience. She combines her love for flowers with her background in gardening and literary expertise to create informative content. In addition to her passion for gardening, she's an aspiring traveler and nature lover.

Learn how to grow beautiful Salvia Splendens with our easy-to-follow guide. Enjoy the vibrant colors of these stunning flowers popular as Scarlet Sage!

Salvia Splendens
Red Salvia Splendens, Red flower pot plants in the black tray.


Are you a fan of vibrant and colorful flowers in your garden? If so, you’re in luck because we have some exciting tips and tricks on how to make your Salvia Splendens thrive!

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Salvia Splendens Information

Salvia splendens is a species of flowering plant native to Brazil. Scarlet Sage is widely popular as an ornamental plant for its bright red, tubular flowers that bloom throughout the summer and fall. The plant typically grows to a height of 30-90 cm tall and requires full sun and well-draining soil.

Scarlet Sage is also known for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to gardens. Scarlet sage is an easy-to-grow plant that adds vibrant color to gardens and is a popular choice for borders, mass plantings, and containers.

Common Names: Scarlet Sage and Tropical sage

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How to Propagate Salvia Splendens?


Salvia splendens can be propagated through various methods. 


Collect the seeds from mature Salvia splendens plants or purchase them from a reputable seed supplier. Sow the seeds in a well-draining seed-starting mix. Lightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Maintain consistent moisture and provide warmth. The seeds usually germinate within 1-2 weeks. Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots or into the garden.

Stem Cuttings

Take stem cuttings from healthy Salvia splendens plants during the growing season. Choose a stem that is about 4-6 inches long and remove any flowers or buds from the cutting. Remove the lower leaves, leaving only a few at the top. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone powder to encourage root development (optional). Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix, and keep it in a warm, humid environment. Mist the cutting regularly to maintain humidity. Roots should develop within 2-4 weeks. Once roots have formed, the cutting can be potted up or planted in the garden.

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As Salvia splendens plants mature, they develop multiple stems and can be divided to create new plants. Carefully dig up the plant and separate the clump into smaller sections. Each section should have some roots attached. Replant the divided sections in well-prepared soil or pots, making sure to provide adequate water and care until they establish themselves.

Requirements to Grow Salvia Splendens

Salvia Splendens 2


Salvia splendens thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and flowering. In hotter regions, some afternoon shade can help protect the plants from excessive heat.


Scarlet Sage prefers well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Salvia splendens can adapt to a variety of soil types, including loam, sandy, or clay soils, as long as they are well-draining. Additionally, if the soil is heavy or clay-like, it’s beneficial to amend it with organic matter, such as compost, to improve drainage.


Salvia splendens requires regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist, especially during hot and dry periods. However, it’s important to avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, and adjust the frequency based on the specific conditions of your location.

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Scarlet Sage is popular for its tolerance of warm temperatures. Salvia splendens grows best in temperatures ranging from 21°C to 29°C (70°F to 85°F). It can handle occasional temperature fluctuations and short periods of higher or lower temperatures, but prolonged exposure to extreme heat or cold can stress the plant.

In India, Salvia splendens can be grown as an annual in most regions, but in areas with milder winters, it may behave as a short-lived perennial. It’s important to protect Salvia splendens from frost and cold temperatures if you want to encourage perennial growth.

Salvia Splendens Care



Apply a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer during the growing season to boost the blooms of Salvia splendens. Use slow-release granular fertilizer as directed or dilute water-soluble fertilizer to half strength every two to three weeks.

Avoid over-fertilizing to prevent excessive foliage growth with fewer flowers. Follow specific instructions on the fertilizer packaging for application rates and frequency.


Regularly trim spent flower spikes down to a healthy set of leaves or above a node for more abundant flowering. Perform a more severe pruning in early spring or fall by cutting back Salvia splendens by one-third to half its height to maintain shape and promote bushier growth.

Pruning helps redirect the plant’s energy towards flower production. Deadheading and rejuvenation pruning are key pruning practices for Scarlet Sage.

Pest and Diseases

Watch for common pests like aphids, which cluster on stems and leaves, and control them with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a strong stream of water.

Spider mites can cause yellowing leaves and webbing; use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control them.

Additionally, prevent powdery mildew by ensuring good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and applying a fungicide if necessary.

Avoid root rot by providing well-draining soil and allowing the top inch of soil to dry between waterings.

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