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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).

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Mature Size
4' 3'
2' - 4'
2' - 3'
  • Details



    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 Winner
    Fragrant Foliage
    Continuous Bloom or Rebloomer
    Long Blooming
    Fall Interest
    Heat Tolerant
    Deadheading Not Necessary
    Drought Tolerant


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    24 - 48 Inches
    14 - 18 Inches
    24 - 36 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Planting To Hard Frost
    Hardiness Zones: 
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
    Water Category: 
    Soil Fertility Requirement: 
    Average Soil
    Cut Flower
    Mass Planting
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses 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
  • 12 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • 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.

      , Pennsylvania
      , United States
      , 6 weeks ago
    • Love love love ❤️. These are gorgeous!! My favorite salvia for sure!

      Heather Willmon
      , Alabama
      , United States
      , 18 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
      , 42 weeks 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
      , 42 weeks 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!

      , 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
      , 1 year 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
      , 1 year 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
    • I agree with the previous reviewer: This is a strong and rangy plant. I didn't expect it to be a standout in my yard but was! The colorful blue calyxes really do keep the impact going so it never needed deadheading to look good. It got taller than I expected it to be (about 3 to 4 feet tall) but as the plant aged, the individual stalks sagged just a little. Since the foliage was also so vigorous the saggy habit looked great. Place it next to a groundcover rosebush with yellow or orange blooms for a really pretty combo.

      Deb Wiley
      , Iowa
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
  • 2 Awards

    Award Year Award Plant Trial
    2018 Top Performer Penn State
    2018 Best Polliinator-Friendly Perennial Dallas Arboretum
  • 3 More colors

  • 6 Recipes

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