SUPER SALVIAS

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ARMANDII, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. JimmyB

    JimmyB Gardener

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    I'm learning a bit about Salvias though there are apparently thousands of them so...a way to go yet. Anyway, I bought a Pineapple Sage - Salvia elegans - maybe 18 months ago. I love the fact that some people - and I've tried a lot of visitors - just cannot smell the pineapple at all, when the leaf is crushed. Others - myself included - find it is a) strong and b) immediately recogniseable.

    Smell is weird like that. But the real joy of this one (I haven't found it useful as a herb at all - though I can confirm it isn't poisonous, at least in small quantities), is the mega display of bright red flowers in the Autumn and upto Christmas. It grows quickly into a good sized plant - maybe 4 to 5 feet high at least - and will root fantastically from almost any cutting. I've cut mine down pretty brutally this year - so will be interesting to see if it comes back: reckon it will. And I've got a stack of cuttings if it doesn't. Let's see...
     
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    • Tara Jane

      Tara Jane Gardener

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      Ooh, that sounds lovely, I’m going to check it out!
       
    • Glynne Williams

      Glynne Williams Keen Gardener

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      Yes they do say that Salvias have a smell. I can't smell any of them, except perhaps rosemary! ÒK not a usual Salvia! Perhaps I've had this Covid thing? Certainly never smelt Pineapple on elegans!? It's got such unusual flower form!
      No, for me anyhow, the main 'salvia' with smell is good old Sage. It has the form, easy to take cuttings, produces nice big seeds and can't be left out of stuffing! Let's you appreciate the plant form. Perhaps it crosses with other varieties
       
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      • JimmyB

        JimmyB Gardener

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        well I can’t argue with any eulogy to sage. I cut and dry it and use it extensively in cooking. The flowers are beautiful. What’s not to like????

        apparently elegans also includes a tangerine version! According to Wikipedia: Salvia elegans - Wikipedia
         
      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        Many of my sages have an aroma when the leaves are bruised. S confertifolia is unpleasant to me, S microphylla, elegans, greggii and guaranitica are nicely scented.
         
      • Glynne Williams

        Glynne Williams Keen Gardener

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        So many 'hardy' varieties still green in the garden! We've had frost but obviously not a lot. Bit of a nuisance as we didn't cut any down and stuff like snowdrops coming up through the mulch we put round the salvias. The intention was to prune down to first green shoots in early Spring (what ever that is) but can't let early bulbs suffer can I! Obviously we did prune some that 'greyed' in the early frosts and again obviously no sign of them yet.
         
      • Tara Jane

        Tara Jane Gardener

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        I have a regular sage herb. last year I cut it right back because it was really old and woody. I thought id killed it but it was amazing this year. I cant remember when I cut it back and haven't done it yet. Is it like Salvia and prefers to wait until its sprouting again?
        thanks again!
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        If you wait a while you should be able to see the new shoots and you can cut back to just above them, but I think just as long as you dont cut back too hard you can do it anytime before it starts growing properly for this year.
         
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        • Tara Jane

          Tara Jane Gardener

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          Thank you very much for that!
           
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          • Glynne Williams

            Glynne Williams Keen Gardener

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            Most hardy salvias now cut down and mulched. Allowing bulbs to show (thought we'd bought more than was showing!) This has allowed more 'salvia-planning' to be made. This will entail some digging up and moving about once the Spring has produced lots of new growth, Thus cyclamen now showing as well as Winter Aconites. Must have had some plans not written down!
             
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            • Tara Jane

              Tara Jane Gardener

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              Hello. I wonder if I can pick your brains again. last year I got some Embers wish and Love and Wishes, also Amnistad, Jezabel. I already have the Cardonna and something else I cant remember what its called. The original ones and the Jezabel look to reactive but the Amnistad , love and wishes and Embers wish look a bit dead! I haven't cut them back yet so that doesn't help. when should I expect to see them sprouting and when should I give up and start again do you think. I'm in Wiltshire so fairly south and my garden I south facing but quite a few big trees.
              thank you!
               
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              • Nikolaos

                Nikolaos Total Gardener

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                I am very curious to see what others will say @Tara Jane, but IME salvias can be quite variable in terms of when in the season one can expect new shoots, with 'Caradonna' I sometimes don't even get any new growth until late April/mid-May (!) so I would certainly not give up on them, the three you're concerned about are all deciduous, so are supposed to die down in Autumn/Winter. :)

                Nick
                 
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                • longk

                  longk Total Gardener

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                  Back when I was growing Salvia in a big way I was living in the Cotswolds. I've never found any of the Wish series to have any real hardiness at all (Wendys Wish was the hardiest but needed some winter love), But Amistad is hardy enough in the right spot. It is far to early for Amistad to get going though.
                   
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                  • Glynne Williams

                    Glynne Williams Keen Gardener

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                    Yes one of the most variable chacteristics of hardy salvias (ones you can leave well mulched in the ground over Winter) is when they decide to grow on in 'Spring'. As well as particular species there's the variable of very local eco system (where its planted in the garden and the soil its planted in) Thus I have same varieties planted front and back of the house that re-sprout as much as a fortnight differently! Also those half hardy varieties in the warm greenhouse/conservatory start off at different times. Potted ones obviously start off differently to cuttings because of size but this year I'm amazed at the growth of seedlings, 3 to a pot last October, which are now, Ferrari-like, tearing away! They'll have to be potted on but can't even go out to the cold greenhouse let alone outside for a couple of months surely? They're Patens, easily the best seed producers, and of course they produce (are producing!) tuberous roots!
                    The most annoying thing now in the warm are Aphids and bloody Whitefly already giving me work to erradicate!
                     
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                    • Glynne Williams

                      Glynne Williams Keen Gardener

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                      Spent yesterday chipping branches, pruning and a Holly Bush, great cat deterrent by the way, and was able to look at Salvias in pots all around. They've been pruned and shoots appearing. I mused about size of developing shoots/future branches that are developing. Surely the thicker the pruned branch the thicker, eventually, the future shoot?
                      Also how long (years) do you leave Salvias in big pots before either lifting and repotting or planting out in the ground? I've had Salvias in pots I suppose for 10 years. I've been re-potting/planting out every two to three years or so. There's been some deterioration and I've been increasing fertilisation but am concerned that this practice is a little artificial? What do you think/do?
                       
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