Mealycup Sage Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
mealy cup sage 'Midnight Candle'


Midnight Candle is a striking ornamental plant known for its vibrant floral display and attractive foliage. This plant produces dense, spiky inflorescences that are a deep indigo or violet-blue in color, creating a bold visual statement in any garden setting. The flowers are neatly arranged around the spike, giving the appearance of a candle flame, which is complemented by the dark, glossy green leaves that provide a lush backdrop for the intense blooms. Throughout the flowering season, the plant remains vibrant and can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden. The overall impression of Midnight Candle is one of elegance and drama, making it a favorite among gardeners looking to add a pop of color and vertical interest to their planting designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Mealy Cup Sage, Mealycup Sage, Blue Sage, Flowering Sage, Texas Sage

    • Common names

      Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Salvia farinacea, commonly known as mealy cup sage, is not typically considered toxic to humans. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid ingesting plants that are not explicitly meant for consumption, as individual reactions can vary. If large quantities were ingested, mild gastrointestinal upset could potentially occur, but there is limited information on severe toxicity from this plant.

    • To pets

      Mealy cup sage is generally not recognized as a toxic plant to pets. However, as with humans, it is prudent to prevent pets from consuming plants not specifically meant for their consumption. If a pet does ingest mealy cup sage, watch for signs of gastrointestinal discomfort, but serious toxicity is unlikely. Always consult a veterinarian if you observe any adverse reactions in your pet after ingesting any part of a plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle' is particularly attractive to bees and butterflies which help in pollination.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, it requires minimal watering and can survive in drier conditions.
    • Low Maintenance: This variety of salvia typically needs little care other than occasional trimming to encourage more blooms.
    • Long Blooming: It provides vibrant blue flowers that can last from late spring through the first frost.
    • Deer Resistant: The plant is generally resistant to deer, which makes it suitable for gardens in areas with a large deer population.
    • Landscape Uses: The 'Midnight Candle' variety can be used in borders, as a bedding plant, or in mass plantings for visual impact.
    • Heat Resistant: It can tolerate high temperatures, making it a good choice for hot climates.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural dye: The dark blue to violet flowers of the Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle' can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics and yarns, imparting beautiful hues without the need for synthetic dyes.
    • Photography: The striking blue flowers and dark foliage offer a dramatic contrast for photographers, especially when seeking to capture the essence of a garden at dusk.
    • Educational tool in botany: This plant can be used in educational settings to teach students about pollination, as it attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
    • Culinary garnish: Although not traditionally consumed, the non-toxic flowers can be used as an ornamental garnish for salads and desserts to add a splash of color.
    • Art supplies: The flowers and leaves can be pressed and used in creating botanical art or in craft projects, such as handmade paper or bookmarks.
    • Horticultural training: Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle' is sometimes used in master gardener training programs to illustrate principles of plant care and pruning for floriferous results.
    • As a muse for artists: Its vibrant color and unique appearance serve as inspiration for artists and can be the subject of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms.
    • Companion planting: This Salvia can be planted in vegetable gardens to help attract beneficial insects and improve pollination of vegetable crops.
    • Landscape design courses: Because of its striking look and growth habits, the plant is often used as an example in courses teaching landscape design and aesthetics.
    • Natural potpourri: The flowers, when dried, can retain some of their color and fragrance, and are therefore used in natural potpourri mixtures.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Mealy Cup Sage is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Mealy Cup Sage is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Wisdom: Salvia comes from the Latin word "salvere," which means "to save" or "to heal," often associated with wisdom and knowledge.
    • Immortality: The enduring nature of the Salvia plant, with its persistent blooms, symbolizes the quest for longevity and eternal life.
    • Healing: Due to its ties with the word "salvere," Salvia, like many herbal plants, represents healing properties and is often connected with good health and recovery.
    • Serenity: The cool, blue hues of the 'Midnight Candle' variety evoke a sense of peace and calm, symbolizing serenity and tranquility.
    • Protection: In some traditions, Salvia is believed to ward off evil and offer protection, possibly due to its strong aromatic qualities that were thought to purify and protect areas from negativity.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Mealy Blue Sage should be watered deeply once a week during hot, dry periods, but less frequently during cooler, wetter seasons. It is important to let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. Typically, a thorough watering involves using approximately 1 gallon of water per plant, ensuring that the water reaches the root zone. During the growing season, increase the frequency of watering if there are extended periods of drought or extreme heat.

  • sunLight

    Mealy Blue Sage thrives in full sun, and it should be placed in a location where it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. An east or south-facing spot where the plant can enjoy the morning sun and some protection from the intense late afternoon sun is ideal. Adequate sunlight is crucial for the plant to produce vibrant flowers and maintain healthy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Mealy Blue Sage prefers warm temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10. The plant can tolerate minimum temperatures down to 10°F and maximum temperatures that typically do not exceed 90°F. However, the ideal temperature range for this plant is between 70°F and 80°F to ensure optimal growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Mealy Blue Sage is best done in early spring or after the first flowering to promote bushier growth and more blooms. It should be pruned by removing spent flower spikes and cutting back by one-third to encourage new growth. Pruning is typically needed once or twice during the growing season, and it is also a good opportunity to shape the plant and control its size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Mealy Blue Sage should be light, well-draining, with a bit of organic matter. The ideal pH range is between 6.0 and 7.5. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part well-decomposed compost, and one part perlite or pumice is suitable.

  • plantRepotting

    Mealy Blue Sage should be repotted every 1-2 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. For mature plants, repotting may be less frequent, provided that top-dressing and soil amending are routinely done to maintain soil quality.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Mealy Blue Sage thrives in moderate humidity levels, but it is quite adaptable and can tolerate lower humidity conditions. It is not necessary to aim for a specific humidity level for this plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil.

  • circleLife cycle

    Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle', also known as Mealy Cup Sage, starts its life from seed, which, once sown, will germinate given warm temperatures and adequate moisture. After germination, the plant enters its vegetative stage, developing a rosette of leaves and subsequently stem elongation as it matures. During the growing season, 'Midnight Candle' produces tall spikes of deep blue to purple flowers, attracting pollinators which facilitate the plant's reproductive stage. After pollination, the flowers develop into small nutlets that contain seeds, completing its life cycle when these seeds are dispersed by wind, gravity, or wildlife. In colder climates, 'Midnight Candle' is often treated as an annual, requiring reseeding or replanting each year, but in warmer regions, it may behave as a perennial, surviving through the winter to grow and bloom again in subsequent years. As a perennial, 'Midnight Candle' may additionally spread through underground rhizomes, creating new shoots some distance away from the original plant.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Salvia farinacea 'Midnight Candle', commonly known as mealy cup sage, is through seed sowing. The best time to propagate by seeds is in late winter or early spring, just before the last frost date. To propagate, sow the seeds thinly onto a well-draining seed starting mix in a flat or tray, barely covering them with the soil. The tray should be kept at a temperature around 70°F (21°C), and the soil must be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Seeds typically germinate within 2 to 3 weeks. Once seedlings have developed a couple of true leaves and are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and later moved to the garden once all danger of frost has passed and they've been acclimated to outdoor conditions.