Agastache and Salvias forum: The Joys of Collecting Salvias

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Mar 22, 2010 12:48 PM CST

Plants Admin

Please tell us about your favorite Salvias, your techniques for growing them and combating their pests, their favorite combination plants, etc.

Please add tons of photos if possible.
Name: Donald Duffy-Trotter
Temecula, California
DG expatriate
Charter ATP Member
drdon
Mar 29, 2010 8:36 PM CST
hiya zuzu,

I've been collecting this genus for some time and have a very simple cultivation philosophy. Leave them the heck alone. Sages, like many members of the mint family find a spot they like via rooting stems or by just out competing anything around them. When they find the spot they like, it's very much a "Katie bar the door" kind of thing. I feed all of our species salvias once a year with a mix of blood, bone, alfalfa, kelp and cottonseed meal. A layer of compost from "Mount Manure" (a maggiemoo-ism) kept over the roots seems to keep them cool enough to thrive in an otherwise rather hostile environment. Sages do, in fact, eat a lot, however they seem to prefer a more gradual/continuous food supply that is well supplied using simple organic gardening methodologies.

I'm a huge fan of this genus and continue to hunt down the ones that are either endangered in habitat, or have been cloned for so many generations (nursery business) seed hasn't been seen since the beginning of the last century. We've been fortunate to donate seed from some of these threatened species to seed banks around the world in order to ensure that Sage-oholics will have some species to kick around well into the future.

I really do admire this cubit and how it is evolving,
don
Still of questionable Sanity
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Mar 29, 2010 10:18 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks, Don. Good fertilizer info.

Is MaggieMoo here on Cubits? I miss her.
Name: Kathleen/KaperC
N San Diego County, CA (Zone 10b)
Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids
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KathleenC
Mar 30, 2010 9:06 AM CST
Hi Don. When and how do you apply your mix?
Kathleen
[url]http://www.mcelrea.org[/url]
Please and thank you cost nothing, but mean so much!
Name: Donald Duffy-Trotter
Temecula, California
DG expatriate
Charter ATP Member
drdon
Apr 2, 2010 7:41 PM CST
hiya zuzu!

great to see you here in your own cubit.......lol. Although I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the many hybrids within this genus, it is an undeniable fact that the unlimited colors and flower forms, as well as the ease in culture continue to make sages true garden favorites. The S. canariensis I got as cuttings from you four years ago are now an enormous clump of distinctive foliage and wonderful flowers. This one is a favorite of all visitors to our gardens.

hiya Kathleen!

long time, no chat! Wonderful that you are here!

I prefer to apply the food during the late winter, still within the "rainy season"....lol. That way the food is there for the plant when it is ready to jump into action when warmer weather sets in.

best,
don
Still of questionable Sanity
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Apr 2, 2010 8:47 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'm glad your S. canariensis turned into an enormous clump. Mine succumbed to winter in 2008, unfortunately. I think the combination of copious rainfall and frosty mornings is not good for Salvias. The ones I have in containers are easier to nurse through the winter because I can put them under the roof overhang and keep them drier. Luckily, I have a good source for S. canariensis right down the street, so I'll have to get some more.
Name: Donald Duffy-Trotter
Temecula, California
DG expatriate
Charter ATP Member
drdon
Apr 3, 2010 12:08 AM CST
hiya zuzu,

I do remember that clump, and it was indeed an impressive one. Am I correct in remembering that it was at the neighbors property where you were nursing a doggie back to health?

Both of us miss that wonderful part of the state and will soon visit again once we have taken care of breeding season, show season, foaling season, and the season of our discontent for having so many bloody seasons to attend to.

hugs,
don
Still of questionable Sanity
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Apr 3, 2010 12:22 AM CST

Plants Admin

Yes, Don, the canariensis lives at the same address as Stella, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, who was seriously sick the day I took you to meet her. She's fine now.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 7, 2011 6:24 PM CST
>> I think the combination of copious rainfall and frosty mornings is not good for Salvias.

Ouch. I was hoping to establish some perennial and/or reseeding Salvias a little north of Seattle and 1-2 miles from the coast. It rains all fall, winter and spring, and we do have some frosty mornings. I created a new raised bed for them, very shallow but with crushed rock and pine bark fines to lighten the clay.

If you had to guess, do you think it would help them any to put plastic over them, like on hoops, to reduce the amount of rain they receive? I suppose that would also help any perennial Salvia that are a little tender for Zone 8.

I would leave open ends so they didn't overheat through the winter. I would expect a closed hoop tunnel to get too hot each day. Well, maybe only on CLEAR days, which are rare!

I've been considering trying to keep the rain off any of my beds that don't have perennials, just so as to avoid washing everything out of the soil.


I'm going to keep trying Salvia varieties in a variety of locations until I find some that will establish themselves solidly, either as perennials or by reseeding.


>> The ones I have in containers are easier to nurse through the winter because I can put them under the roof overhang and keep them drier.

I didn't deliberatly keep any Saliva in pots, just never transpalnted up the weakest and smallest ones from trays. Maybe next year I should "pot up" some good plants from any species that didn't come back.

I only have 7 varieties that seem to have survived their first year enough to distinguish from a few scrubby leaves on the ground. There are only a few plants each of most of those seven. (I started 8 or 16 cells of each variety, say 10-20 seeds. I pre-soak Salvia overnight so that I'm sowing "frogs' eggs" instead of seeds.

I think I started 25 varieties in trays and put out more than 1-2 healthy seedlings for 10-12 varieties, but some of those died for known reasons ("the hose didn't reach that far", or "smothered by tomato vines") and others just failed to thrive.

