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Salvia (perennial variety)

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Spruce, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. Spruce

    Spruce Glad to be back .....

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    Hi Team GC,

    I am thinking of growing a few different varieties of "Salvia" the perennial variety ....

    I would appreciate your knowledge and experience on what varieties are worth growing and why ?

    I do like the dark purple "Amistad" but also "Hot Lips" looks great as well and not forgetting the blue varieties "African Skies" ...

    I look forward you to your replies (I hope I have some please) also best mail order to get my hands on them would be ideal.

    Spruce
     
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    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Total Gardener

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        @noisette47 - I haven't grown many! But Salvia Black and Blue seems pretty robust and flowered well till late in the autumn. I also found the variety Burgundy, though much smaller, flowered practically continuously. Salvia sagitatta was a terrific foliage plant and was about to flower in December until the frost got to it - I live in hope! And of course argentea has a lovely furry silver leaf - best in drier areas than mine.
         
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        • NigelJ

          NigelJ Total Gardener

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          Salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue" is still producing flowers with me. I like S microphylla "Kew Red" and have had it for years. S involuctra has also grown well for me I like the colour of the flowers and the scent of the foliage; also S confertifolia with its spikes of orange flowers grew well for some years until the cold snap of spring 2018 carried it off. S greggi "Raspberry Ripple" is another favourite, doesn't get as big as S microphylla.
           
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          • Perki

            Perki Total Gardener

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            I've grown Amistad regularly and its easy to come by can't remember where you are based Spruce ? Northern Ireland rings a bell for some reason try ballyrobert gardens for NI , I buy quite a lot of little 9cm perennials from longacre garden centre they usually stock amistad and Black and blue but neither are perennial for me so I lift them chuck them in a pot then into the GH to over winter , I do the same with phyllis fancy as well.

            Hot lips is another common variety and flowers its socks off like many salvias. Salvia African skies is a plant that confuses me because I am not sure which one they are referring to or if they are the same plant, I grow a Salvia Ulignosa African Skies commonly called the bog sage which has small sky blue flowers very late in the season, it tends to wonder a bit for me.

            The true bone hardy perennials are more a less the Nemorosa + others, some varieties carrodonna - mainhut - V.purple rain - amthsty plus many more.
             
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            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              Salvia 'Hot Lips' has survived everything the climate here has thrown at it. S. Amistad and 'Black'n'Bloom' and a few assorted greggii hybrids too.
              'Joy' pegged it, and S. officianalis purpurea and Icterina are not long-lived, but were in the UK. Lovely, well-shaped foliage plants.
              S. farinacea and 'Victoria' are mostly perennial here. S. patens never amounts to much and then fizzles out.
              S. argentea is lovely if kept dry and protected from snails.
               
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              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                To my mind "Hot Lips" has one problem the variability of colouring, I have seen plants with all red flowers and one that are mainly white. I think this is temperature dependent and sorts itself out as the season goes on.
                Rosemary has now been moved into Salvia by the taxonomists and is Salvia rosmarinus, lovely plant hardy, given good drainage and gives all year round interest and flavour. I have a prostrate form that layers well and doesn't get leggy.
                 
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                • Spruce

                  Spruce Glad to be back .....

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                  Wales....
                   
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                  • Glynne Williams

                    Glynne Williams Gardener

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                    Yes Hot Lips has that perhaps annoying habit, dependant on light ├Čntensity, of reverting (?) to all white or all red! Red in Spring and white just now! The other two 'lips' , Amethyst and Cherry, are behaving thus in my shady garden, so reason must be genetic, though there are other similarly bred varieties which don't 'change' colour!! Hot lips is considered to be 'blousy' perhaps, by some, I tolerate it as its so solidly hardy for me in every part of my garden! It's not that it's just hardy though, it grows so fantastically fast, - I prune it with shears!!!
                    This year's star has been the sagittal Blue Butterflies. Not just a great blue, with huge spear shaped leaves, but masses of long floriferous shoots 60cm long! Seems its on the tender side so in pot and will be inside this Winter, hopefully some cuttings, but no seeds yet. My Patens are producing masses of seed yet again as are Neon, Jezebel and one or two on others, Amistad allowed me one good seedling this year. One or two others but nothing different or new! Would love to grow a RED patens!!! Have bought two WHITE Patens!
                     
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                    • strongylodon

                      strongylodon Old Member

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                      I have a few Hotlips, some pulled up (rooted) from the parent and transplanted this Spring so it increases well. S. Icing Sugar, Orchid and Cherry Ripple all flower well and are hardy here. Amistad, I leave in the ground cut down to nothing and grows to 6ft each season. I have had -6/7c in Winter and it survives.
                      The one I have yet to see if hardy is the variegated Salvia greggii Caramba. I have only planted the three (from plugs bought last Autumn) this year but taken cuttings as a precaution.

                      I also have a few of the compact cultivar, Miracle, blue, purple and red which are also hardy.

                      All are great for bees and other pollenators.
                       
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                      • longk

                        longk Total Gardener

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                        'Hot Lips' is a Marmite variety and sadly I'm a hater. On the plus side it is a sod to kill, even coming back from roots after I thought that I had dug it out.

