How to Grow and Care For May Night Salvia

The Salvia May Night, commonly called wood sage, is a fast-growing perennial plant with upright growth.

It can withstand the cooler winter temperature, thrives in hot winter areas, and is sufficiently cold-hardy within the planting zones.

Still, the best part is it fills your garden with rich purple-blue flowers that attract butterflies to other pollinators like honey bees in the landscape. You can use the plant of the year in different garden settings.

So, if you live in very warm areas, these vibrant perennials will brighten the garden in late spring or early summer to enjoy the cut flowers 💐 in the home.

Genus Name: Salvia sylvestris

Other Name: May night salvia, May night wood sage, woodland sage, meadow sage

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennials

Native Areas: Asia and Europe

Light Requirement: Full sun

Watering: Drought tolerant

Fertilizer: None needed

Toxicity: Non-toxic

Temperature: Warm Climates

Propagation: Stem cutting or seed

Growth: 1-2 feet tall and up to 1 foot wide

Soil Type: Acidic soil

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

May Night Meadow Sage Care

gorgeous foliage and blooms of may night salvia

When you look at the May Night Meadow Sage, it needs some requirements to meet their needs. Most importantly, grow them in full sun if you live in an area with cold winters.

Please provide them with well-drained soils slightly on the acidic side. Water your young plants regularly until they become established.

You need not fertilize and do not deadhead the last season’s blooms to allow them to reseed. One thing is for sure the two-lipped flowers will stand out in the garden.

Light Requirements Salvia May Night

may night salvia under full sun

Provide your Night Meadow Sage with direct sunlight in a south-facing location, ensuring it receives at least six hours of sun daily. Doing this will keep the soft hairy leaves blooms looking great to attract hummingbirds to the garden. For even avid gardeners, the flower color looks fabulous on mixed borders or as potted plants.

Recommended Potting Soil For Spring-Planted Bulbs

well-drained soil for may night salvia

The important thing is to provide your Night Meadow Sage with acidic, well-drained soils. You can amend the soil with some sand to help it drain well. Doing this will prevent root rot in your plant. Alternatively, it can also grow in neutral soil.

Watering Wood Sage

While the May Night Meadow Sage can tolerate drought once established, it will need water 💦 when rainfall is absent. Your container plants will need frequent watering compared to those grown in the garden.

Temperature and Humidity

usda map for may night salvia

May Night Meadow Sage can tolerate the coldest winter temperature in the USDA planting zone 4 to 8. It can withstand dry weather but does not do well in high humidity. So, if you live in very warm winter areas, you can grow your plants outside.

Fertilising Woodland Sage

The Salvias are easygoing plants and need no added fertilizing, and if you feed them, do this when the bloom period is over. Doing this before the bloom time is over will result in more growth than the spectacular flower display that attracts birds to the garden in late summer.

Pruning and Repotting Woodland Sage

You need not prune your young plants and only mature plants when the stems become woody. The plant also does well in containers, but large pots can hold up to three years of growth. Ensure the pots have enough drainage holes, and add some gravel or mulch to retain moisture.


Bring potted plants indoors when living outside the plant’s hardiness zones, as they will enter winter dormancy. Freezing winter temperatures can damage the roots in containers. For plants in the ground, you can remove the dead foliage and cover them with a layer of mulch when the ground freezes. You can rack the mulch away in spring.

Propagating May Night Meadow Sage

You can easily propagate your plant through stem cuttings or seeds.

Stem Cuttings

You can grow the stem cuttings in moist compost, soil, or water with these easy steps:

  1. Cut 2- to 8-inch long cuttings with a sharp, clean knife.

  2. Place the stems in clean water or moist soil in a seedling pot.

  3. You can replant them when the roots are 3/4 inches long.

How to Grow May Night Salvia From Seed

Growing Salvia from seeds is also easy, and you can harvest the seeds from the spent blooms. Rubbing the spent flower spikes and releasing the seed or removing them manually from the pods.

The important thing is to choose the proper planting time. Then sow the seeds into the garden by dropping them into the soil or sowing them indoors three months before the last frost or late winter to early spring. Press some seeds into a starting mix and keep them moist.

You will see the seedlings appearing about three weeks after sowing and keep them in a sunny spot or under grow lights for 16 hours of daylight and eight hours of darkness. Once seedlings have two pairs of leaves, you can harden them off to transplant outside.

Do this by moving the containers into a sheltered spot for about a week for a few hours daily.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

The fantastic thing is that the plant is deer-resistant but not pest-free. You can find the following on your plants:

  • Scale insects

  • Leafhoppers

  • Spider Mites

  • Aphids

  • Whiteflies

If you find any of these pests bothering your plant, we recommend using neem oil, a popular organic pest control.

You can find fungal infections like root rot, Botrytis blight, stem rot, and powdery mildew on your plant. These can happen with extended cold winter temperatures and very wet weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

The plant flowers from May to June, and if you deadhead the blooms, it can flower through summer.

The plant blooms on tall spikes in the growing season, covered with tiny violet-blue flowers, but they are not very fragrant and can sometimes smell like sulfur. When used for cut flowers, remove the leaves.

Some common problems are legginess and flopping over. For new growth, you need to cut them down or divide them. Also, please provide them with enough air circulation and sunlight. Other concerns are leaf 🍃 damage and discoloration. This can be caused by pests bothering the plants.

The May Night Meadow Sage is perennial, and the bloom time is long to return yearly when grown in a garden bed.

You can use them in a mass planting in a garden bed or line a pathway with them.

After the blooms are spent, you must not deadhead them as it allows them to reseed. You only need to trim the stems a few inches to help with new growth.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Plantly Menu