These are the survivors so far:

Salvia coccinea "Lady In Red"
Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire'
Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'
S.nemerosasylvestris "Amethyst Blue"
S. transylvanica "Blue Spires"
Salvia superba "Violet Queen"
Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue"

Here are some where a few survived in my seedling trays, but seem to have vanished in the garden, perhaps from slugs:
Salvia farinacea Victoria
(Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue"
Salvia nemorosa "Sensation Rose"
Salvia nemorosa "East Friesland"

And these just didn't come up for me in the trays:

Salvia azurea "Grandiflora"
Salvia (species?) "Blue Chiquita'
Salvia greggii "Wild Thing"
Salvia leucantha Mexican Bush Sage
Salvia splendens "St. John's Fire" (commercial seed)
Salvia farinacea "Strata"
Salvia viridis 'Marble Arch Rose'
Salvia viridis pink & purple


Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Sep 7, 2011 7:41 PM CST
Wish I had good info for you, Rick. Though I've lived in Washington, I was not growing salvias there and I certainly don't have the problem of too much rain down here. It's true, they need very good drainage. It sounds like the ones that have survived for you are some of the ones most likely to. I would say to check on the hummingbird forum since there are people there growing salvias and they come from various states that may have conditions more like your own climate. I would also direct you to this forum to ask those questions...
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/salvia/
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Sep 7, 2011 10:13 PM CST
Rick, sorry. I forgot, we're over here now and the hummingbird forum I mentioned is back over on cubits...lol..
http://cubits.org/hummingbirdgardening/
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 8, 2011 12:57 PM CST
Thanks very much, Sherry! I've added those links to my "Salvia reference doc".

Here are my favorite salvia links:

Richard's Website A World of Salvia:
http://www.worldofsalvias.com/index.htm

mamajack describes Richard F. Dufresnes' placard offer & upcoming Salvia book, also a spreadsheet, co-op, hardiness and growing info on some Salvia varieties, and more salvia links:
http://cubits.org/notfortheserious/thread/view/57393/?offset...

>> It sounds like the ones that have survived for you are some of the ones most likely to.

I think that foir the last few years, most of my Salvia failures are failures to germinate, or "early death" in a propagation tray. After I improve my techniques for Step One, THEN the survivors will tend to reflect which varieties do like my climate and can stand my soil.

I may even discover that some of my seed packets are "stale" or not very viable. I've read that salvia seed is very short-lived, like one year. What do you think? I have a nice variety of seeds from generous traders, especially in last year's Hoig Wild Seed Swap. I store in sealed jars with dessicant and have been considering moving the Saliva & Delphinium jar into my fridge.

I'll keep trying to start a tray or two of Salvia varieties each year, and let "natural selection" decide which ones bec ome permanent residents in my garden.

(I was SALIVATING at some huge "Salvias" in the Oregon desert over Labor Day, then was told "those are lavender". Oh, well! They need even better-draining soil, especially in the Pacific NorthWet.)

Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Sep 8, 2011 1:19 PM CST
You may also enjoy Robin's site...
http://www.robinssalvias.com/blue/default.htm
and Cabrillo College's salvia chart..
http://www.cabrillo.edu/academics/horticulture/salvias/html/...
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
wcgypsy
Dec 31, 2011 1:40 PM CST
My salvia wagneriana (white bract form) is flowering for the first time! Yay!...


I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
wcgypsy
Dec 31, 2011 1:44 PM CST
Salvia Jean's Purple Passion is blooming now...


I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Kermit Carter
Elk, California (Zone 9a)
Offering 400+ Salvias and counting
Salvias Hummingbirder Butterflies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
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FBTS
Jan 2, 2012 9:20 PM CST
We post pictures of what Salvias are blooming almost every day on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/FlowersbytheSea

Winter brings some of the coolest Salvias into bloom, IMHO.

Nice to find this group.

Thumb of 2012-01-03/FBTS/3bf2f9

Salvia forsskaolii, which seems never to stop!

Name: Suzanne
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
Cottage Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Birds
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Calif_Sue
Jan 2, 2012 9:50 PM CST

Plants Admin

WELCOME! Lovely photos, I sure hope you will add some to the database, we sure could use some help fleshing in the details!
You can find the database under the Plants tab but here is the salvia one:
http://garden.org/plants/browse/plants/genus/Salvia/
My ATP Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
wcgypsy
Jan 2, 2012 11:19 PM CST
Hey,Kermit...are you Flowers by the Sea? I visit the site often...think I'm seeing you on GW also,no? We need more info and pics on salvias....lol..stick around. edited to add that now the question of where you're located is answered for me also......
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
[Last edited by wcgypsy - Jan 2, 2012 11:26 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #197264 (18)
Name: Kermit Carter
Elk, California (Zone 9a)
Offering 400+ Salvias and counting
Salvias Hummingbirder Butterflies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
FBTS
Jan 3, 2012 12:07 AM CST
Yes . . . my wife and I are Flowers by the Sea. We are located about 1/4 mile from the ocean in the small town of Elk, which is about 16 miles south of Mendocino. I'll post pics whenever I can, and add to the db as well. Just keeping our site up and growing all we do keeps my hands pretty full, as you might expect. We'll go over the 200 Salvia mark on the site soon.

So another pic - Salvia spathacea 'Avis Keedy', which starts for us in the Winter and can go through until June.


Thumb of 2012-01-03/FBTS/4dd5eb

Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
wcgypsy
Jan 3, 2012 9:37 AM CST
Oh! The salvias! I know. You have such an excellent selection...and living in Elk...and more rain than we get down here. The Good Life. I'm so envious....lol...
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."

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