For balcony railing gardens, this salvia will give you great screening from bad views, attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and flower from planting until frost (and maybe even beyond). The bumblebees, in particular, loved it so much, they would hang out all day and even take naps on it! So busy eating and sleeping, they never cared if I was right there, even handling the plants as they ate. Because I’ve had mixed results with other salvias in the past, I made the mistake of planting two plants instead of just one in my rectangular railing planters. This was, by far, the most vigorous and successful salvia I’ve ever grown. One in each planter would have been more than enough. Existing spikes just kept on putting out more and more continuous flowers as new spikes also matured. It was really an incredible show that my neighbors complimented me on over and over again. Planted in full afternoon sun with Superbells as spillers, it wasn’t long until it grew, and grew, and grew, and grew, easily reaching 3 feet or more by summer’s end, with plenty of blooms throughout the fall. Plants required staking to survive some stronger winds and rain, but once propped up, they just kept on going, and even more damaged plants grew back in with vigor. If you are planting on a balcony with a roof or overhang, they can become heavy toward the front and cause the planters to tip forward. That’s why, next season, I’m going to try the “Unplugged So Blue” variety, which is shorter, instead. Rockin’ does almost TOO well for balcony railing planters. I’d definitely plant them again if I had a garden on the ground.
Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia longispicata x farinacea
- Part Sun to Sun
The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).
FeaturesFANCY, yet UNFUSSY.
Beautiful blue flowers all summer long. As the flowers age, the calyx remains deep-blue after the actual flower falls off, giving the impression that the entire flower stalk remains in flower giving a greater floral presence in the garden.Award WinnerFragrant FoliageContinuous Bloom or RebloomerLong BloomingFall InterestHeat TolerantDeadheading Not NecessaryDrought TolerantAttracts:BeesButterfliesHummingbirdsResists:Deer
CharacteristicsPlant Type:AnnualHeight Category:TallGarden Height:24 - 48 InchesSpacing:14 - 18 InchesSpread:24 - 36 InchesFlower Colors:BlueFlower Colors:PurpleFlower Shade:Blue-purpleFoliage Colors:GreenFoliage Shade:GreenHabit:UprightContainer Role:Thriller
Plant NeedsLight Requirement:Part Sun to SunMaintenance Category:EasyBloom Time:Planting To Hard FrostHardiness Zones:7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10bWater Category:AverageSoil Fertility Requirement:Average SoilUses:ContainerUses:Cut FlowerUses:LandscapeUses:Mass PlantingUses:Specimen or Focal PointUses Notes:
Great in beds, along walkways, and on patios.Maintenance Notes:
Playin' The Blues™ is a wonderful annual Salvia (except in frost free zones) compact and richly colored it is easy and trouble free. It is sterile so it will not set seed and that means it will just bloom, and bloom and bloom all season without stopping.
You can easily trim to keep the shape or size where you want it, and it will branch out and become even thicker and more full of flowers.
Regular watering and fertilizing will keep the plant at maximum color and growth but it is amazingly tough and once established in a pot or the garden will tolerate lower levels of food and water. However, severe drought will cause lower leaves to drop and if this happens give it a quick haircut removing the upper 1/3 of growth and once it back to normal watering it will fill back in.
Playin' The Blues™ is a big attractor of bees! They love the sweet nectar in the flowers, so place it accordingly; a bit farther from seating areas if bees are a concern. It is always great to have a plant that will support our native bees!!Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia longispicata x farinacea 'Balsalmispim' USPP 29,604
51241321Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
Jersey Ray, New Jersey, United States, 14 weeks ago
These are one of my top favorites! I planted a few as thrillers in a some of my large containers. My containers were super growers this year for some reason so they started to get so big that I decided to move them to my beds. They really took off. They are in my front garden which gets a lot of full sun especially in the afternoon. I was pretty generous with watering them. They are huge and full of pollinators and beautiful blooms. It’s October and they’re going strong. They make a huge gorgeous impact in my garden.Lisa, Pennsylvania, United States, 31 weeks ago
Love love love ❤️. These are gorgeous!! My favorite salvia for sure!Heather Willmon, Alabama, United States, 43 weeks ago
There are salvias — and then there is this beautiful performer. Non-stop flowering in deep blue until frost here in NC. Pollinator treat. I am delighted to find a perennial that requires no dead-heading and can handle the heat and humidity of our 5 month summer. Yup, I am back to add a few more of these to my gardens. I suggest you add a few smaller perennials in front of these in your garden design.Joan McAndrews, North Carolina, United States, 1 year ago
I planted these in raised deck containers in early summer (to replace a different salvia that underperformed.) They quickly grew to catch up and surpass the other plants in the pots. Definitely a pollinator magnet, always in bloom. They grew to about 3’. Eventually a few stems split, but I expected that due to how exposed my containers are to high wind. The stems are very strong and become woody at the base by the end of the season. Despite splitting, the branches did not wilt. I staked them up and the plants didn’t miss a beat. I used a liquid fertilizer once a week. This plant will be in my yard next season for sure, but more of them. I plan on pruning to develop better side branching.Lisa G., Pennsylvania, United States, 1 year ago
This plant is crazy good! The size and the amount of blooms is truly wonderful. This will be a must in our garden for as long as we can find it each year. Wonderful color, fun structure, pollinator magnet - truly a proven winner!Christopher, New York, United States, 1 year ago
This is an outstanding plant. I used it in a mass planting in my front yard flower bed (gets sun all day long.) It is not fussy. Once established it keeps going strong, requires no deadheading, fills out beautifully, retains its colour all summer long, and is a massive pollinator magnet. I used it as a filler in a bed and it did not disappoint. It provides outstandingly super performance. It's elegance and beauty are second to none. I'll have it back next summer for sure. Five stars!Therese Koturbash, Manitoba, Canada, 1 year ago
Beautiful dark blue spikes stand upright and bloom all summer and through fall until hard frost. The bees love it.Sandra Bryant, Ontario, Canada, 2 years ago
One of the best perennials I’ve ever grown. Planted in April and were in continuous bloom until we had an early hard freeze mid November. Held up incredibly well during a very hot, dry summer with little supplemental water. Planted in an area with about 4 hours of midday sun. Looked gorgeous with lime coleus and orange lantana. Pollinator magnet!Lisa Mason, 2 years ago
I’m so delighted with this plant! I purchased eight of these to intermingle with rudbeckia and echinacea in several gardens. The flowers just keep coming, especially after I prune the rangier wands. The plants get quite enormous toward late summer, so plan for nearby flowers to get crowded out late in the season. As a plus, bees and butterflies go nuts over it.Eileen Mullen, New Jersey, United States, 2 years ago
Award Year Award Plant Trial 2018 Best Polliinator-Friendly Perennial Dallas Arboretum 2018 Top Performer Penn State4 More Recipes