Agastache and Salvias forum: Can the roots of salvias kill irises?

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Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Sep 28, 2016 3:16 PM CST

I read with a bit of immense dread that salvias can choke other plants, such as irises, with their roots. Only yesterday I found some empty space in my perennial bed and moved some irises there. I have various salvias in that bed and I really don't want to make the irises go back from whence they came. Nor do I want any to be choked to death. And I also wouldn't dream of moving the salvias b/c I could get hurt.

Does anyone know if there's truth to salvias being vicious killers? Seriously, I'm hoping someone might know or have a guess.

For the record, in case it matters, the irises are all of the Tall Bearded type and are all NOIDs.
Some of the salvias are:
salvia guarantica
salvia greggii aka Autumn Sage (red)
Augusta Duelberg
Mealy Blue
A hot pink that will teach me not to lose the label sage

There's other perennials in the bed but those will be dealt with later. Harshly if need be.

Can anyone give me any sage - no, I won't say it, old joke I'm sure - idea if what I read was true?
[Last edited by tx_flower_child - Sep 29, 2016 3:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Oct 1, 2016 1:19 AM CST

Moderator

@tx_flower_child Joan,

I don't grow Bearded Irises (now) and I didn't know Salvia roots can kill, but I'll see if @Calif_Sue can chime in. She grows Bearded Iris and some Salvias.

Where did you read that information? I'd be interested in reading it.
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Oct 1, 2016 1:42 AM CST

Plants Admin

I have very few salvias and none near iris, most are too tall to be near them. (my favorite is about 7 ft tall) The few shorter ones I have are also not planted near any. I have never heard of anything like that either.

What does this mean?
moving the salvias b/c I could get hurt.
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Oct 1, 2016 1:52 AM CST

Moderator

When I grew some Bearded Irises years ago, I had them all together in the same beds. I only had them a couple of years before I decided to plant something else in those beds.

I mainly grow my salvias in containers, but I've some in the ground also.

I too was wondering about the statement....

"moving the salvias b/c I could get hurt."
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 1, 2016 10:48 PM CST
Sorry for the delayed response. I've been having computer problems.
What did I mean by 'I could get hurt'? That was hyperbole, (bad habit). My 2 largest salvias have gotten rather dense and woody and I was thinking out loud (another bad habit) about what it would be like to remove one of them. 'Scratched' is more like it.

Before I go on, I have to say I'm amazed @Calif_Sue that you have a 7 ft tall iris. That's very impressive.

Here's the chain of events. Feel free to ignore and just skip on down to where I say, 'Ask the experts', 'I don't remember' or 'Ya never know'.

A few days ago I had someone helping me clean up my perennial bed and do some other garden type stuff. I am currently under doctors' (yes, plural) orders not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Of course I'm mostly ignoring those orders but at least someone is helping me with the heaving lifting. I have a Flame Acanthus that absolutely had to be removed from the bed b/c it was taking over. It had been given to me as a little twig in a styrofoam cup and I had no confidence that I could keep it alive. But it grew. And it didn't stop. So my helper, and I dug it up and potted it in one of those huge 'pots' that trees are often sold in.

Ok. Now there's space to plant something else. I don't have a lot of areas that get full sun, or even part sun, so a lot of plants, including some of my irises, are in pots that can be moved around. I do have an iris bed but its size is limited due to shade that I get from my oaks and other trees. So I'm looking around and my helper sees some of the irises in pots and asks if she can transplant them into the space left by the acanthus. I agree, not really giving much thought to how they will look in the bed. I just knew they had to be planted. And boy did they have roots!

Later I'm lounging around, skimming thru old newspapers and magazines that I need to recycle. That's when I stumbled across an article in which someone was telling the tale of having to move her irises b/c the roots from her salvias were choking the irises. I freaked! Here I had just planted irises next to some well established salvias. Ack! Could this be true? Then snap! I'll ask the experts here and maybe one of y'all might know.

I'm sorry to say that I don't remember exactly where I read that. Maybe I can stumble across it again and if I do I will let y'all know. And to be fair, it didn't occur to me when I was freaking out that the author could very possibly have different types of soil, irises, etc. So what might have been true in her situation would not be in mine. Or maybe she was just nuts. Ya never know.

I didn't take a picture of the finished product. But in the picture below, I was aiming for the flower buds on one of my milkweeds. However, if you squint, you can see a large black 'tub' with a Flame Acanthus in it. That's actually a different (and smaller) one that I previously removed from the bed.

Thumb of 2016-10-02/tx_flower_child/70d31b

A few days ago I posted a picture of a salvia greggii. Looking at it again, squinting, I see that there's a little iris sitting in the corner, still in a pot.


Thumb of 2016-10-02/tx_flower_child/c3809e

And Chatty Cathy here might as well finish this with a picture of the hot pink salvia greggii that I cleverly lost the label for.



