23
March
2020

Salvia ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’

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Salvia ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ bunches its florets tighter

If you’re interested in offering hummingbird pots or building a hummingbird garden, be sure to include Salvia ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’. This cultivar is brand new to the market, introduced only last year by Proven Winners. Large, bright pink trumpets are a big break from the usual blues and purples we see.

Guaranitica-style Salvia, or Anise-Flowered Sage, is popular right now partially due to its very stylish bloom that is cloaked in a dark hood called a calyx. No other flower looks like it, and none is as pink as ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’. It’s a cool look and the plant also brings in the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. To be honest, everyone talks about the ability to attract hummingbirds but ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ is unusually attractive to them. Let’s take a look at the reasons why this happens.

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‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’s popularity makes hummingbird photography easy

BRIGHT PINK GUARANITICA BLOOMS

‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ actually has a few signature features, but one is very obvious: that bright pink trumpet hooded by the dark calyx. This plant is a hybrid, so the flowers are a little different. Florets are packed closer together, not far apart and wispy like they are in the typical species. A flower head this bright and big in this style is unusual to see.

As a result, ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ does a better job at basic decor work. Color is bundled into a tighter ball and the plant pushes up more blooms so the bright pink is showy enough to serve in container work, or as a centerpiece in a landscape bed. Even a stem of hooded calyxes looks interesting all alone.

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The hood on a Salvia trumpet is called a calyx

BUILT FOR FOOD DELIVERY

These long trumpets attract plenty of hummingbirds, and they recharge fast so the birds return frequently. It’s a hummingbird hub, but butterflies and long-tongued bees also like the flowers. We see plenty of short-tongued bees as well—they chew through the tube to get to the nectar at the base.

‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ is a thicker and bushier Salvia—we can see it in the shorter, stalkier flower clusters, the darker, thicker leaves, and the denser crown. Because it’s a perennial, albeit a tender one, the plant invests its energy into building a strong infrastructure. This investment pays off in food delivery.

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Sterile flowers mean heavy bloom performance from summer to frost

LATE SEASON NECTAR PERFORMANCE

We must also mention the late season performance of ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’. Since the flowers are sterile, the food delivery for pollinators never stops. Salvias kick into gear when summer arrives, but ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ keeps revvin’ right through September and October. It takes a hard frost to knock down this Salvia, so it provides a valuable service to the beneficials at a time when they are trying to bulk up their winter energy reserves.

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‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ forms the backing of this pollinator pot—notice the inbound bee

ANCHORING THE POLLINATOR GARDEN

It turns out that ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ was bred short by guaranitica standards so it could anchor pollinator pots as a thriller. Flower heads sit high enough for hovering but are short enough to fit comfortably in most decor arrangements. This is a welcome trait for customers who want to invite beneficials to visit the deck, patio or balcony.

An interesting companion is Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire’, another supercharged nectar producer popular with the hummingbirds. It’s largely prostrate, so it makes an effective skirt surrounding a stand of ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ in the landscape, or a low filler covering the soil in large pots. Plants bunch up around the edges and bulge out over the sides.

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A deck railing planter draws hummingbirds towards an apartment balcony

FIELDING A CAUSAL CONTAINER

Salvia can carry over into casual or informal arrangements, either in a container or a landscape bed. To achieve this simple effect, gather up three or four non-dome plants that happen to share a color and let nature do its thing. In this arrangement the charm comes from the randomness of it all.

Another interesting pair is ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ and ‘Supertunia Bubblegum’. They share the same pink but take that color in two very different directions. It’s a simple mix that makes for an intriguing container.

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Salvia ‘Rockin’ Deep Purple’ is a larger version with deeper colors

TRY ‘ROCKING’ DEEP PURPLE’

If you’re working in landscapes or oversized urns or planters, consider ‘Rockin’ Deep Purple’. These plants grow roughly six inches higher at about 40 inches, with blooms around waist-high. They attract hummingbirds and a wide assortment of bees, both large and small.

You can create a Rockin’ mix by interplanting the two cultivars, placing ‘Fuchsia’ in lower spots and ‘Deep Purple’ in higher ones. Both share the same dark calyx and flower structure, but ‘Deep Purple’ is more open in its style. ‘Fuchsia’ is tighter and more compact.

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‘Rockin’ Deep Purple’ feeds a hummingbird as ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ starts to open underneath

CARE AND CULTURE

‘Rockin’ Salvia can be grown in sun and partial sun. We have had success in both environments and don’t see much of a difference between the two. Plants grown in a container will be about six inches shorter than the same plants grown in a landscaping bed. Pots constrain the roots, whereas beds give them room to spread out in the soil, producing bigger plants. One caveat of their constantly blooming state is the need for abundant food. Well-prepared soil or a regular feeding schedule is important to get the best late season performance from Rockin’ Salvia.

A major benefit is the plants’ high tolerance of fluctuations in watering. Once established, they work well with the natural rainfall around here and handle dry spells well. In an extended dry situation, plants start to drop their bottom leaves first. If this happens, give them a haircut about a third of the way from the top. When the water returns the plants fill back in nicely. Folks who work with wooded properties know that when deer are involved the display options drop. Remember: deer ignore Salvia due to its bad taste. Rockin’ Salvia is showy enough to become a garden fixture or centerpiece, and it is one you can offer without fearing the deer.

We sell Salvia ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’ and ‘Rockin’ Deep Purple’ in the 4.5-inch tray of 10.

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