Canary Sage (Salvia canariensis)

La Salvia canariensis is a herbaceous perennial shrub belonging to the family Lamiaceae, commonly known names or Salvia Salvia morisca Canaria. It is fast growing and can reach 2.5 meters in height.

Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden species with less refined foliage, which makes it an interesting option for planting in gardens. Its name Salvia, derives from the Latin “salvo” which means healthy, in clear reference to the medicinal properties attributed to this genus.

Origin and habitat

It is endemic to the Canary Islands. It is a temperate plant that grows very well in dry and rocky gardens, shrubs, and also mixed borders.

Characteristics of Salvia canariensis

The Salvia canariensis is similar plant leaves the end of a spear and green hue. It has thick hairs on the underside of its leaves and stems that help it to store moisture, opposite, sessile and have developed lobes at the base.

Its particular flowers show a purple and dark pink color, which emerge in panicles during spring, hermaphrodites, corolla and bilabiate calyx, are a good option for cutting and offer a fragrance that attracts different pollinators. The foliage is an attractive grayish-white present throughout the year. From the ornamental point of view, its fruit is not significant.


The Canary Salvia at maturity reaches just over 90 centimeters in height and thanks to its flowers it can extend its length up to 1.5 meters. If you want to plant in mass or as a bed plant, you should try to keep a distance of approximately one meter between the plants. Although it is not a true annual plant, during winter it can behave as such outdoors.

Regarding light, it is advisable to grow it in full sun. Dry spaces without excess moisture are preferable. As for the pH, this is indistinct for the plant, it tolerates well pollution from the city and temperatures down to -6º C.

Requires pruning to help keep sizes smaller. However, you should avoid contact with hairs on leaves and stems. It’s best to prune before sprouts begin; be it mid-spring in warm areas or early summer in cold areas.

If the land is clayey, it will be necessary to condition its drainage, mixing pozzolana or gravel and cultivating it high to facilitate drainage. You can also sow in calcareous soils.

Now if the soil in your garden is not suitable for Salvia, then   you can plant in pots or containers. To do this, you must prepare the layer of soil properly. This species has the peculiarity that it serves to drive away some pests from the garden.


Water in moderation, remember that the species does not tolerate excess humidity and especially in winter. You can place a mulch that restricts weed growth around the plant and protect it from the cold during the winter period. Also do not forget to prune at the end of winter, this practice helps preserve the good appearance of the Salvia, while promoting the appearance of new shoots.

Renew the seedlings approximately every five years, because this plant is short-lived and eventually tends to run out. You can still divide it, which will give vigor and you can plant where you want. During the spring add a good compost, which you can place near its roots and add it lightly to the soil. Now if you prefer the pot then add a little fertilizer.

As for its collection, you can do it from spring to autumn. Never remove the foliage immediately after planting. If you want to enjoy their pleasant aroma to the fullest, it is better to collect them in the morning and before flowering and choose the young leaves.


While Salvia canariensis is generally not considered a high maintenance plant, it can suffer from occasional bouts of fungal diseases and infestations by aphids or thrips. Some species are also victims of slugs and snails.

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