Agastache and Salvias forum: Salvias......climate

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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
Jan 14, 2016 12:45 PM CST
Have to throw in here briefly just how amazed I am with some of my salvias.

We moved two years ago from sub-tropical Sunset Zone 23 in SoCal where we never had frost...okay, maybe once in 30-some years...and I grew a LOT of salvias.

When we moved here I did not expect the salvias to do well. We're now in far Northwestern California (sort of banana-belt for this far north, 3 blocks from the ocean), recently down to 28 degrees at night and 30-60 inches of rain (luckily only 30-some inches the last two years...LOL...). I really did not expect to grow salvias here at all. You know, I was thinking maple trees and hollies, etc...PNW stuff....and I find that a lot of plants I grew in SoCal do well here also. Last Winter here was mild, this Winter we've been down to 28 degrees in the last few weeks and it's a real learning experience for me to go wandering out there and see what been toasted and what's still looking good. Microphyllas and greggiis (Navaho Red, Christrine Yeo, in ground) look unfazed (in pots, out in the open). S. rhinosina, s. azurea, s. atrocyanea are down and out, expect the azurea will return, doubt on the rhinosina and atrocyanea, but we will see come Spring.

Bottom line is that I will now be growing a lot more salvias here.
Quite a few surprises as far as Aussies go, also....
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."

WardDas
Jan 14, 2016 2:31 PM CST
Yes, you should be able to have real fun. As an aside some cultivars and volunteers of greggii and microphylla have survived for me in temperatures that went several degrees below zero F. for short periods and routinely survive the low single digits. As you point out winter moisture can be more of an issue if drainage is bad. It is my impression that folks in PNW have better luck with microphylla than greggii. Here in my NJ gardens these species will even rebloom again after a light freeze like 28 degrees that often occurs just before first light. In a remarkable fall 2015 the last microphylla flowers actually lasted into the New Year.
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 14, 2016 2:50 PM CST
Thanks...it's a great big surprise to me. I had a small salvia nursery in SoCal and salvias just thrive there, other than say, s. patens, which never did well for me. I simple had not thought they would grow here at all....LOL...

I've been trading seeds with Duane 456 and he's in Oregon, farther north than I and inland. I had thought he was maybe providing protection, but now am seeing that mine are doing well with no protection, so I will definitely be sowing a lot of seed soon.

I've been digging out sod for quite awhile now and have created a large area mound where things will go that will need extra care with drainage...some planted into regular beds, some into the mound for saving seed...just in case.

I'm certainly pleased to know that yours have made it through temps that low...especially since I'm determined to not have to baby anything...if 'it' doesn't make it, something else will surely grow in that same space...
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Duane
Gresham OR (Zone 8a)
Life began in a garden.
I helped beta test the first seed swap Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Salvias Hummingbirder
Hostas Cottage Gardener Annuals Echinacea Container Gardener Dahlias
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duane456
Jan 14, 2016 3:06 PM CST
Hi Sherry,
I think I have told this before, if some of your salvias die all the way to the ground and just leave with sticks above. Give it ample time in the spring to see new growth. I've had to wait until the middle of June for some.

WardDas
Jan 14, 2016 3:15 PM CST
I agree about babying. I can't really. At a park I have a 700 foot 4 foot wide garden and quite a bit of it is greggii, microphylla and their hybrids. Other than weeding during the growing season the only work is cutting them all back in mid April. Except in the mildest of winters most of the them die down to near the ground. A friend brings a generator and a heavy duty hedge trimmer and we go to work. You will probably find you need to trim yours back in early spring too - more like early March for you. Otherwise they get leggy and open and covered with spent flower stalks.

Good luck with your new gardens. The early exploration of a new space is always exciting.
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 14, 2016 4:04 PM CST
Thanks to you both...I was used to cutting my salvias back by a third, now they will just get cut back a bit farther. I will be waiting come Spring to see with quite a few things....takes awhile for our soil to warm and then with some of the late bloomers, they get cut short just before flowering. However, it's all good, so many new things I can plant here and so many old friends that I did not expect to grow...
I have a small yard now, but I think I will be able to squeeze a heck of a lot into it....and I don't have to walk so far...LOL..
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."

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