Silver Sage Salvia argentea

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
silver sage


Salvia argentea, commonly known as silver sage, is a perennial plant that is widely appreciated for its distinctive foliage and textural appearance. The plant is characterized by its large, felt-like leaves that are silvery-white in color, making it stand out in the garden. These leaves are lobed, often forming a rosette shape at the base, and have a soft, woolly texture that invites touch. During the flowering season, silver sage produces tall spikes above its foliage, which bear small, typically white or pale lavender flowers. These flowers are arranged in whorls along the upright stems and can add an ornamental appeal to the plant. The contrast between the delicate flowers and the bold silver leaves is quite striking. The overall shape of the silver sage gives it a lush, mounded appearance, with the foliage providing a strong visual interest even when the plant is not in bloom. It is often used in gardens for its color and texture, as well as its ability to create a focal point or to blend with other plants in borders and beds. The plant's ability to reflect sunlight due to its silvery leaves brings a luminous quality to garden settings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Silver Sage, Silver Clary, Silver Salvia

    • Common names

      Salvia claryoides, Salvia lunellii, Salvia argentea subsp. argentea

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Salvia argentea, commonly known as silver sage, is not widely reported as a toxic plant to humans. Generally, salvia species are not considered highly toxic, but it is always prudent to avoid ingesting plants unless they are known to be safe and are prepared properly. If large quantities of silver sage were ingested, it might potentially cause gastrointestinal discomfort, but significant poisoning is unlikely. However, individual sensitivities can vary, and it is always best to exercise caution and keep plants out of the reach of children who may ingest them out of curiosity.

    • To pets

      Silver sage is not known to be particularly toxic to pets. Most salvia species, including Salvia argentea, are not listed as dangerous. However, as with humans, pets can have individual sensitivities, and ingestion of non-food plants can sometimes result in mild gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea in pets like cats and dogs. If a pet consumes a large amount of silver sage and exhibits adverse symptoms, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. To be safe, it is generally recommended to prevent pets from eating ornamental plants.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Salvia argentea, commonly known as Silver Sage, is prized for its striking silvery-white foliage that adds a unique texture and color contrast to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Silver Sage is quite drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for water-wise gardens and xeriscaping.
    • Low Maintenance: Silver Sage generally requires minimal care, thriving in well-drained soils and needing little in terms of fertilization or pruning.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The plant can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden, which can help in the pollination of other plants.
    • Deer Resistance: The fuzzy leaves of Silver Sage are less palatable to deer, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with a high deer population.
    • Soil Erosion Control: The root system of Silver Sage can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
    • Culinary Use: Although primarily an ornamental, some sage species have culinary uses; however, always verify the safety of specific varieties before consumption.
    • Seasonal Interest: Silver Sage provides visual interest throughout the growing season, with its peak appeal being the foliage that lasts from spring to fall.

  • 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

    • Textile Industry: The fibrous stems of Salvia argentea can be processed to create a natural form of textile or fabric similar to hemp or flax.
    • Craft Supplies: The felted leaves of the plant can be used in crafting, for decoration or as a natural fabric for making artificial flowers.
    • Landscape Design: This plant's silver-white leaves make it a great choice for adding contrast in garden designs, rockeries, and ornamental borders.
    • Art Supplies: The unique texture and shape of the leaves can be used in printing techniques to create patterns on paper or fabric.
    • Natural Mulch: Dried leaves and stems of Salvia argentea can be used as mulch in garden beds to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Dye Production: While not well known for it, the plant can potentially be used in natural dye production for coloring fabrics with research into its pigmentation.
    • Perfumery: The subtle scent of the plant when it's crushed can be used in the production of naturally scented oils or potpourri.
    • Decorative Containers: The silver foliage can be paired with succulents or other drought-resistant plants in decorative container gardens for aesthetic variety.
    • Floral Arrangements: Salvia argentea can be used as a foliage filler in floral arrangements due to its distinct color and leaf shape.
    • Erosion Control: The plant's rooting system can help stabilize soil, making it useful for planting in areas prone to erosion.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Silver Sage is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Silver Sage is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Salvia, derived from the Latin salvare ("to save"), is commonly associated with healing, both of the body and the mind, due to its rich history in herbal medicine.
    • Wisdom: Silver sage, a common name for Salvia argentea, is often connected to the pursuit of knowledge and the wisdom that comes with experience, echoing the plant's connection to the ancient symbol of sage as a wise person.
    • Protection: Historically, various Salvia species were believed to offer protection and were used in rituals to ward off evil, which may carry over in the symbolic meanings associated with silver sage.
    • Longevity: The enduring nature of some Salvia species and their place in perennial gardens may lead to their symbolic association with longevity and enduring life.
    • Purification: Silver sage, like many other salvias, can symbolize purification, as sage has been used in various cultures to cleanse spaces and heal individuals.

