15 Salvia Companion Plants (Best Flowers To Grow With Salvia)

Salvia plants thrive in full sun, attract hummingbirds, and begin blooming in early summer. These tubular flowers love sunlight and need well-drained soil in which to thrive. The best salvia companion plants will enjoy the same conditions, making it easy to put together flower beds resplendent in vibrant blooms.

red and white hot lips salvia
Red and white hot lips salvia.

Saliva is a low-maintenance flowering herb that grows well with many other flowers.  This list of heat-loving plants thrive in full sun and need soil with good drainage- the perfect companion plants for perennial salvia!

(Some varieties of salvia do well in partial shade OR full sun, but they bloom best in full sun areas!).

Read our complete guide to growing Hot Lips Salvia here.

Best Companion Plants For Salvia

Companion planting is a term typically used to describe plants that mutually benefit each other.  A common example is planting marigolds, which repel insects, near the veggie garden.

When planting flowers together, we also consider companion plants simply as plants that can grow and thrive together in similar soil, water and sun conditions. 

Salvias are drought tolerant, enjoy lots of sun and need well draining soil. So, the best companion plants for salvia will enjoy full sun and slightly acidic soil with good drainage.

Choose flowers and plants that can thrive in very dry conditions.  The best place for salvia is in a warm spot in full sun!

The best companion flowers for salvia would be other plants that are drought tolerant, enjoy sandy soil and need full sun.  Soil must be well draining!

California Poppies

orange california poppies growing next to salvia

California poppies are an easy going flower that add color to the garden in early spring. Forgiving of poor soil and drought tolerant, these carefree flowers are incredibly easy to grow and will thrive in full sun.

Though they are well known for their orange flowers, these beauties are also available in dusky rose, cream, white and yellow.

Plant orange or pink California poppies with blue salvia for a pleasing floral combination.


english lavender makes an awesome companion plant for salvia

Lavender thrives in similar conditions as salvia and is a lovely fragrant herb to feature in the flower garden.  This fragrant herb does not enjoy fertile soil and grows best in full sun.  

Known for it’s ability to attract pollinators, lavender is easy to harvest.  The aromatic foliage can be dried and the essential oils used to create a calming aura within the home.

With their cottage styled blooms lavender, salvia and catmint are one of the best perennial planting combinations.  

Plant lavender alongside salvia in a sunny flower bed or rock garden.

Ornamental Grasses

ornamental grass

Low maintenance and thriving in full sun, ornamental grass is a good choice to grow next to salvia.

Choose drought resistant varieties to keep in step with heat loving salvias.  Pampas grass, zebra grass and leatherleaf sedge can be good options.  Some ornamental grasses can grow to be very large, so space plants accordingly!  

Did you know?  Salvia and sage are both names for the same plant.  Native to South America, there are over 900 different types of salvia.  “Saliva” typically refers to flowering plants, while the term “sage” refers to edible varieties.  There are over 900 different salvia varieties and these herbaceous perennials do well without fertilizer. Salvia are available in a rainbow of colors including purple, blue, pink, red and white.  

Russian Sage

purple and green russian sage

Russian sage features silvery gray foliage and vibrant purple flowers that bloom in late summer.  

Although it resembles lavender, Russian sage can be grown in colder climates and has no fragrance.  Russian sage thrives in full sun and needs well draining soil in order to thrive, just like salvia.  They do not like rich soil and grow well in rock gardens.

Blanket Flower

orange and yellow blanket flowers

With red centers fading to yellow tips, the flowers of a Blanket Flower resemble that of a setting sun.  Blanket flowers require little maintenance and thrive in a sunny spot. They do not need much water.  These traits make them a good companion plant for salvia.  

This versatile flowers can handle drought and are deer resistant.  Deadheading will encourage blanket flowers to bloom the entire growing season.  

Black-Eyed Susan

orange black eyed susan

Black-eyed Susan feature bold showy flowers with yellow petals and dark brown centers.  

These bright perennials grow in a wide range of soils, but like salvia they need good draingin in order to thrive. These gorgeous flowers come back every year and grow well in full sun, making them an excellent companion plant for salvia.


purple flowers of catmint

Featuring lovely sage green foliage catmint is easy to grow and loves sunlight.  Often mistaken for lavender, it also features long purple flowers.  

Catmint is one of our favorite perennials.  It will bloom with showy flowers at least twice in the season, once in spring and again in summer.  With lots of purple blooms lavender, catmint and salvia are a beautiful flower combination to feature in the garden beds.

Salvias have a wide range of bloom times: from early spring to late spring, summer and fall.

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yellow sunflower growing next to salvia

Sunflowers often enjoy fertile soil, but a little known secret is that many varieties can actually thrive in moderate or even poor soil.  Like salvia, sunflowers thrive in full sun and enjoy heat. 

Sunflowers also benefit from soil that can drain well.  Grow shorter, branching varieties like Sunfinity alongside purple salvias for a complimentary color palette!

