Virtually all salvias need full sun. To grow and thrive, most varieties should have 8 hours of full sun daily. A minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day is usually enough to keep these plants happy, but most types prefer a full day of sun. Because these flowers grow in many different environments—from Asian forests to California coastal areas—they are considered adaptable plants. There are certain varieties of salvia that do well in part shade, but most need direct sunlight to grow and bloom to their fullest potential.
How Many Hours of Sun Do Salvias Need?
Salvias should have up to 8 hours of full sun daily. Between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight is usually sufficient, but don’t let your salvia plants get less than 6 hours a day, or you are risking fewer flowers. If you are growing varieties that can tolerate partial shade, aim for 3–4 hours of full sun in the morning and dappled shade in the afternoon.
- Salvias need 8 hours of full sun each day.
- You may get fewer flowers if they get less than 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Give salvias afternoon shade if the sun is harsh at this time or if temperatures are very hot.
As with many plants, if the afternoon sun is particularly harsh, especially during the hottest part of summer, plan to shade your salvias during the afternoon. However, salvias are fairly hardy and drought tolerant, so you don’t need to be overly concerned with giving them too much sun.
Can Salvias Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
The majority of salvia varieties can grow in indirect sunlight, even though most types prefer full sun. You may get fewer flowers, though, if your salvias do not get any full sun.
- Most salvias can grow in indirect sunlight.
- Fewer flowers may bloom if no full sun is provided.
- Certain varieties, like cedar salvias, thrive in indirect sun.
Salvias won’t die or wilt in indirect sun as long as they are exposed to a sufficient amount of bright light throughout the growing season. Varieties such as cedar salvias actually thrive in indirect light, but need a full day of bright, indirect sun to flower appropriately.
Can Salvias Grow in Shade?
Most salvias do not do well in full shade. One of the biggest dangers of trying to grow perennial salvias in full shade is floppy stems. In most cases, if they are completely deprived of full sun, the stems will quickly become rubbery and eventually, they will bend completely over, thus ruining the look of the plants and causing the flowers to drop prematurely.
- Most salvias do poorly in full shade.
- Stems may bend over and flowers may drop prematurely.
- Leggy foliage may occur if salvias are grown in full shade.
- Makino salvias are the only variety that do well in full shade.
Some salvias may also become very leggy if grown in full shade. Makino salvias are the only kind that can grow in full shade, but all other varieties must have at least some full sun to avoid flopping over and dying prematurely.
What Happens if Salvias Don’t Get Enough Sun?
Salvias that don’t get enough sun may grow tall and spindly and develop an excessive amount of foliage, but not many flowers. They may also develop a somewhat rubbery texture and bend over so that the flowered section is drooping, but the bottom of the stem stays rigid.
- Fewer flowers and foliage overgrowth may occur if salvias are sun-deprived.
- A rubbery texture or droopy stems may develop if enough sun is not provided.
- Drooping salvias can be staked for support, but full sun is necessary for them to recover.
The less sun they receive, the more pronounced a drooping problem will be. If your salvias have become droopy, you can stake them to give them support, but they need to get some full sun in order to get strong again on their own.
Can Salvias Get Too Much Sun?
Salvias can get too much sun, although this is fairly rare. Sun overexposure is evidenced by complete wilting of salvia plants and brown or yellow spots on the foliage. The soil may also become too dry if they are exposed to intense, daylong sun when temperatures are hot. Soil that is too dry can hamper your salvia’s growth.
- Salvias can get too much sun.
- Complete wilting, and yellow or brown spots on the foliage are signs of sun scorch.
- Excessive sun may dry out the soil and slow salvia growth.
Fortunately, it is easy to save salvias that have been overexposed to the sun. Once some shade is provided—preferably afternoon shade—they usually spring back to life quickly. However, if you allow salvias to become sun-scorched for a lengthy amount of time, it is much more difficult to get them to regain their health.
How Much Sun Do Salvias Require?
Most salvias require full sun. 8 hours is usually the magic number, but 6 will typically keep these flowers content.
- Salvias should have a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day.
- Most salvias prefer a full day of sun.
- Salvias are adaptable and grow in many different environments.
- Certain varieties do well in partial shade.
- Most need full sun to grow and thrive to their fullest potential.
- If grown in indirect sunlight, a full day of light is recommended.
Salvias are surprisingly easy to grow, so if you’ve been considering adding these beautiful flowers to your garden, now is the time!