Ask a Question forum: Mexican sage losing purple blossom count

Views: 217, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
Novato, CA
gailcamhi24
Sep 29, 2017 7:43 PM CST
My old Mexican sage, which gets loads of direct sun, used to entertain a host of hummingbirds. The past 2 years it has produced far fewer flower stalks. What can I do to restore the flora? Could it be root-bound? If so, what does it require me to do?
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Image
nmoasis
Sep 30, 2017 12:25 PM CST
If your "Mexican sage" is salvia leucantha (per Sunset Western Garden book), then it shouldn't take much to revitalize it. During my many years of gardening just north of you in Sonoma County, CA, they grew nearly unaided in my large, wild garden, but did get huge and luxurious with regular water and once-a-year light fertilizing and pruning.You mention the possibility of it being root bound...is it in a pot or in the ground? If it's been in a pot for the last two years or more, then YES, it is root bound and the soil in the pot is depleted. In your climate, that saliva probably never goes dormant, so maybe just wait for a lull between bloom cycles to cut back, trim roots and re-pot.
Without knowing more information, such as pot size (if it's potted) and the actual plant identification, it is hard to advise you. More info please?
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Sep 30, 2017 1:05 PM CST
A picture of the plant itself is always a big help, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Novato, CA
gailcamhi24
Sep 30, 2017 1:37 PM CST
The purple-flower sage in question is not potted. It's in the ground & was healthy & well-established when I moved in 7 years ago. I give it coffee grounds 1-2x monthly as fertilizer and water it judiciously -- not more than it's willing to accept. It has several 4x4" weather-beaten logs interspersed around it on the ground. Should they be removed? It also has closely planted marjoram & rosemary nearby, but they all seem to all get along... I'm still puzzled & wonder what to do . . .
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
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Sep 30, 2017 2:03 PM CST
Coffee grounds are not a fertilizer, they are at best a soil amendment. You need to give your plant some fertilizer with a dependable amount of nutrients next spring. A pelleted, timed release fertilizer will feed the plants for several months at a steady rate for healthy growth, and good blooms later in summer.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Novato, CA
gailcamhi24
Sep 30, 2017 2:10 PM CST
A good fertilizer seems plausible. Thanks for your advice~!
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Image
nmoasis
Sep 30, 2017 5:01 PM CST
I echo dyzzypyxxy's advice re fertilizer. Just remember that most salvias, like your nearby rosemary, don't want much fertilizer and usually prefer "average" soil conditions, so don't overdo it (if in doubt, use less than the label recommends). Cultivate the soil (avoiding root damage) a few feet out from around the base and work in some compost. Then water somewhat infrequently, but deeply. Also, the best blossoms come from new stalks. Don't be afraid to cut it back during the winter or early spring to allow new shoots to develop. Then stand back and enjoy it along with the hummingbirds!
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Novato, CA
gailcamhi24
Sep 30, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Thanks for your "Sage" advice, nmoasis!~ I have always cut the sage branches in winter to 10" high on each stem. It's possible the marjoram & rosemary are crowding it out, given they all coexist in a small space. Nonetheless I will try your remedy.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "One Plant..Variety of Blooms"