Salvia Aren't Blooming

Salvia plants are continuous bloomers during late spring through fall. There are a few situations to consider when dealing with a salvia plant that does not appear to be blooming when it should. 

Sometimes buds may begin to develop, but may not fully open for an extended time. This is likely due to the weather not being warm enough in your area for the blooms to fully open. Perhaps, it may be an issue of simply needing a weekly deadheading if your salvia has already bloomed once during its peak season and seems lackluster. Rootbound salvia plants also will be less likely to bloom normally. Other considerations may be watering or fertilizing amendments to help your salvia thrive. Read on to identify what may be happening with your salvia.


Common Reasons Why Salvia Isn’t Blooming

Is your weather warm enough for your salvia to fully open up its blooms? Check here for your salvia plant’s specific needs for weather by referencing the growing zone.

Has your salvia bloomed already and is no longer producing new blooms? Check the previous blooms and clip any that lack the colorful flower petals. This will encourage continuous blooming. Deadheading may be necessary throughout the late spring through fall if your salvia seems to have stopped blooming after each cycle of blooms.

Is your salvia planted in compact clay or within a container that is too small for the root base? Transplanting your salvia may be necessary to allow the roots ample space to receive adequate nutrition and water from its surrounding soil.

Although salvia plants are drought tolerant, a severe drought will greatly reduce your chances of a thriving plant and blooms. Monitoring the moisture of the soil surrounding your salvia’s root base and watering as needed without submerging the roots will aid in its flower production.

Fertilizing may be necessary if you observe yellowing or unusually light green foliage on your salvia. This may be due to the surrounding soil lacking the necessary potassium or phosphate. Adding about 1” of aged compost atop the root base and watering thoroughly will provide many of the necessary nutritional components for your salvia.


Pruning Salvia To Help It Bloom

Does pruning salvia help? Excessive pruning will hinder the quantity and quality of blooms if done any later than early spring. However, deadheading may aid the plant’s process of continuous blooming. This is especially helpful if you have observed your salvia blooming once and then fading. Simply clip below the spent blooms and allow the salvia’s natural process to kick in.

Fertilizing Salvia To Help It Bloom

Salvia plants greatly benefit from the use of aged compost. Whether this is sourced from your own compost pile or bought from a store, the results are the same and will help your salvia thrive. Add about 1” of aged compost to the top of the root base and water thoroughly.

Get Salvia To Produce More Blooms

If you’ve determined that your salvia is within its peak season and the temperatures are ideal, there are a few maintenance tips to assist in producing more blooms. 

Ensure your salvia has moist, but not overly soaked, soil. Water as needed by checking the root base for dry, cracking soil or for shriveled foliage.

Adding aged compost will release necessary nutrients that will give your salvia a boost. Place about 1” layer of aged compost atop the root base and water thoroughly without overwatering.

If your salvia has bloomed once and then faded away on bloom production, it may be time to bring out the scissors of pruning shears. Clip away the spent blooms and allow the salvia time to begin producing new blooms.


Why Salvia Isn’t Blooming

  • It may not be warm enough yet! Is it late spring through fall?
  • Your salvia may need a hand in removing spent blooms if it has bloomed once and then faded.
  • The root base may be too crowded and in need of a transplant to looser soil or a larger container.
  • If there is a severe drought and your salvia has not received any additional watering, it may be preserving its production in keeping itself alive.
  • The soil may not be providing the necessary nutrients to assist your salvia’s blooming process.
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Author Chris Link - Published 03-07-2022