Moral (for me) is 'Don't freak out!'
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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
Oct 2, 2016 12:48 AM CST

Plants Admin

Loved your post! Hilarious! yes, no freaking out!

Well, maybe the woman's salvias were too close and competed with her Iris but that could happen with any plant I would think. I tend to plant things too close together, a bad habit from when I had a tiny city lot garden and crammed things in tight. Now I have a 1/2 acre and I still tend to do that, I have and want too many plants! Today I had to rescue two Iris that were completely covered by a shrub and a geranium. More to rescue tomorrow.
If you ever are interested to see my new garden journey, check out my blog here (found in my profile) starting with the earliest post first. I have good weather and soil here and it filled in real fast.
By the way, no such thing as a 7 ft Iris, it was a salvia I was talking about. nodding
And listen to your doctor!
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Oct 2, 2016 12:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
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Marilyn
Oct 2, 2016 6:06 PM CST

Moderator

Calif_Sue said:Loved your post! Hilarious! yes, no freaking out!

Well, maybe the woman's salvias were too close and competed with her Iris but that could happen with any plant I would think. I tend to plant things too close together, a bad habit from when I had a tiny city lot garden and crammed things in tight. Now I have a 1/2 acre and I still tend to do that, I have and want too many plants! Today I had to rescue two Iris that were completely covered by a shrub and a geranium. More to rescue tomorrow.
If you ever are interested to see my new garden journey, check out my blog here (found in my profile) starting with the earliest post first. I have good weather and soil here and it filled in real fast.
By the way, no such thing as a 7 ft Iris, it was a salvia I was talking about. nodding
And listen to your doctor!


@tx_flower_child Joan

I agree with Sue.... "Loved your post! Yes, no freaking out! And listen to your doctors!" Thumbs up

Your two Salvias (in the pics above) are gorgeous! Love both the red and pink flowered ones! Lovey dubby Here's the salvia greggi link to post your pink one, as I see you had already posted your red one. Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)

Here's the link for Calif_Sue's blog. http://garden.org/blogs/view/Calif_Sue/
I've read all of it and loved it!
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Suzanne/Sue
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
Oct 2, 2016 6:21 PM CST

Plants Admin

This is my 7 ft salvia Blue Anise Sage (Salvia coerulea 'Costa Rica Blue')

My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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
Image
Calif_Sue
Oct 2, 2016 6:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thank You! Marilyn! Green Grin!
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Oct 2, 2016 6:34 PM CST

Moderator

Sue

I've your blog on my watch list, so anything new you post, I'll see it! Thumbs up

Love your 7 foot tall blue salvia! Lovey dubby
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Suzanne/Sue
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
Image
Calif_Sue
Oct 2, 2016 6:35 PM CST

Plants Admin

I am way overdue taking new photos!! *Blush*
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Oct 2, 2016 6:49 PM CST

Moderator

I've been looking forward to seeing them. How are the chickens doing? How old are they now? Maybe take some of them too. Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 2, 2016 8:33 PM CST
@Calif_Sue - I'm relieved to know that there is no such thing as a 7 ft Iris. The idea is simply scary. But your salvia is beautiful.
Haven't read your blog yet. Been too busy sleeping in, doing laundry and taking a breather from my battle with the Triumvirate, aka Yahoo (the 'yeah, we were hacked 2 yrs ago but didn't bother telling anyone till now' co.), AT&T (the 'we let Yahoo do all that tech stuff for us' co.), and Apple (the 'we're just innocent bystanders but we did just update both of the systems for your desktop and your phone' co.).

I knew that there were different 'colors' of salvia greggii but didn't know they all are called 'Autumn Sage'. Thanks for enlightening me. I know I tried to grow one called 'Hot Lips' which was a hot pink with white. A failure. I don't think it liked neglect and abuse when it was still a baby. Maybe mine is 'Cherry'. I dunno.

Used to have a neighbor one block over who had several large white salvias that came with the house. (She worked for Match.com Europe.) She moved, the house was replaced by a semi-McMansion, and of course the white salvias are gone. Had I known beforehand then I might have tried to save some of those pretty white ones.

I have tried Agastache but w/o much success. It was incredibly fragrant which is what forced me to buy it when I was at a neighborhood nursery. It did come back for a 2nd year but not as strong, and then it was gone. It was maybe when we had one of our brutally hot summers or when we had a surprise snow storm in mid-November. Since I have so little sun, I've resisted trying another one. But ya never know. May try again.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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
Image
Calif_Sue
Oct 2, 2016 9:02 PM CST

Plants Admin

I buy agastache every year and if they come back, great, but most of the time they don;t seem to. I buy them with the thought that they are annuals so I am not so dissapointed. I have a good inexpensive source here. Thumbs up
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 3, 2016 12:36 AM CST
Calif_Sue said:I buy agastache every year and if they come back, great, but most of the time they don;t seem to. I buy them with the thought that they are annuals so I am not so disappointed


Thanks, @Calif_Sue. I feel better now.

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