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Salvia uliginosa Bog Sage, Bog Salvia

Edward F. Gilman


Bog sage is an upright to spreading perennial that eventually attains a height of 3 to 4 feet (Figure 1). The coarse-textured leaves are light green to dark green in color depending on soil conditions and fertilization practices. Bog sage blooms throughout the spring and summer with electric blue flowers. This herbaceous perennial may be used as a ground cover or background plant. It presents a nice massed display and is exceptionally beautiful when planted along with ornamental grasses.

Figure 1. Bog sage
Figure 1.  Bog sage


General Information

Scientific name: Salvia uliginosa
Pronunciation: SAL-vee-uh yoo-lidge-jin-NOE-suh
Common name(s): bog sage, bog salvia
Family: Labiatae
Plant type: herbaceous; ground cover
USDA hardiness zones: 8 through 10A (Figure 2)
Planting month for zone 8: year round
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: border; cut flowers; attracts butterflies; attracts hummingbirds; ground cover
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.



Height: 2 to 4 feet
Spread: 4 to 8 feet
Plant habit: spreading
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: fast
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: dentate
Leaf shape: oblong
Leaf venation: bowed; brachidodrome
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: blue
Flower characteristic: spring flowering; summer flowering


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: brown
Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; loam; clay; extended flooding
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

The bog sage is an easy plant to grow, and it adapts to wet or dry conditions. It prefers an area in the landscape that receives full sun to partial shade. This perennial can be invasive, especially in wet areas.

Propagate the bog sage by division, cuttings, or seed.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Publication #FPS529

Date:October 5th, 2015

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