As I compose this, I am on Day 211 of hummingbirds feeding at The Garden Guy’s house, marking the longest date on the calendar that I have had them, until ideally tomorrow and the day after. I do not use feeders, just plants. This year has opened my eyes about their options in plants.2022 began quick and blooming, and after that March 13, we plunged to 21 degrees, when most whatever remained in blossom. But things rapidly rebounded, and my first ruby-throated hummingbirds appeared April 3.
They began days of feeding on Superbells calibrachoas, Perfecto Mundo Orange azaleas verbenas and petunias. The freeze slowed down the Rockin salvia flower, however by mid-May, the birds were seen on Rockin Blue Suede Shoes, Rockin Deep Purple and Rockin Fuchsia salvias.I am in my fourth
growing year with these salvias in zone 8a Georgia. They all rapidly leading 4 feet, so this year I took more liberty at pruning back to keep them in an allocated area. I utilize almost all of them behind other bloomers like lantanas and gomphrena, and even behind containers on a rock wall.While they are definitely beautiful, they aren’t the showiest plants in the garden by virtue of their spiky texture. From a habitat viewpoint, however, they rank amongst the most crucial plants anybody can plant in the garden. Since May 18 it has actually been bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.Seeing hummingbirds now is also a little additional unique in that we had a very early freeze on Oct. 20, when it reached 30-31 degrees. It took a toll on a lot of flowering plants, but the Rockin salvia didn’t drop a petal. In reality, on the two mornings in which the roofing of your house had a layer of ice, the hummers were seen feeding as if it was another day in the tropics.Looking back at the 2022 growing year, there were a lot of memorable minutes with all Rockin salvias. Rockin Deep Purple was the first to flower and bring in the May hummingbirds. This year the eastern tiger swallowtails were around in large numbers; they too desired salvia nectar. A large yellow and black tiger-striped butterfly eating Rockin Blue Suede Shoes salvia is an unsurpassable complementary color scheme.In a way, this was the Year of the Rockin Fuchsia salvia. This is where I recorded a number of my finest photographs. Without believing I planted Queen Tut papyrus, where it ended up being a most photogenic partner with the salvia,( who knew?). The arrival of the hummingbirds, acrobatically maneuvering to get nectar, produced a”holy wow” moment for anyone checking out a telephoto lens.Most of the Rockin salvias ranges look to be Salvia guaranitica hydrids with larger tubular flowers. The Rockin Playin’the Blues salvia is
various. It is a Salvia longispicata x S. farinacea cross with smaller flowers. This salvia, which won the Dallas Arboretum Finest Pollinator Friendly Perennial, is constantly unbeatable.As if understanding of the award, The Garden Man discovered it seemed to be a favorite of the little men, like the gray hairstreak, and the colorful red-banded hairstreak.
These butterflies fly quickly and unpredictably, and they can be tough to follow and a difficulty to picture due to the fact that of their little size.While The Garden Guy is still counting hummingbirds, I hope you will make strategies to put all the Rockin salvias in your garden next year. I can tell you the pollinators, including your local hummingbirds, will be happy you did. ____(Norman Winter season, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South “and” Captivating Mixes: Color and Style in the Garden.”Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy
.)(NOTE TO EDITORS: Norman Winter gets complimentary plants to examine from the business he covers.)