Agastache and Salvias forum: salvia greggii

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Name: Duane
Gresham OR (Zone 8a)
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duane456
Mar 30, 2012 10:08 AM CST
I grow a few salvia greggii. They get kind of tall and wirey (<--is that a word). I'd like to try to get them a little more compact and bushy. I have cut them back a little to try to get more compactness to them. They seem to just go back to tall and wirey. Can you cut them back to say--1/2 way without hurting them?
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Mar 30, 2012 11:18 AM CST
Duane, you can cut salvias back that much and I think S. greggii is one that sometimes needs a hard pruning. Early spring is a good time in warm climates. But I'd like some other opinions on this.


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
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wcgypsy
Mar 30, 2012 11:48 AM CST
You can cut back 1/3 to 1/2 in early Spring and I usually cut back in mid-summer also, though not as much.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
[Last edited by wcgypsy - Mar 30, 2012 11:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Mar 30, 2012 11:51 AM CST
Thanks for chiming in, Sherry. I was hoping you would. Green Grin! Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
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duane456
Mar 30, 2012 11:53 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
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wcgypsy
Mar 30, 2012 3:22 PM CST
Well, it just reminds me that I have a lot of stuff out there that still needs cutting back...sigh..
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
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RickCorey
Mar 30, 2012 6:59 PM CST
Does it matter before/after buds emerge or before/after flowers open?

As a separate question, I would like to collect seds from several species of Salvia that I established last year. Is there any method or technique that increases the amount of viable seeds I'm likely to be able to collect? Last year I saw many fresh blooms, but seldom saw things that looked like dry seed pods (I'm guessing they opened or fell off as soon as they were ripe).

Do I have to bag the flowering stems?

I've clustered each species close together, but only had 1-2 adults of each last year (except for 'Lady In Red').

Where I have two varieties of one species, one variety goes into the back yard and the other variety goes into the front yard. EXCEPT for 'Lady In Red' and 'Coral Nymph' - both Salvia coccinea. Those are only 10-15 feet apart, due to having too many S. coccinea varieties germinate indoors.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Mar 30, 2012 8:12 PM CST
Duane, wiry is, indeed, a word. Good one, too. Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
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wcgypsy
Mar 31, 2012 1:54 AM CST
You want to cut them back in early Spring to have a bushier, more lush plant and more flowers and to keep them from becoming more woody. Try to cut them back before flowers...more flowers bring more seeds. Seeds need to be harvested quite often because they fall out and/ or birds get them.
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
Mar 31, 2012 7:28 AM CST
As far as collecting salvias seeds, I've found that some types are very easy to get like-- furman's red and coral nymph. Some others are few---like black and blue, and some harder to separate like-- azurea var. grandiflora.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 7:45 AM CST
Same here. Does anyone bag their seed heads?

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
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RickCorey
Apr 2, 2012 7:49 AM CST
>> Seeds need to be harvested quite often because they fall out and/ or birds get them.

With most flowers, I know when to start snatching seeds becuase the heads or pods turn brown, but I didn't notice that happening with Salvias. I'll watch closer this year, and maybe just take one stem indoors, from each variety, every so often, and see what I can pick out of it.

Last summer was quite mild, and the Salvia that did well seemed to bloom continuously, though not profusely, all summer.

I forget if I listed the varieties that made it into the garden:

Salvia coccinea 'Lady In Red' (many, vigorous)
Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph' (several, vigourous)

A few each, not so vigorous:
S.nemerosasylvestris 'Amethyst Blue'
S. transylvanica 'Blue Spires'
Salvia superba 'Violet Queen'
Salvia nemorosa "Sensation Rose"
Salvia farinacea 'Victoria' (Parks or trade)
Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire'
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Apr 2, 2012 11:18 AM CST
Wow, Rick, you sure have a lot of Salvia. Green Grin! Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
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
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RickCorey
Apr 2, 2012 2:46 PM CST
I wish! Actually, i just have a lot of variety in Salvia seeds, and an ongoing desire to GROW some, any at all, in my garden.

For several winters, in trays, nothing sprouted or lasted long enough to make it into soil.
- I think that faster-draining seedling mix (and maybe the heat mat) saved me last year.
- And i've learned not to leave salvia in small prop tray cells: now I pot up to 3" pots as soon as the seedling has a few pairs of leaves.
- I've also become braver about feeding seedlings to the slugs since I got agressive with beer saucers in addition to bait. Now I'm willing to put them outside on the deck rather soon, and into the ground fairly soon.
- I also created a new raised bed mostly for salvia. It has improved drainage (lots of very coarse sand / grit / crushed rock and pine bark mulch to lighten the clay). Also I gave that bed a lot of coffee grounds and manure compost. So it's practically soil, not clay!

Last winter, I sowed around twice that many varieties in prop trays.

That list includes anything that came up well enough to pot up and, later, set outside. I do still see some Salvia seedlings emerge, and then fade out before I pot them up. Maybe the 128-cell prop tray is too shallow for Salvia seed starting?

Some of varieties only did well enough that one adult put out a few blooms (and I hope some of those were perennials that put their energy into roots and will come back!

I think both Lady In Red and Coral Nymph are Annuals, even though I'm in Zone 8b and we had a very mild winter. They had many flowers, and I know they set seed becuase I collected some hard black seeds from both. I think and hope they dropped 10 times as many as I collected, and will come back in the garden, from seed.

This winter I was too busy and scattered to start anything indoors!



Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
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virginiarose
Apr 2, 2012 4:04 PM CST
I just got through planting some today! Forgot the name. You got it going on Rick, it's defiantly a learning experience. I am determined to not let it get complicated. I like winter-sowing, this year got sprouts too soon and then they froze but a few did make it. Got my window-seal greenhouse from Jiffy. Hate Pete pellets, they won't work for me. Love the little pete-cups, you can just plant the whole thing. Green Grin!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
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Hemophobic
Apr 2, 2012 6:06 PM CST
Rick: My Lady in Red didn't come back either, but s. Maraschino and s. greggii both are hardy here. My Black and Blue returns faithfully every year and the hummers love it. So do the bees and butterflies.
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Apr 2, 2012 6:55 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Coral Nymph is an annual. It self seeds, so I don't bother saving the seeds, just let them do their thing.
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Apr 3, 2012 4:25 AM CST
I always get a few volunteers from Coral Nymph, too. Such a pretty color, and the hummingbirds love it.

Karen
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
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virginiarose
Apr 3, 2012 5:17 AM CST
Good to know about Coral Nymph! The seeds I planted are from Salvia, clevelandii. They have very interesting flowers. Don't know if it is a perennial or not. I kinda would like something that comes back every year and the greggii sounds real good, plus I took note of the maraschino. Green Grin!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
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
Apr 3, 2012 4:59 PM CST
>> I am determined to not let it get complicated.

You are probably smart, but something inside me makes "complicated" very appealing. Maybe after years of fiddling around happily, I will find that I HAVE to keep it simple.

I got many Salvia clevelandii seeds from Risingcreek (Kaycee). He or she said he tried many ways to start them and all failed - until he or she got disgusted and just threw some seeds on top of some clay and walked away. That worked!

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