                        In the right spot 'Amistad' is hardy. It survived the -6's of last winter in my parents garden planted against the house. The same goes for S.involucrata var. Bethellii whyich has become a rampant beast this year!

                        S.microphylla 'Nachtvlinder' is a gem. I've had it many years now and it is reliably the longest bloomer and most vigorous of all.............
                        [​IMG]Salvia "Nachtvlinder" by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Salvia 'Nachtvlinder' by longk48, on Flickr

                        I can't speak highly enough of Salvia sclarea var.turkestanica. It's a fully hardy biennial and it's the bracts that give it its impact............
                        [​IMG]Salvia sclarea var.turkestanica by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Salvia sclarea var.turkestanica by longk48, on Flickr

                        My favourite hardy one of all though is S.dolichantha..........
                        [​IMG]Salvia dolichantha by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Salvia dolichantha by longk48, on Flickr
                         
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                        • Clare G

                          Clare G Super Gardener

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                          I love salvias and they do well in my sheltered garden here in London. Very popular with the bees too as @strongylodon says.

                          When I have lost them it has more often been down to wet than cold winters. They hate staying waterlogged - something to be aware of in wet Wales @Spruce. Though there is bog sage/ uliginosa which is a spreader as @Perki says - if you have the space for it, it does make a lovely airy heap of pale blue late in the season.

                          Ones not mentioned so far that I have found worthwhile include 'Blue Note', the flowers are a lovely colour and it doesn't grow more than knee-high so works well at the front of the border.

                          I also like the colouring of 'Royal Bumble' (dark purple stems and bracts and red flowers), another lowish one which has again done well at the front of the border this year.

                          'Cerro Potoso' has attractive shocking pink flowers but has proved more of a sprawler, as is 'Nachtvlinder' (lovely dark purple flowers).

                          Hot Lips is another one that tries to take over! I dug mine up this spring and kept just a small portion of the rootball, which once more seems bent on world domination.... I too have found that the first flowers of the year are often just white or red, but that then as it gets going they revert to bicolour.

                          Amistad is splendid at the back of the border, the flowers are lovely but I find its big leaves rather coarse and ugly.

                          I have enjoyed reading this thread and have noted a couple of new salvias to try next year! I have usually bought them just at my local garden centre or off ebay - that often has good deals for half a dozen assorted plug plants, which are fun to try out. 'Salmon Dance' was one that got the chop because I found the colour :eeew:
                           
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                          • CarolineL

                            CarolineL Total Gardener

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                            This year (as discussed in another thread) has been strange. Black and Blue has made pathetic growth, but Burgundy has flowered steadily. Another small flowered one that was supposedly hardy never came back after our wet winter... Confertiflora was doing fine until it got broken by wind last weekend, and I still doubt that sagitatta will ever flower for me. But I will take cuttings of 'Purple Velvet' which has been lovely.
                             
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                            • Glynne Williams

                              Glynne Williams Gardener

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                              Wow !! What great responses, all showing the variability of plants (this time our wonderful Salvias!) I read them to Barbara, who is now Head Gardener cos I have difficulty walking these days, and she was amazed regarding the rampant Nachtvlinder, she describes it as "one of our more delicate, but colourful varieties" Hot Lips is a really dependable doer in her eyes, we've got five clumps about the 'estate'. We tend to stick it places that show soil! My 'method' is to, using the technical term, Stick them in all over the place. Then I think during the year, "there's a lot of red just there, better put a Patens there next year" ( that's why sagittal, Blue Butterflies is going to be good!) African Skies is good at the front but is short lived (is it not hardy??) I know it takes from cuttings but the stems are thin, like many varieties. Regarding that, the thicker ones like Patens vars. and Confertiflora, which roots from anything, though Amistad takes time and does not produce many flowerless shoots I find. I'm looking at Joan as I write. Lovely tall plant and one floerless shoot with 3 cuttings begging to be taken!! I use Elmlea cream pots for mine (plant based cream low in fat!, for my continuous coffee!!) Drill holes obviously with a tapered bit (has a proper name, but my memory loss!!??) Grit and perlite 50% compost and three cuttings per pot with bottom heat. I used to use trays but took up too much space. Once there's some rooting they're out of the propergator!
                              Regarding Amistad, they are amazingly variable re hardiness. Got one clump at cold side of house next to the drive/car which is well drained and carefully mulched (keep my eye on the gardener!)
                              Black and Blue had a poor year but have been paying its wages (see forgot the word) can't understand why such a vigorous plant is so recalcitrant, the last two years really, perhaps its sick??
                              Opinions please regarding how long before you renew compost in containers, and how often you mix (and what varieties) varieties in pots.
                               
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                              • NigelJ

                                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                                Down here Black and Blue has been its usual self growing vigourously and needing pruning a couple of times a year.
                                Amisted has been flowering continuously since May, just rooted some cuttings of this.
                                S confertifolia is a new planting and still getting itself sorted.
                                One S involuctra has flowered since June after a slow start although the other one of the two plants was very slow to get going.
                                S microphylla and S greggii have been as normal.
                                 
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