Salvia splendens 'Saucy Red'

Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’: A Vibrant Burst of Scarlet Beauty

Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’, also known as Salvia ‘Medium Red’, belongs to the Salvia splendens species, commonly referred to as Scarlet Sage. This variety is a cultivated selection known for its medium-red flowers. Scarlet Sage is a member of the Lamiaceae family, which includes a diverse range of aromatic and ornamental plants.

Characteristics and Description

Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ is a vigorous and tender perennial that boasts lush scarlet-red flower spikes. From mid-spring to fall, this variety blooms continuously, rising above a bed of rich green foliage. The sterile nature of the plant means there is no need for deadheading, making it low maintenance. The vibrant blossoms of ‘Saucy Red’ attract hummingbirds and butterflies while deterring deer. In warm winter areas, it retains its evergreen foliage, adding year-round interest to the garden.

Flowering Season and Fragrance

‘Saucy Red’ produces a profusion of medium-red flowers that bring a burst of color to the landscape. The blossoms appear in late spring and continue their display until fall. While Scarlet Sage does not possess a distinct fragrance or aroma, its stunning flowers create a visually captivating focal point in any garden or container.

Cultivation Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’:


Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ thrives in full sun to partial shade. It performs best when provided with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. However, it can tolerate some shade, particularly in regions with intense afternoon sun or in hotter climates.


Regular watering is essential for the health and vitality of ‘Saucy Red’, especially during the hot summer months. Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering or allowing it to become waterlogged. Deep, thorough watering sessions are recommended to ensure proper root hydration. Mulching around the plant helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth.


Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ prefers light, humus-rich, and well-drained soils. It grows best in moderately fertile soil that retains moisture without becoming excessively wet. Organic matter, such as compost, can be added to improve soil structure and fertility. Avoid heavy clay soils that can retain water and lead to root rot.

Pests and Diseases

‘Saucy Red’ is susceptible to pests such as aphids and spider mites, which can be managed through regular monitoring and the use of insecticidal soaps or organic insecticides. Powdery mildew is a common disease that may affect this plant, particularly in humid conditions. Adequate air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and applying fungicides as needed can help prevent and control powdery mildew.


Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ can be propagated through division or seed.

Division: In early spring, carefully dig up the plant and divide it into smaller clumps, ensuring each division has sufficient roots. Replant the divisions in well-drained soil at the same depth as the original plant. Water them regularly to promote establishment and growth.

Seed: ‘Saucy Red’ can also be propagated from seeds. Sow the seeds in well-drained soil in the spring. Lightly cover them with soil and keep the soil consistently moist. Germination typically occurs within 2-4 weeks. Once the seedlings develop a few sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into their permanent location.

Additional Care Tips:

  • Fertilize Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.
  • Regularly deadhead the spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and maintain a tidy appearance.
  • Prune the plant in late winter or early spring to remove dead or damaged branches. Thinning out the plant helps improve air circulation and light penetration.
  • In colder climates outside of USDA zones 9-11, provide protection from frost by covering the plant with a frost cloth or bringing it indoors.
  • ‘Saucy Red’ makes a stunning addition to beds, borders, and containers. It is particularly well-suited for mass plantings and cottage gardens.

Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’ is a remarkable plant that combines vibrant red flowers, lush green foliage, and easy-care qualities. With its ability to attract pollinators and create striking displays, this variety adds a touch of fiery elegance to any garden or landscape. Enjoy the beauty of ‘Saucy Red’ as it brings color and life to your outdoor spaces throughout the flowering season.

Salvia splendens 'Saucy Red'
Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’
Salvia splendens 'Saucy Red'
Bright red flowers of Salvia splendens ‘Saucy Red’

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