May Night Salvia

In the high heat of the summer, cool tones in the garden are a refreshing visual treat. Use the jewel-tones of rich blue flower spikes of May Night Salvia (Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’) to create a marvelous respite.

This easy care plant begs to be used as a winding rich blue ribbon at the edge of your garden walkways and borders. The flowers bloom from late spring onward. Give them a simple trim after the first flush of blooms are past and they’ll rebloom for you.

Glowing purple stems are loaded with spires of violet-purple flowers can bloom from late spring throughout the summer into fall. May Night flowers feature a depth of color that draws your eye.

Use it to counteract bold shades of other perennials. It coordinates beautifully with just about any hue, from white to yellow to orange, red and shades of pink.

This is one of the most popular flowers for butterflies. They will flock to your planting to access an easy nectar feast. Butterflies will enliven your Salvia planting and add color and a delightful sense of motion to your landscape.

May Night Salvia is a low maintenance plant that is disease and pest free. It is a strikingly upright plant with a compact form. You’ll adore it’s high performance and great looks.

Order plenty for your landscape today!

How to Use May Night Salvia in the Landscape

This is the perfect plant for home garden perennial gardens or as a mass fill plant in a commercial landscape. With its blue-gray, lance-shaped aromatic foliage, it makes an attractive accent all summer long. It stays in excellent compact form.

They are perhaps at their best when multiple plants are used in mass. After all, you’ll want to see a lot of those beautiful rich blue flower spikes. Plant them as a long, low edging plant in borders.

Use May Night to create interest along a walkway. Simply brushing against the textured foliage releases an herbal fragrance that lingers in the air.

To create a solid low hedge, plant 2 feet apart on center. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Mass plantings can be created using a series of zig-zagging staggered rows. Mulch between plants and keep new plantings weeded.

Another way to use this beauty is to create long, skinny “drifts” near the front of your perennial border. Start with a single plant on either end, then use 2 or 3 plants deep near the center of the drift. Vary the plant spacing from 2 to 4 feet for the most natural results.

Use taller perennials or short shrubs as a backdrop and plant groundcover Sedum in front. This deliciously textured look adds season-long interest. You’ll love feeding the butterflies and creating a personal oasis for yourself and your family!

May Night Salvia can be used as a “Filler” in large container gardens on the patio or porch. Or, try them all by themselves in smaller pots. You’ll need to water containers regularly, especially in hot weather.

Automatic drip irrigation systems can be your best friend in these situations. In containers, plant using average potting soil such as Dr. Earth Mother Land Premium Organic All Purpose Planting Mix.

Make sure you cut blooms to bring inside. May Night Salvia blooms are excellent cut flowers!

#ProPlantTips for Care

Give your plants full sun exposure with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. It needs well-drained soil, but May Night is not particular about soil type or soil pH. Mulch over the root systems to keep them moist and cool.

To increase bloom time, Salvia should be cut back after the first bloom. At this time, it can be clipped back hard to rejuvenate the foliage and encourage continuous summer blooming.

Give new plants a moderate amount of water on a regular basis. Once their roots are established in your native soil, this plant becomes a low water user.

Mulching helps you extend the time between watering. However, if you experience an extended period of drought, it’s best to provide regular watering. You’ll want to protect your investment, after all.

May Night Salvia has a high value for wildlife. It’s simply a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as other beneficial insects. Yet, deer tend to leave it alone.

Its blooms look wonderful next to Sedum ‘Matrona’, Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, and Saliva ‘Snow Hill’. Fall in love with the deep, delicious color of May Night. Order yours from the expert growers at Nature Hills today!

Everybody loves this plant. In fact, Salvia May Night is one of the most popular perennials of all time, up there with Rudbeckia Goldsturm and Sedum Autumn Joy. No garden should be without this one.

About Salvias: Salvias can be confusing. Everybody knows those fire-engine red spires we see in park plantings every summer. Well, they’re the annuals. Were dealing here with perennials. And most perennial Salvias bloom blue or purple, and most are much larger plants than the little red annuals.

