Rockin’ salvias really perform

NORMAN WINTER/TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICEThis male ruby-throated hummingbird was seen feeding on Rockin’ Deep Purple in Columbus, Ga.

Rockin’ salvias are living up to that name in Georgia. I have never claimed to be a marketing guru but the name Rockin’ for a salvia caught me as strange. Then again, who am I to instruct Proven Winners one of the most successful plant groups in the history of horticulture.

True to the name, Rockin’ Deep Purple and Rockin’ Fuchsia are checking off the list. They are Rockin’ with color, Rockin’ with performance and Rockin’ with pollinators. That makes them winners in my book. I could tell they were winners before I had a chance to plant. I had just unloaded several of the salvias along with Vermillionaire cuphea and placed them on my driveway while I went into the house to get a cool glass of tea. When a returned just a few minutes later they were already getting hit on by hummingbirds.

These plants are indeed Rockin’ in my garden and commercial plantings around town so I have to concur that Proven Winners did select a most appropriate name.

Rockin’ Deep Purple and Rockin’ Blue Suede Shoes will reach 30 to 40 inches in height while Rockin’ Fuchsia is slightly shorter. They all are listed as Salvia hybrids and all have black or dark calyces. They are touted to be perennial in zones 9 and warmer and I promise they are worth every penny to grow them as annuals (the north country is Zone 4).

Think about how much fun it will be to grow flowers for the hummingbirds versus hanging feeders, using sugar or buying hummingbird food. You will also be bringing in bees and butterflies.

Also, in the Rockin’ series is Rockin’ Playing the Blues and Rockin’ Golden Delicious. Rockin’ Playing the Blues is of a parentage similar to Indico Spires, or Mystic Spires, and Gold Delicious is a chartreuse pineapple sage that will sport red flowers. They too, will bring in hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Combinations in the landscape are only limited by your imagination. I had the opportunity to photograph Rockin’ Fuchsia salvia partnered with Truffula Pink gomphrena in a large horse trough container that had Superbells Coralina calibrahoa spilling over the rim for a look that was simply sensational.

Tribune Wire

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