Salvia splendens is native to Brazil, and is generally grown as a half hardy annual in many areas of the UK.
They come in a wide range of colors, including white, salmon and purple, as well as the traditional bright red,the flowers appear from mid July until the first frosts.
Depending upon variety they grow from about 200mm - 900mm (8"-36") high.
The smaller growing varieties make good container plants.
Alternatively the taller variety Salvia silvestris can be set in the centre of the container to give height to the feature,and a lower growing variety of salvia or some other annual placed around its base.
Sow seed on the surface of pots / trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 22°C (72°F).
Germination should take about seven to ten days.
When large enough to handle prick out into cell trays or boxes and grow on at a temperature of 16°-18°C (61°-64°F) for two to three weeks, then gradually harden them off until planting out time.
Subject to variety, plant our 200-300mm (8"-12) apart in fertile well drained soil in a sunny or partally shaded spot.
Pinch out the tops to encourage branching.