Growing with numerous dense flower spikes that come into full bloom in May or June, the cultivars of S. nemorosa (which is a combo of several European species that are winter hardy) have become the favored ones for perennial gardens. Some people call them Sage. Some just call them Salvias. But everyone who grows them loves them in the garden. Here are the best-known classic cultivars:

Sensation Rose is the rich red growing up to about two feet.
May Night is the very popular taller one with the signature deep purple Salvia color, to 3 feet.
Snow Hill is the rather short, but popular white, growing only to about 20 inches.

These famous Salvias , growing together or in single stands, are sure color every season in your perennial garden.

About warmer zones: Famous perennial guru Allan Armitage, who gardens in the south, warns that these Salvias may survive all the way to zone 9, but he says from Zone 8 south, they flop over terribly, making problems for the gardener, while further north they stand tall and straight. He heartily recommends them for gardeners in colder zones.

More Information

Associated SKUs

AM018208 (Tray of 16)
AM014145 (Plant – 3″ Pot)

Common Name

Meadow Sage May Night

Botanical Name

Salvia nemorosa May Night


4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Light Requirements

Full Sun

Flower Color


Flower Size

Showy spikes of tiny, tubular, two-lipped flowers (each to 1/2” long)

Mature Height

18-24″ tall

Estimated Mature Spread

12-18″ wide

Growth Rate


Bloom Time

Early to late summer

Planting Depth

Crown of plant should rest just at or above the surface after watering in.

Ships As

Potted Plant


Gray green foliage with soft hairy leaves.

Soil Type

Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil

Soil Moisture

Dry, Average, Well Draining


Dry Sites, Salt


Easy To Grow, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Bee Friendly, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good For Cut Flowers, Good For Dried Flowers, Great For Mass Plantings


Award of Garden Merit.
1997 Perennial of the Year.

Ideal Region

Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest

Planting Time

Spring / Summer

Neonicotinoid Free

Yes – Learn More

Item Unit


Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (Wood sage ‘Mainacht’)

Botanical name

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’

Other names


Salvia Salvia

Variety or Cultivar

‘Mainacht’ _ ‘Mainacht’ is a compact, upright perennial with oblong to lance-shaped, scalloped, wrinkled, hairy dark-green leaves and dense, terminal racemes of deep violet flowers in early summer.

Native to

Garden origin




Foliage is scented


Clump-forming, Upright


RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

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Dark-blue in Summer

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leafhoppers , Slugs , Snails


Generally disease free.

General care


Remove faded flower spikes to encourage further flowering.

Propagation methods


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Where to grow

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (Wood sage ‘Mainacht’) will reach a height of 0.8m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Mediterranean, Coastal


Plant in light, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Grows best in full sun will tolerate part shade.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral


Full Sun




Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (Wood sage ‘Mainacht’)

Common pest name

Alfalfa dwarf; Anaheim disease; California vine disease; Dwarf disease of alfalfa; Dwarf disease of lucerne; Leaf scald of oleander; Leaf scald of plum; Leaf scorch; Phony disease of peach; Pierce’s disease of grapevine; Variegated chlorosis of citrus

Scientific pest name

Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

A bacterial disease with a wide host range detected in Corsica. Although EU regulated; there remains some concern about the risk of introduction. This subspecies is known to be able to thrive in cooler climates. Should an outbreak occur; there would be a need for eradication action which would result in environmental and social impacts.

Defra’s Risk register #2

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (Wood sage ‘Mainacht’)

tomato thrips

Ceratothripoides brunneus



Thrips present in Africa; the Caribbean and parts of Asia; frequently intercepted in the UK. Can cause significant damage to tomatoes and other crops in countries where it is present. Europe wide PRA will consider its potential to establish and cause damage.

Defra’s Risk register #3

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (Wood sage ‘Mainacht’)

Green semi-looper

Chrysodeixis eriosoma



Polyphagous moth pest which is morphologically identical to a pest already established in the UK in protected environments and being controlled by IPM. Not expected to cause greater impacts than other species of Chrysodeixis in the UK.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

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