Salvia microphylla ‘Viola’s Darling’


Salvia microphylla ‘Viola’s Darling’ is a charming perennial known for its abundant blooms and compact growth habit. Sporting delicate violet flowers with a hint of pink, it blooms profusely from spring to autumn, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Growing up to 60cm in both height and spread, this cultivar is perfect for borders, rock gardens, or containers. It thrives in well-drained soil and full sun, tolerating drought once established. ‘Viola’s Darling’ adds a pop of colour to any garden, making it a delightful choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.


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Origin: Cultivar of horticultural origin, species native to mountainous areas of Mexico
Genus: Salvia
Species / Cultivar: microphylla 'Viola's Darling'
Synonym: Salvia 'Viola's Darling'

Plant Biography

Salvia microphylla, native to Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States, has a rich botanical history. It has been cultivated for centuries by indigenous peoples for its medicinal and ceremonial uses. ‘Viola’s Darling’ is a modern cultivar bred for its compact size and abundant blooms. Developed by horticulturalists, it represents a culmination of selective breeding efforts aimed at enhancing ornamental qualities while maintaining the species’ resilience.

The cultivar ‘Viola’s Darling’ was selected for its abundance of delightful, maroon flowers.

Salvia microphylla 'Viola's Darling'
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 0.6-0.7m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5-0.6m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Salvia microphylla ‘Viola’s Darling’ reaches heights of up to 60cm, making it suitable for borders and containers. It thrives in well-drained soil and full sun, tolerating drought once established. Regular watering during dry spells promotes optimal growth and flowering. Deadheading spent blooms encourages continuous blooming from spring through to the autumn.

This cultivar requires minimal pruning but benefits from occasional shaping to maintain its tidy appearance and a moderate cutting back in spring to encourage sturdy new flowering growth. ‘Viola’s Darling’ is relatively low-maintenance and attracts pollinators, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.


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