Ask a Question forum: Why are my Salvia's drooping?

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Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 11, 2017 8:45 AM CST
I just bought some East Friesland Salvia's. When I bought them they were straight. I brought the home, and did nothing to them. The next day they were drooping. My husband swears there was a frost that morning. I don't see how because they temps. have not been low enough, but apparently there was
:/. They were not dropping after the frost, it was later that evening. The leaves look good. No wilting. Once I watered them the next day they stood up a little, and when the sun hits them that helps too. They are in a location with full sun. Could the frost have hurt them? Also, I know they are affected my humidity. I got them from a store in the area, but I live right on the coast. Could that humidity change cause this? There is really not much of a difference between there and here. Currently it is 72 degrees, with 59% humidity. What should I do to help them? Thanks!
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[Last edited by BlueRaccoon - Apr 11, 2017 10:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 12, 2017 4:32 PM CST
It's possible just the change of venue could cause some 'shock' to the plants - more or less light, windier location, different temperatures at night. What you probably don't know is when those plants came out of their nice cozy greenhouse. If the store had only had them a day or two, then they're suffering the transition from greenhouse conditions. Under normal conditions they wouldn't be in bloom this early so have been rushed to bloom by warmth.

They look ok now, and will very likely just take off if your weather stays warm. The higher humidity would only help matters as far as wilting goes. I would just keep a close eye on the nighttime temperatures, and if it's going below about 40, I'd throw a blanket or old sheet over the pots to help keep them a bit warmer.

I'd also give them some dilute fertilizer (soluble, mix half strength) as soon as they're showing some new growth.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 12, 2017 4:47 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy, thank you so much! This gives me hope! :D
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 12, 2017 5:09 PM CST
Welcome!

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden page for the plant it is inclined to flop, especially where it is humid but the implication is that should be happening later, in the summer. I've grown several other cultivars of this kind of Salvia and I don't recall their having a problem with frost but they also weren't straight from a greenhouse.

If they perked up after watering perhaps they are not getting enough water? Were they in smaller pots before you planted them, or in the pots they are in now?

Missouri Botanical Garden page for East Friesland Salvia:
http://www.missouribotanicalga...
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 12, 2017 6:08 PM CST
They were in small ones. I have been watering them, however, I have read they need to little to moderate amounts, so I have been nervous about over watering.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 12, 2017 6:42 PM CST
Until the roots have grown into the bigger area they're trying to get all their water from a rootball the size of the small pots. They may even have more trouble doing that if they were a bit too dry in the small pots at planting. Without being there it's hard to say if they need more or not but I would make sure the soil is kept a little damp, definitely not wet, to help them get established.
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 12, 2017 6:55 PM CST
Thank you sooby! I will definitely watch that!
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 12, 2017 7:00 PM CST
Hopefully one day I am as knowledgeable as you guys! I am learning! Hilarious!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 12, 2017 7:01 PM CST
Ah ha, when you said above that you "did nothing to them" I assumed that meant you had not transplanted them.

If you did, there is transplanting shock, as well as the (likely) transition from greenhouse to outdoors. As Sue says, be sure to keep them well watered. You should have thoroughly soaked them before removing from the smaller pots, and also watered them thoroughly after they were in the big pot. Then "evenly moist" would be best until they start showing new growth, which means they're growing roots as well.

As the weather warms, and through the summer, you need to be sure not to let them dry out too much as well. A plant in a pot (or several plants in a pot is what you have, right?) has a limited root system, and the roots will get a lot warmer from sun and air surrounding the pot. So very likely they will be happy with a good, deep watering every morning during hot weather.

The need for "little to moderate amounts" of water would be for planting in the ground, but you still would need to water them every day until they are established (which means growing new roots out into the surrounding soil).
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 12, 2017 7:26 PM CST
Yes, I have them with other plants. And yes I did replant them, however, they started drooping before. I really appreciate both of you helping me!!
Name: Jenny
Hampton, VA (Zone 8a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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BlueRaccoon
Apr 13, 2017 12:41 PM CST
What do you mean by deep watering? I have researched this, and have found multiple definitions. Thanks!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 13, 2017 1:01 PM CST
Deep watering is when you water enough so that the soil is wet completely, all the way to the bottom of the pot. Some water should flow out the drain hole, and the pot should feel heavy when you have watered "enough".

The weather really dictates how much you need to water. There is no set amount. If you have days that are cool and rainy, obviously you won't need to water as much (if at all) as if the days are warm and sunny. Beware of cloudy days that don't rain a lot - you might think "it rained so I don't need to water" but if it doesn't rain enough, your pots can still dry out with all those plants in them, using up the water. Again, hefting the pots should tell you if there's water in the soil or not. If the pot feels light, water deeply.

You can wait until your plants start to wilt and look sad, and then water deeply, then wait until they droop again, if you want a "guideline". But doing this obviously stresses the plants so I wouldn't recommend it. Mixed plantings in large pots in summer weather need consistent moisture to stay looking good. In hot weather it's most likely impossible to "over water".
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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