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

    The common name for Salvia argentea is Silver Sage. It prefers to be watered deeply and less frequently to encourage root growth. Typically, watering once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per plant is sufficient, but this may vary depending on the climate and soil type. During hot or dry spells, you may need to water more often, while in cooler or rainy periods, less water may be required. Always check the soil moisture at a depth of a couple of inches; if it's dry, it's time to water.

  • sunLight

    Silver Sage thrives best in full sun conditions, receiving at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. An ideal spot for Silver Sage is in a south-facing garden where it can benefit from the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Silver Sage is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but grows best in conditions between 60°F and 70°F. It should be kept above freezing temperatures, as it can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20°F. It's important to avoid exposing Silver Sage to prolonged temperatures above 85°F, which may cause stress to the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Silver Sage should be pruned to remove spent flower spikes and to shape the plant. Pruning is best done in early spring or after the plant has flowered. Removing old flower stems will often encourage a second bloom. Prune every year to maintain a compact and healthy form.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Silver Sage prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A mixture of loam, compost, and coarse sand or perlite can create an ideal soil environment for this plant, simulating its native habitat and promoting good root health. Regular checks and amendments can help maintain the soil's structure and fertility, ensuring optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Silver Sage does not require frequent repotting; it typically needs it every 2-3 years. The best time to repot is in the spring as the plant emerges from dormancy. Repotting helps to refresh the soil and can facilitate the management of the plant's size, but care should be taken not to disturb the roots excessively.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Silver Sage is fairly tolerant of different humidity levels but prefers moderate to low humidity environments. Since it originates from Mediterranean regions, this plant does well in conditions that are not overly humid, therefore aiming for average room humidity will suffice for its growth indoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and well-draining soil for Silver Sage indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Silver Sage in full sun with well-draining soil outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Salvia argentea, commonly known as silver sage, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination develops into a small rosette of silver-hairy leaves in its first year, featuring its hallmark silver-white foliage that forms a basal clump. In its second year, the plant sends up tall flower stems, usually in early to mid-summer, which bear whorls of small, pale yellow to white flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinators. After flowering, the plant sets seed, with the flower stems dying back, while the basal rosette of leaves may persist if conditions are favorable. Silver sage is typically a biennial, which means that it usually completes its life cycle in two years, dying after seed production. However, under certain conditions, the plant can behave as a short-lived perennial, with the basal leaves surviving for more than two seasons. Seeds may remain dormant in the soil for an extended period before germinating, thus ensuring the continuity of the plant population.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Salvia argentea, commonly known as silver sage, is by seed. For successful propagation, seeds should be sown in late winter or early spring. They are often started indoors under lights before the last frost date. A light covering of soil, about 1/8 inch, is sufficient as the seeds need some light to germinate. Seeds typically germinate within two to three weeks at a temperature of about 70°F (approximately 21°C). Once seedlings are large enough to handle and after the risk of frost has passed, they can be transplanted outdoors into a well-drained soil with full sun exposure. It's crucial to not overwater the young plants, as silver sage prefers drier conditions.