Day Lilies

Day lilies are easy to grow and produce bright flowers on long stalks.  

Plant day lilies in full sun, alongside salvia plants.  Lilies can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Though they don’t bloom for a long time, day lilies require little care and are a very popular flower to grow.  

They will return the following spring and even multiply, giving you lots of flowers to share!

With vibrant, multi colored flowers, Peruvian lilies can also be a perfect companion plant for salvia!


pink cosmos flowers

Easy care cosmos boast delicate flowers in shades of pink, yellow, red and white.  These easy growing annuals will bloom all summer and thrive in full sun. They love heat and thrive in poor soil conditions. Cosmos are one of the best plants to grow alongside salvia!

Cosmos will keep producing flowers all summer and into the first frosts of fall.  They are great plants to add to a cutting garden!

Plant salvia with purple-blue flowers alongside yellow cosmos for a complimentary color combination!

Pollinator Tip: All of the different flowers listed here will attract pollinators like hummingbird, butterflies and bumble bees!  They are able to grow in dry soil and enjoy full sun, making them great companion plants to salvia.


Yarrow is a beautiful perennial that butterflies flock to all summer.  Craving full sun and able to tolerant poor soil and drought, yarrow is often paired with salvia.

Yarrow is available in red, white, orange and yellow flowers and grows well in rock gardens, hillsides and pollinator gardens. Divide yarrow plants every few years to keep them healthy. 


Established roses are incredibly hardy and can be a great companion to salvia.  Imagine vibrant pink shrub roses growing alongside a swath of gorgeous purple salvia!  

Like salvia, roses need well draining soil and enjoy full sun.  For best results, fertilize roses each spring but neglect the salvia plants!

Get our complete guide to the Portland Rose Garden here!


orange marigold flower
Learn how to take beautiful up close photos of flowers (like these marigolds) here!

Marigolds are often planted near vegetable gardens because they attract pollinators. But these easy growing flowers can also grow quite well next to salvia!

Both plants crave full sun, and marigolds are drought tolerant as well as deer resistant. They complement salvia perfectly.

Plant these low growing, cheerful near salvia for gorgeous color all summer long.

The Vegetable Garden (Any veggies)

We would be remiss if we did not mention planting salvia near the vegetable garden!  Bees and butterflies adore salvia, and your vegetable garden needs pollinators!  It’s a perfect fit.

And since salvia are low maintenance and drought tolerant, you won’t need to worry about them during dry spells, allowing you to focus your watering efforts on the garden.

How To Plan A Salvia Companion Flower Bed

Filling a new garden bed with flowers can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply break down the planning into these steps:

  • Measure the space and draw out a rough sketch of the garden bed
  • Add plants into the sketch with their maximum growing width
  • Give each plant enough space for air circulation, typically 12 inches apart at maximum growth
  • Amend heavy soil as needed for drainage with perlite, small rocks and organic matter
photo of hot lips salvia plant with red and pink flowers
beautiful red and white hot lips salvia

A Few Benefits Of Growing Salvia

We know that salvia can thrive in poor soil and are grow flower beds, an herb garden, or in rock gardens. This versatile plant is easy to grow and it’s long flower spikes attract hummingbirds.  

Here are a few more benefits of growing salvia:

  • These drought-tolerant plants are perfect for the busy gardener.  In fact, all of the plants on this list are great for busy people!
  • Hummingbirds love salvia and are highly attracted to them
  • Salvia are deer resistant and grow well in rock gardens, flower beds and containers!
  • Salvia has a long bloom time, lasting into late autumn


Can I plant salvia in my vegetable garden?

Salvia is a great companion plant to grow alongside the flower garden.  Salvia enjoys full sun and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, which veggies need!  Planting salvia alongside the vegetable garden will bring in essential pollinators and not harm any of your vegetables. 

Can I plant salvia with roses?

Yes, roses and salvia grow well together.  Both plants thrive in full sun and need well draining soil.  Once established, they are both drought tolerant.  Make sure to space your plants appropriately to avoid powdery mildew. Give roses more organic matter and fertilizer, and don’t fertilize salvia. Choose hardy varieties that can survive the winter months in colder areas (some salvias are tender varieties that grow as annuals). 

Is salvia a good border plant?

Salvia can make an excellent border plant. Pair with shrub roses, ornamental grasses and lavender to create a lush border that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and honey bees!


Deer resistant and drought resistant, salvia is one of the easiest garden plants to grow.  This beautiful bloomer has incredible aesthetic appeal and is available in vibrant blue, purple, pink and red. 

Salvia can be grow as potted plants or in the ground.  These beautiful bloomers enjoy full sun, need well draining soil and can thrive without a lot of water.  

The best companion plants for salvia will also grow in these conditions.  A few of our favorites are roses, catmint, cosmos and lavender.  Let us know in the comments your favorite flower to grow alongside salvia!

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