10 Best Salvias for Bees (Interesting Facts)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Bees are pollinators of great economic importance as they contribute to the ecosystem in many ways.

It is therefore important to care in whatever way we can for these greatly economically valuable animals.

If you are searching for salvias that are friendly to bees and other pollinators then you have come to the right place.

You shouldn’t make a garden that would attract bees without adding salvias.

These plants are like magnets to pollinators like bees. They are beautiful, quite easily grown because they are sun-loving plants, they greatly tolerate dry environments and seasons, and bloom for long periods. They can also be easily grown in containers.

Salvias are of different types, hundreds. When discussing them it is best to discuss them in groups.

Populations of bees could survive on salvias because of how greatly beneficial these plants are to bees.

10 Best Types of Salvias for Bees

Best Salvias for Bees

From the hundreds of salvias out there we have picked these for you because we consider them the best types for bees.

So if you are a salvia or bee-loving person, or even a bee farmer consider making these salvias easily accessible to bees. Cultivate them and see how they attract populations of bees.

1. The purple autumn sage:

This type of salvia is also called “salvia greggii”.

The range of their colors is wide; they could be pink, red, white, purple, and corals: just imagine how beautiful these combinations of colors would be in your garden.

Even though because of its name you could assume that they bloom in autumn, your assumption would be wrong.

These salvias bloom from the beginning of summer throughout Fall.

The leaves of these salvias are small, they could be called subshrubs that are compact.

If you want the plant to grow best cut away about one-third of your plant, this would help them grow better and bloom repeatedly.

This salvia is very good if you are cultivating a garden that you want to withstand droughts and hot seasons.

Bees love their flowers and are strongly attracted to them.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on the best vines for bees

2. Black sage

This salvia is scientifically known as “salvia mellifera” it is predominantly found in California because California is its native.

This salvia is also good for dry gardens as it does well even when the environment is dry.

When it grows fully it can reach heights of twelve to twenty-four inches. It can grow as wide as five inches.

It is very good as a food source for honeybees, even birds enjoy consuming its seeds. This salvia can be planted on slopes.

3. Anise Sage

It can also be called Blue salvia and its scientific name is “sage guarantica”.

It has some differences from other salvias; this salvia has shiny leaves, its shade of green is darker.

It has a blue/black hue. It has a different genus and can grow for up to six inches. This makes it very good to be grown in containers.

4. Cleveland sage

This sage is known scientifically as “Salvia clevelandii”.

It has magnificently beautiful flowers, it is a shrub, and is native to the southern part of California.

This salvia is reasonably fire-resistant, it has a very sweet-smelling fragrance that is attractive to bees.

It blooms in the summertime and is very tolerant of drought. It is very large for salvia as it can grow up to five feet in height and could grow as wide as eight feet.

Also read this article I wrote on do bees kill their queen?

5. Mealy Cup Sage

This salvia is scientifically known as “Salvia farinacea“. It is a blue-colored salvia that can grow up to two feet.

It is annual salvia.

This is a great salvia to grow in pots and containers, like many other salvias it is very good for bees.

6. Mexican Bush Sage

This is a purple type of sage, with the scientific name “Salvia leucantha”.

This salvia is one of the big types, it grows up to five feet, it looks like a shrub, and has white/purple flowers.

The leaves are usually greyish green, it is one of the very drought resistant salvias, butterflies also love this salvia.

Beyond its benefit for feeding bees, it can be used for decorative purposes.

7. Culinary Sage

This is the popular sage that is known as a herb and spice for cooking. The scientific name of this sage is “salvia offcinalis”.

This salvia has paler flowers than other salvias, its leaves though are more attractive than other salvias.

This salvia is great as a kitchen plant because it could be used when cooking.

Bees are very attracted to the flowers of this salvia.

8. Hybrid sage

this salvia is also known as “salvia nemerosa”.

It is a combination of many species of salvias. This salvia blooms for about three months, from June through till September.

If you want to help it bloom again, cut away from its dead flowers.

This salvia grows to heights of up to two feet.

It is salvia that has spikes, its spikes are of different colors like purple, blue, and sometimes white.

Their uniqueness is sure to give your garden a rich look of mixed foliage.

They are different hybrids of salvias out there and you could get a hybrid that is more suited to your taste, plant it with different other flowers to encourage its growth. It needs a lot of room to grow, it is an annual salvia.

9. Blue Sage

this salvia is also called prairie sage, scientifically it is called “salvia azurea“. In some climes, it is called Azure Blue sage.

It is a very unique sage that blooms in Fall only and the blooms are usually colored true blue.

It is moderately drought tolerant so it is advised that you water it regularly. Its soil preference is sandy, rocky, or well-drained clay. If you know how to do it this salvia is very easy to grow.

Blue sage can grow up to four feet tall and as much as two feet in width when properly attended to.

10. Texas Sage

this salvia is also called tropical sage, its scientific name is “salvia coccinea”.

Its features are very similar to its name; this salvia is popularly known in the South because it is very heat resistant, it is also resistant to wind, heavy rainfall, and humidity.

You could say this salvia has superpowers. Texas sage is usually red, if your color preference is blue you could find the blue variety, although it is rare.

The above are our top picks of salvias for bees, with the salvias we have mentioned above you are sure not to go wrong if you are interested in picking the right salvias for bees.

However, there are some notable salvia mentions, though they are not part of our 10 best.

Notable Mentions

  • The Blue Flower Sage: this sage is scientifically known as “salvia transsylvanica”. It is spiky and grows well in soil that is well-drained. It can grow up 3 feet tall.
  • White sage: this salvia is scientifically known as “salvia apiana”. It is a notable pick and would be good for your garden, bees love their lavender/white flowers. It is loaded with pollen and nectar.
  • Pineapple sage: this is a type of red salvia scientifically know as “salvia elegant”. These are not particularly great for bees, especially honey bees. They are however very beautiful.
  • Salvia greggiis and salvia coccinea: these are red salvias that are great for bees, honeybees love them.

Conclusion

If you are a lover of bees and salvia, at this point you should be well informed about the best salvias for bees.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books