Propagating Salvia Hot Lips From Cuttings

Published on September 18th 2018
Find out how to propagate Salvias from cuttings in 5 easy steps.
Also known as Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' or Salvia × jamensis, Salvia Hot Lips is a semi-evergreen perennial that's part of the sage family. With its distinctive two-tone flowers and scented foliage, it's no surprise that Salvia 'Hot Lips' is a popular garden plant.
Looking to buy Salvias? Find Salvias from independent sellers and nurseries on Candide.
This easy-care plant is great for sharing among friends, and a commonly asked question is 'can you divide Salvias?' The short answer is yes, but there is another way to multiply your Salvias without risking damage to the delicate root system. The good news is taking cuttings of Hot Lips is easy. Here's our step by step guide to propagating your Salvias in water or soil.

How do you propagate Salvias from cuttings?

Salvia hot lips flowers on a black background
Salvias add a pop of colour to borders in late summer.

When is the best time to take cuttings?

You can choose to propagate Salvia plants at two times of the year.
1) In spring - before the plant flowers, using softwood tip or stem cuttings.
2) In late summer - after the plants have flowered, using semi-ripe stem cuttings.
A person potting up a rose cutting.

How to Take Summer Cuttings


  • The best time to take cuttings is in the morning, as this is when the plant is most hydrated.
Close up of Salvia Hot Lips flower
Take cuttings in the morning when the plant is most hydrated. Photo by Agnes Monkelbaan under CC BY-SA 4.0
Are you pruning your Salvias right? Find out here:

1 Select healthy stems

First of all, collect material from your parent plant. Avoid flowering stems; make sure your chosen stems are healthy and true to type.
Salvia Hot Lips
Avoid flowering stems when choosing your cuttings. Photo by ClatieK under CC BY-ND 2.0

2. Make your cut

Using clean sterilised secateurs or a propagation knife, cut above a node. Aim for the cutting to be around 2-3 inches in length.
This method of propagating is suitable for all Salvias.

3. Trim your Salvia cutting

Prepare your cutting by trimming close to the node and removing excess leaves.
Remove the lower leaves before potting up

4. Place your Salvia cutting in compost

Once your cutting is prepared, insert it into a 6-inch pot containing a 50/50 mix of compost and perlite. Some suggest dipping the cut end in rooting hormone beforehand, but this isn't vital. Learn how to make your own natural rooting hormone here.
Willow water is a good natural root hormone alternative.

5. Leave in a sheltered spot

Place in a greenhouse or propagator or a clear plastic bag will do, so long as it is left somewhere where the cutting won't succumb to frost. After a couple of weeks, roots should start to form.
And that's all there is to it! It's a simple task that shouldn't take long, and you'll soon have more flowers than you know what to do with.
Find more stunning Salvia to propagate:
Here are 8 more plants to take cuttings from:

Browse more Salvias in John Cullen Gardens shop.

Happy gardening!

Updated 05/07/21
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