Salvia nemorosa Caradonna
Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’

Salvia nemorosa

Balkan clary

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: June to September
  • Height: 40-70cm
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

Salvia nemorosa

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ is one of the best known of all Salvia nemorosa varieties and for good reason. This beautiful plant produces sturdy, dark purple stems topped with attractive violet-blue flowers in early summer. It grows to about 70cm tall. Salvia n. ‘Ostfriesland’ is valued for its compact form and spires of vivid violet-blue flowers. Expect a height of 45cm. Both varieties are excellent for growing in a container.

Also popular is Salvia n. ‘Mainacht’ ( ‘May Night’) which bears spikes of deep violet-purple flowers with dark green foliage from May to August. For a pink-purple version consider Salvia n. ‘Amethyst’. This variety looks great at the front of a border. Grows to about 70cm tall.

Salvia nemorosa
Geranium ‘Sensation Deep Blue’                                             Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’


How to deadhead Salvia nemorosa (Balkan clary). Cut back the faded flower spikes to 10cm above ground level, immediately after flowering and the plant will often produce a second flush of flowers.

When should you cut back Salvia nemorosa (Balkan clary). Let stand the stems through the winter. Cut off old spikes and remove dead, ugly foliage in early spring


Mulch the plant once a year. Apply a 5cm layer of garden compost around the base of the plant in early spring.

Plant combination

Salvia nemorosa looks good planted with Achillea, Astrantia,  Campanula  and Geranium.

Geranium sanguineum var striatum
Geranium sanguineum var striatum