Texas Gardening forum: Texas Salvias

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Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Jan 6, 2018 11:24 AM CST
I've had great luck with Salvias...take the heat, hummers love em, most are pretty drought tolerant, and (almost most important) the deer seem to leave them alone. I'm thinking about adding some more (already have some under the grow lights). Anyone had any good luck with anything other than Greggii, Coccinea, or Farinacea...or favorite varieties of the aforementioned?
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 10, 2018 3:08 PM CST
Maybe. Have to look up their names before I make a sweeping comment. Have never started any under grow lights, however.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Jan 10, 2018 10:10 PM CST
You can do chia salvia too. Sometimes my salvia has hummingbird sage as their name, is black and blue one of those you named? S guarantica, S nemorosa,
kitt
[Last edited by kittriana - Jan 10, 2018 10:13 PM (+)]
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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 11, 2018 2:13 AM CST
Chia? Please don't tell me that's the source for Chia pets.

Black and blue salvia is Salvia guaranitica. Mine dies (or maybe sometimes I cut it back) but grows back from huge tubers. First time I saw the tubers I had no idea what had gotten into my perennial bed.

I always get the name mixed up with Salvia farinacea, which is Mealy Blue Sage. I had that in a container and forgot about it. In early spring one year I almost emptied the container to use some of the soil. Surprise, surprise. Some little leaves were sprouting. Asked around and found out that it was the Mealy Blue Sage returning.

The Duelbergs are nice. Hmm. Let me see what their botanical name — oh, dang. Learned something new. Here's a name I hadn't seen — Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg' or
Henry Duelberg Mealy Cup Sage. Right now I grow Henry's wife Augusta.
https://dcmga.com/north-texas-...

I'm outta here. Got seeds to package up to mail to some NGA members. 😇
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Jan 11, 2018 11:33 AM CST
Funny, you didn't know chia was a mexican salvia Rolling on the floor laughing , it hurts to laugh, please don't do that to me! I'm still outraged my shrimp plant is a ruellia... D'Oh!
kitt
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Jan 11, 2018 1:33 PM CST
Yeah, Guaranica was on my list to try. My wife really likes the white bloomers so maybe Augusta would also be a good choice. Thanks for the recommendations!
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 11, 2018 10:13 PM CST
I don't grow shrimp plants but am very surprised that a shrimp plant is a ruellia. Who knew?

This is my Augusta Duelberg just starting to wake up in April 2016. She'll get bigger but this is the only picture that I have of her. The flowers are considered white (I think) but they actually have a faint blue-ish cast to them.

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Kinda weird looking at pictures of my sages/salvias. 2016 was a good year for them. 2017 not so much. Same with some of my other plants. Probably neglected them more than usual.

So anyway Larry, I think you should have good luck with any of the sages/salvias.

Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Jan 13, 2018 1:03 AM CST
Salvias are great plants for our Texas climate - and the deer don't eat them. The Duelbergs are reliable, both Henry and Augusta. The story goes that these were discovered planted on graves, hence the sales slogan "If the dead can grow them, so can you". While I find most salvias to be easy, S. guaranitica has never performed well in my gardens. I've managed to kill more than one.

However, many others have been successful including:
S. Madrensis (forsythia sage, yellow flowers in fall)
Big Red (S. penstemonoides), once on the endangered list, but brought back by propagators
S. Karwinski (deep pink blooms in cool weather; evergreen)
S. La Trinidad (one of my favorites)

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Cedar Sage (S. roemeriana) grows in shade

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S. oresbia (bright orange blooms)

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Mexican Bush (S. leucantha)
Bog Sage (S. ulignisoa although I believe they've renamed this one) beautiful blue flowers
Lyreleaf sage (S. lyrata)
Smooth leaf sage (miniata) needs winter protection
Mountain Sage (S. regla) forms small tree

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S. Oaxaca (shrub size)

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Recent cultivars, Teresa and Wendy's Wish are easy to grow (although Wendy will freeze)

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Coral Nymph and Scarlet Sage (coccinea) are rampant self-seeders, but I don't mind. The greggiis are definitely the work-horses of the garden and bloom continuously, attracting bees and butterflies all summer. The color selection includes red, white, purple, and lovely raspberry.

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But the best salvias for pollinators are, in my opinion, Mystic Spires and Indigo Spires. Butterflies can't resist them.

Betsy Clebsch has written a couple of great books on Salvias.
As an added bonus, I've found that all salvias are easy to propagate from cuttings. Gotta love free plants!






GrammaChar
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Jan 13, 2018 9:07 AM CST
@GrammaChar GREAT input, thanks! For whatever reason the Salvia Roemeriana has not done well for me. Planted some in dappled to mostly shaded area last year...none really grew at all. I was really bummed because I thought it would be a great place for them. Indigo Spires I've also got - it took last year's shock freeze really hard but eventually came back. The Coccinea I've also got in a partly shaded area. It bloomed like crazy year - didn't get very tall. Hopefully it will come back because it looks terrible right now...and yeah, it seeded a lot, which I too don't mind.

