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Top 5 Annuals for the West


5
Salvia
Salvia doesn't thrive in cool spots. So make sure to plant your salvia plant where it can get plenty of sun.
Salvia doesn't thrive in cool spots. So make sure to plant your salvia plant where it can get plenty of sun.
Cliff Parnell/Getty Images­

­This hardy plant has been around for millennia, and its many varieties blossom (and smell great) in full sun. There are more than three varieties of salvia growing in today's gardens, but two of the most inspiring are those with red and blue blossoms. Red salvia, which is also known as the "red hot Sally," can be grown from New Orleans to New Mexico, and when blossoms are wilting, pinching the dying blooms off of the plant -- a practice called deadheading -- will allow it to keep on flourishing (this also works for the other varieties) [source: Tucker]. Actually cutting the plant down will force it to grow back, and with each cut, expect more blossoms for color throughout the season.

For growing this "sage" plant, there are few things to keep in mind. Because the plant doesn't do well in cool spots, make sure it has full sun and lots of water at least once a week after the roots have had a chance to establish themselves. Just don't overwater them! Your salvia will grown to about a foot ( 1/3 m) high, but if you want bigger plants, there are varieties that reach 20 inches (1/2 m) or more [source: Garden Guides].