Salvia 'Blue Hill' vs 'May Night'

marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)February 10, 2010

I want to plant a group of between 7 and 11 sage plants in the front of my flower bed. The bed is about 8 feet deep and 16 feet long. Ideally I am want the salvia that will make the best impression when viewed up close. No flopping, good color, long blooming period, not taller than 18". Which one of the two fits the bill better? Or, which one do you prefer, and why? Thank you for your suggestions and thoughts!

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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

'May Night' is renowned for being the best/better re-bloomer.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:01PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Last year was my first season with "May Night", and I was very impressed. I liked it so much I added more to my bed later in the season. Beautiful, rich color, always neat and tidy, bloomed a good 4-6 weeks with sporadic re-bloom after dead-heading.

Have not grown the other, so cannot compare the two.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 4:06PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I grow both of them. I have found that the 'Blue Hill' definitely flops, but I find it to be a stonger grower than 'May Night'. The color is more of a pale blue. 'Blue Hill' and 'May Night' are quite different in color. 'May Night' is much darker and vibrant. It is a beautiful shade. If I deadhead the 'May Night' it will rebloom, but I have found the plant peters out a little as the season progresses. But again, the 'Blue Hill' flops so I cut that back anyway. I'll also throw in 'East Friesland'. That grows very similar to 'Blue Hill' but is a darker blue. 'May Night' is the first salvia in my garden to bloom. With deadheading I do find 'May Night' has a longer bloom.

May Night

'Blue Hill'

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 6:50PM
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miclino(5)

Nice pics. What is the white flowering plant in the first picture?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 8:15PM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

I love your combinations, Thyme! Wonderful contrast.
(I have some salvias, also, but I was too preoccupied w/ other matters last summer to pay attention to them, so I can't help on this question, and the weather is considerably different here, too.) Brandyray

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

The white-flowering shrub in the first photo is Deutzia gracilis. It's one of my favorite shrubs. There's an even lower one 'Nikko' which is only about 8-10" tall.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 7:32AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

May Night is such a good grower that I keep buying them. Late in the season I am always finding quarts on sale. I see if offered everywhere here, so it is easy to find. May Night is quite a deep intense color. It is so deep it does not project far. It's best to flank it with contrasting colors. If it's against solid green you will not see it as well.

If I stay on top of deadheading they just keep on going. I find them pretty neat in habit. I have EAst Friesland and a few others and they don't bloom nearly as much. I have Salvia White Hill and that is pretty nice. I have had my eye on Blue Hill for the color and want that too, but have not seen it offered locally.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 12:05PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Thank you everyone for your feedback!! Very much appreciated. Thyme2dig, those are gorgeous pictures, thank you!! I must say, from the online descriptions Blue Hill sounded really good, but it helps a ton more to get real world practical experience. I think I will go with May Night, plus it's easier to buy in bigger numbers, which will make my wallet happy. Btw, your picture with the Deutzia convinced me to put that shrub on my list...lol Thanks so much everybody.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 1:28PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Do you buy starter plants or grow from seed? Has anybody ever Wintersown May Night?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 5:12AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I don't know about May Night, but Blue Hill does not seed true to colour. I can't remember whether it is just a hybrid or actually sterile. Blue Queen can be grown from seed.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 9:47AM
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ctopher_mi

Personally I like Blue Hill over May Nigh because, for me, it reblooms even if I don't deadhead them. In my naturalized perennial gardens it is stronger among the wild things :)

Chris

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:41PM
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terrene(5b MA)

'May Night' is very pretty when it blooms but it has never rebloomed for me, deadheading or not. The foliage also gets very ratty towards the end of the summer. Not sure if it would grow better in a different location.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:24AM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I have both these salvias, and in my experience, after they're a few years old, every salvia flops out, leaving a hole in the center of the plant. Don't plant in rich soil - that will make it even worse. This spring I'm going to divide mine and see if that helps with the flopping out. It drives me crazy.

Mine both rebloom equally well.

Deanna

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 3:43PM
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miclino(5)

when people say that their salvia rebloomed, are they saying that there was one rebloom or that it was continuous rebloom. I see folks saying that they only had one bloom and others saying that their salvia bloomed till frost........

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 4:02PM
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pinballer3(5a Denver (Brighton))

My May Night Salvia has a second but smaller flush of blooms when deadheaded. It is also easy to divide. I accidentally discovered this one year when I dug up a "whole" plant to move it, only to find it grew back from roots in the original hole. In some locations, I have it planted next to large rocks which also helps the color stand out.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 11:19PM
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