Do you have Coral Nymph in your garden? If so, what conditions has it worked best? I've got a half-dozen or sow that I started from seed ready to go in the garden once we finally get out of the deep freeze. I've seen conflicting information on where they thrive best.

This is great post and I will be referring to it often. I think Salvias are one of the very few plants I have that I can say I've never seen the deer touch (which I can't say about things like cacti, agave, fennel). I try to keep them closer to the house because they definitely get attention from the butterflies and the hummers!
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Jan 13, 2018 10:19 AM CST
Don't despair about your cedar sage...it has good years and bad years but it's a survivor.

Um...yes, I have coral nymph and scarlet sage...everywhere! Hilarious! A gardening friend (who considers coccinea a pest) once told me, "Once it's established, you'll never be able to get rid of it". Thank goodness he was right!

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It's a favorite of visiting butterflies.

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In fact, all of the salvias are good nectar sources.

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In my last post, I forgot to mention a couple of salvias from Mexico that do well in Texas.

Dulches numbres

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Nuevo leon:

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Here's the mejorana

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and one I call "Lolly Jackson", although I'm not sure that's the correct name (sometimes you can't trust those plant tags). I got it many years ago and it, too, has self-seeded.

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I highly recommend the new "Teresa" - lovely flowers. Tough little plant!

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By the way, if you DO plant madrensis (forsythia sage), give it plenty of room!



Here's the guarantica before it died and went on the obituary list.

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I also grow Eyelash sage and Bi-color but have no good photos.

Mealy cup is easy but doesn't photograph well.

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Leucantha - another one that needs space, but it's a knock-out.

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Okay, I'll stop now.
Thanks for the acorn @needrain

GrammaChar
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 13, 2018 11:02 AM CST
@GrammaChar you're welcome. These are really good - and useful - posts. Anytime I've tried a salvia of any kind they have proved to be annuals. When I get time - and if I don't forget - I plan to do some research on what you've listed. I was given some of what I think is kitchen spice sage which looked like a salvia when it bloomed. I thought it was perennial, but it sure didn't take much freeze to take it down to ground level. I'm wondering if it will return next spring. All I can do now is wait and hope.
Donald
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 13, 2018 12:14 PM CST
@grammachar I bookmarked your posts to do some research too. I have a few salvias and I am looking at getting more. My Wendy's Wish was in full sun but it got kind of lanky. Do you cut it back much during the growing season?
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Jan 13, 2018 12:35 PM CST
@teacup754 - No, I don't prune Wendy. Even with a good mulch cover, it tends to die to the ground each winter. After our very unusual five-day-below-freezing spell earlier this year, it may or may not return. So much of gardening is a gamble; win some, lose some. It used to upset me; now that I'm older, not so much. I've finally accepted that gardening is not the destination, it's the journey. Wow, that sounded very Zen, didn't it? Whistling So glad the information I provided might prove to be useful to you. Yes, salvias are great and I hope you do get more of them!

@needrain - I don't grow culinary sage because I don't use it. However, I DO like Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) because the bees and hummingbirds sip the flowers. The only drawback is that it wants a lot of water during the heat of the summer.
GrammaChar
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 13, 2018 1:46 PM CST
I love Pineapple sage. I don't have a place for it to thrive but always want some around. I use it when I mix up herbal teas. I currently have one in a container by a sunny window. So far so good.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Jan 13, 2018 2:00 PM CST
Another good plant for tea is Mexican Mint Marigold (tagetes lucida). When steeped, the green leaves make a lovely, clear yellow tea. Very calming. And the plant blooms in the fall which is perfect for migrating butterflies!

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GrammaChar
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 13, 2018 4:05 PM CST
I just planted Mexican Mint Marigold late summer and got a few blooms. I'm anxious to see how it does next year. I was outside today pulling up the dead annuals like zinnia. The S greggi look good still. I even saw some fresh growth at the bottom of some of the S. .coccinea.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 14, 2018 1:57 PM CST
I love Mexican Mint Marigold. It's also one one of the herbs that I always squish with others in a tea ball or strainer.

I got one too late in the season even tho I knew better. It was full of blooms and I hoped could keep it going for the butterflies until the weather changed. Have now brought it inside and growing it inside is a major pain because it needs way too much water. I feel like I'm continually bringing it back from near death. And yet it's giving me a good supply of leaves for my tea. Even threw some in the soup I made last night.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Jan 14, 2018 4:22 PM CST
I love the smell of the Mexican Mint Marigold. Some people refer to it as "Texas tarragon". Yes, it is a heavy drinker. Hilarious!
And somewhere I have a cake recipe that calls for pineapple sage.... I'll have to hunt for it.
GrammaChar
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Jan 14, 2018 8:07 PM CST
My Mex Mint marigold never blooms til after Sept. I get lots of ht, few blooms, and then the bottom just dies slowly up the branches- not that the freeze didn't finally get to it-mine is in ground. Was thinking I need a hill to plant it up off the ground
kitt
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
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pod
Jan 14, 2018 11:43 PM CST
Kat ~ yours does overwinter in ground doesn't it? I find it to be hardy here. I agree on loving the fragrance of it ( of course I like anything licorice). It is definitely one of my touchy, feely plants. Whistling
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.

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