Plant Focus: Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’

Some people love bright red. But many gardeners shy away from using red flowered plants in their gardens for fear of their garish and bright appearance. This is a great shame – used carefully, red is a super colour to use in any garden! It can provide contrast, a highlight, or add a subtle depth of colour within a planting scheme. Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ is a brilliant little plant to use in this respect.

Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ is a semi evergreen shrubby perennial and member of the Sage family. It grows to around 60cm high and 40cm wide, and in my experience is best planted in a small group of, say 3-5 plants, which will give a small clump with a light, airy appearance. The purple green stems are covered in small vibrant red flowers – continuously – for a very long period – from early summer to late autumn. In my garden, the plants were still flowering well into November. And, like all members of the Salvia family, the flowers are much loved by bees and other pollinating insects.

Where to use it

Salvia Royal Bumble is not fussy about soil, but does prefer quite a rich but well drained one. It likes full sun, but will also tolerate light shade. It is fully hardy, although it will suffer some foliage damage and dieback after hard frosts.

Looking after Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’

Good news – it requires very little maintenance! A bit of light pruning in late Spring – to tidy and remove frost damage, perhaps a Spring mulch, and maybe a bit of deadheading if you feel inclined.

Not many plants give so much, yet demand so little. What’s not to like?!


Image credits: Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’, Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ with Nemophila menziesii.

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