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Does Salvia Spread? [Clarify The Assumption]

The captivating aromatic blossoms of Salvia are a visual delight, yet the accompanying seeds may make it spread vigorously under certain climatic conditions.

Generally, Salvia is a fast-growing member of the mint family that self-seeds to spread and turn out as perennials. At the same time, some replant stem cuttings to bring them back the following year, emphasizing the plant as an annual that lack spreading quality.

So clear the confusion about whether all varieties of Salvia spread or need your help to increase.

Does Salvia Grow Back Every Year?

Guessing Salvia’s annual and perennial character might be tricky unless you know the variety.

Most of the Salvia, by nature, are perennials with long blooming seasons that can come back year after year in zone 7-11.
The purple bloom of Salvia in a pot
Salvia coming back each year depends on the annual and perennial types.

It includes warm climate lover perennial varieties like Mealycup Sage, Mexican Bush Sage, and Pineapple Sage.

Meanwhile, some varieties like Woodland Sage, Wood Sage, and Common Sage are tolerant to zone 4 to 8 and return yearly.

In contrast, some of the varieties mentioned above of Salvia show annual behavior when grown other than their preferred USDA zone.

Red Salvia, Jewel Pink Salvia, and Blue Salvia are common annual varieties in a zone other than 7-11.

These varieties complete their lifecycle in a single season and die back in the same year of growth without any chance of return.

Does Salvia Spread On Its Own?

Often perennial Salvia has a lifespan of more than two years. The plant can rebloom more than twice a season to undergo seed formation.

Thus produced seeds of Salvia can self-seed in the growing ground to spread vigorously without any external aid.
The bloom and leaves of Salvia plant
Salvia can create a natural-looking border for your garden due to its spreading capability.

Here the seeds, under suitable conditions, start to produce seedlings that you can leave to grow or transplant to the landscape.

Also, the parent Salvia, which has spread as far as 6 feet, can appear dead by the winter. But they return with full sprouts next spring and attain the same growth pace.

However, the annual Salvia rarely survives winter, so it cannot reseed or spread yearly without your help.

How To Control The Spread of Salvia?

Calling Salvia invasive would wrong its life journey, but they do have a bad reputation for spreading and choking companion plants like Iris.

Even the Salvia on pots can spread tall and hang down the containers, making the pot heavy and have dense growth.

So it is best to control the spreading habit of Salvia by working on cultural practices and following the given tips.

  • Deadhead the blooms: Deadheading Salvias after flowering and before entering seeding can prevent reseeding and spread. You should also pinch off spent flowers to control any future Salvia problems caused by leftover blooms.
  • Prune the plant: Early spring and fall is the best time to prune the Salvia like Hot Lips. It helps to limit the spread and maintain health.
  • Divide parent plant: Given the fast growth rate of Salvia, they can quickly get overcrowded. So better to divide the clumps into individual plants and replant them. Do it in early spring.
  • Apply organic mulch: Layering a few inches of mulch, like shredded leaves, straw, and wood chips, can limit the growth.
  • Apply herbicide: If the Salvia has outgrown your yard and is beyond prevention, use herbicide. It includes herbicides like Crossbow (2,4-D + triclopyr) and Alligare (2,4-D + dicamba).

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

Salvias have deep roots capable of taking water and nutrients from a feet-down source. So if you want to get rid of it, you better uproot the plant entirely.

But if you want to keep your garden filled with hummingbirds and butterflies, let the plant attain its full bloom.

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