Agastache and Salvias forum: Annual Salvias from Seed

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Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 21, 2017 10:15 AM CST
I've been reading all the good info you guys have written in this forum but have a couple of questions before I start my seeds (nothing fancy, just a few from Park Seeds). I'm in zone 4 and we have been having a very warm (for us winter). I would like to try winter sowing my salvia, is it too early, too late, ???. If the temperature gets really cold again (say "0", would I need to bring the winter sown containers in?) My other option is under my grow lights in my basement-would that be a better choice at this time? Also, do most of you recommend the Promix HP? I found it at a local hydroponics store for $57/bale which is pricey, but I'll get it if you all think it's helpful. Do you really think it helps? I'm wondering if I could use a generic soiless seed starting mix and mist with something like tea tree oil to reduce the risk of damping off?
Thanks!
Deb
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Salvias Rabbit Keeper Hummingbirder Birds Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Forum moderator Region: United States of America Bee Lover Butterflies Annuals Container Gardener
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Marilyn
Feb 21, 2017 6:14 PM CST

Moderator

Hi @dmurray407 Deb,

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias forum! Welcome! Welcome!

I don't grow seeds indoors, rarely do I sow them outside, don't have grow lights and don't use Promix HP, so I'm sorry I can't help you, but hopefully, some of the other members will chime in to help.

@FBTS are you able to answer her questions?

Marilyn
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


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
Feb 22, 2017 4:50 PM CST
Not really much I can contribute. The climate difference is quite significant, as is our scale, facilities and care abilities. Sorry!

Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Feb 22, 2017 5:42 PM CST
Which species of Salvia are you trying to grow?
That makes a big difference on how to handle them. Different species of Salvia come from many climates ranging anywhere from desert to rain forest.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Salvias Rabbit Keeper Hummingbirder Birds Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Forum moderator Region: United States of America Bee Lover Butterflies Annuals Container Gardener
Image
Marilyn
Feb 22, 2017 6:56 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Kermit and Danita for chiming in. I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 22, 2017 7:42 PM CST
I have Park's Whopper Lighthouse (S. splendens) and 2 colors of Salvia Summer Jewel (S. coccinea ). Park's offers these growing instructions (I actually didn't notice these before):
"How to Sow Salvia:

The annuals are best sown indoors, 6-8 weeks before last frost, at alternating temperatures of 68 and 86°
Seeds will germinate in 12-15 days
Sow the red-flowering salvias with NO cover as they need light to germinate
If treating S. farinacea as an annual, sow indoors 12 weeks before last frost
The biennials are best sown outdoors in late summer and fall with flowers produced the following summer
The perennials are best sown outdoors in spring through summer, up to two months before frost
Alternatively, they can be sown indoors by following the protocol for annuals
If started early enough, perennials will flower in their first year
The seeds of S. splendens are not long lived and should not be stored
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed"

It says to alternate temperatures between 68-86 degrees, but I have read about folks winter sowing in cooler zones, so wonder if anyone can help me out there. Maybe I would just be better off starting them inside under lights? I purchased a bale of the Promix HP on my way home tonight, so I should be able to use that either way, right? @FBTS (hope I did that right....), in the video on your website you say (I think:)) to use something like crushed rock to lightly cover the seeds-would fine baby chick grit work? I believe that it's crushed granite or something similar.
Thanks!


Deb
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
Feb 23, 2017 11:25 AM CST
Fine baby chick grit is perfect.

Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Salvias Rabbit Keeper Hummingbirder Birds Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Forum moderator Region: United States of America Bee Lover Butterflies Annuals Container Gardener
Image
Marilyn
Feb 23, 2017 8:02 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks again for chiming in Kermit! Thank You! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Oxford UK (Zone 8a)
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longk
Feb 24, 2017 12:27 PM CST
I grow a lot of Salvia from seed here in the UK. Here I start annuals off about this time of year (and the perennials get started off in April). Apart from the smaller seeded species I use the baggy method for germination as this takes up less windowsill space in a warm room (20°centigrade). Germination usually starts at five days with potting on taking place at two to three weeks. Initially I pot several seedlings in a 45 millimetre pot (saving space again) before potting on individually about three weeks later. For the initial potting up medium I use coco fibre/vermiculite mix as this makes it easier to separate the seedlings when the time comes to pot up individually.
As far as light goes I have no problems relying on natural light in an appropriate windowsill so beyond that I cannot comment.
Results wise (depending upon conditions once the plants are moved to the greenhouse in April) S.coccinea is in bloom by early/mid June, likewise S.miltiorrhiza with S.algeriensis a couple of weeks later. S.splendens Yvonnes Giant seems to take till mid July to bloom and S.urica is a late summer bloomer here.
Of the perennial species S.patens can be treated as an annual in terms of timing and (my) growing regime and will usually be blooming well by the end of June/early July (weather conditions allowing).
Salvia and anything unusual

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