OT Salvia and Roses

poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)March 10, 2014

Great discussion of lavender. Sammy mentioned growing salvia with roses.
Do you grow salvias with your roses?
I just think of salvia as a "dry" plant....
I'm sure going to try several. The hummingbirds love "Black and Blue".
Susan

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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night' grows beautifully with my roses. After the first bloom finishes and the plants look ratty, you can shear them clear off and get new growth in a week or two, new blooms not long after that. An ideal ground cover, I think, though you have to fend off the snails, who like it too. Hardy to at least as far north as Connecticut, apparently -- quite a wide range.

I also have the shrubby Salvia melissodora or grape-scented sage, in the middle of a rose bed and like it a lot. This really does smell like a grape juice drink and has pleasing light purple-blue flowers. It's a bit tender (not so hardy) even here, though.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:09PM
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dregae

I grow quite a few salvias with my roses and lavender for that matter. They both do amazing as does catmint. I think my main cause for success is I have extremely good soil and excellent drainage so my plants never have wet feet even though we get almost 40 inches of rain a year.

Grace e

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:44AM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

The clevlandii and leucophylla salvias here are far enough from roses that they receive a noticeable difference in irrigation, but they both are visible in the same scene. Guaranitica is next to a rose, but it's a bit more water loving than most other salvias I've tried. It looks great! Salvia Spathacea is relatively close to some shrub roses and it looks great. Gregiis and Microphyllas have done well in more drought tolerant patches of the front's mixed border. Cecile Brunner is currently there and either Mutabilis or Lady Hillingdon will be in this area in the near future. Cecile hasn't skipped a beat there despite a little less water than the roses in dedicated rose beds.

I'm in the land of no winter though, so tenderness isn't much of an issue. We're able to comfortably grow Fuchsia Thymifolia in the ground here which is fairly tropical and very tender from what I understand. I assume experiences will vary with certain species and cultivars. I saw a white Farinacea at a nursery recently that I bet would look great with mauve or red roses.

Lavendula multifida stays pretty compact and never looks like it has wet feet mingling with roses. It too is fairly tender from what I've read.

Although totally off topic, thinking of Fuchsia Thymifolia reminds me of my ongoing search for a Deppea Splendens in person. Anyone else a fan of "cloud forest" plants from Central America?

Jay

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:06AM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

Pardon my terribly inconsistent/nonexistent observation of proper nomenclature.

Jay

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:10AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Annual salvia is one of the real workhorses here. Hot, dry, cold, wet, anything in between - it doesn't care.

There were a couple of perennial salvias here when we bought the house. I think they are East Friesland. They are good plants, but would like more sun than they are currently getting. I've tried May Night more times than I care to admit, but for some reason it doesn't like me. Carradonna is just getting established from an 2012 end of season leftover but looks like a winner. My favorite may be Purple Rain. It isn't quite like the others, and a lot of people find it unexceptional, but the soft purple flowers play well with others.

I've grown greigii and patens, but overwintering them here is a bit of a chore. I've been successful keeping them potted in windowsills, but after the second year they are large plants that take up a lot of room. I could take new cuttings, but that gets too much like work.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:07AM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Thanks everyone! I am just discovering the variety of salvias....I am trying some bog sage this year but not sure if it should be near the roses...
Susan

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:44AM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

The only salvia I've tried is salvia leucantha, which is too large for my present garden. I may be wrong, but I have the impression that salvias as a group get untidy or stop blooming and need to be cut back. Are there any small, compact, everblooming salvias, or am I just being unrealistic for even asking that question?

Ingrid

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:08PM
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rosefolly

Not OT at all, in my opinion. Salvias look lovely with old roses and they fill in with color at times you may not be getting much from your roses.

Actually salvias vary in their water requirements. Some are very drought tolerant, while others are quite happy with average water. While they like a well drained soil, the group of perennial salvias from Germany sometimes described in catalogs as "x sylvestris" and sometimes as "nemerosa" are all quite happy to get the same water as your roses do. These would include 'May Night', 'Blue Hills', 'East Friesland' and 'Rose Queen' among some others. I saw a couple of new ones at the Sangerhausen plant sale last year, and they were quite lovely. I'm looking forward to the day they make their way across to us here in America.

Other salvias would either be unhappy to get that much water (Salvia clevelandii comes to mind) or would turn into a rapacious thug (Salvia spathacea, the hummingbird sage). Come to think of it, hummingbird sage, lovely though it is, would be a thug under almost any circumstances short of true desert. Might be good to cover a steep bank, but I will not again let it into my garden.

If you are interested in sages, you will want to get your hands on an excellent book called The New Book of Salvias: Sages for Every Garden by Betsy Clebsch.

Rosefolly

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:11PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Beyond Salvia, also look into Veronica. There are a few that are lower-growing and (supposedly) bloom for a long time. I haven't grown them yet, but I have the following coming next month, along with other companion perennials:

Veronica 'Blue Reflection'

Veronica spicata 'Blue Carpet'

Veronica surculosa 'Waterperry Blue'

Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue'

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:07PM
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jacqueline9CA

Ingrid - I believe there is a "miniature" salvia leucantha, at least I have seen it in catalogs, and also growing somewhere around here.

I love salvia leucantha. I have it growing right next to several roses, and it just blooms & blooms. Of course it is perennial here. I love it because it starts to bloom in the late summer/Fall, and blooms most of the Winter. It does need to be cut back.

Jackie

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:25PM
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odinthor

Ingrid, give a try to Salvia lavandulifolia. Good ol' Salvia officinalis, which is similar, has a lot to offer, too. Salvia greigii works well for me in the situation where a rose variety will tendentially have "bare legs," as it allows enough sunlight through to encourage basal growth from the rose, but has enough "presence" to cover up rose nakedness.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:53PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

I have May Night salvia (I think) from Lowe's and it's been wonderful with the roses. It's mixed in with the Hidcote lavender and none seem to mind the extra water :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:00PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

I grow lots of salvias in with my roses. I tend to use drought tolerant ones, and pair them with roses that do well low water as well. So I have multiple California natives , such as the gorgeous Salvia 'Celestial Blue' (not thirsty but tolerates garden water as well)--this one blooms like crazy for months (not all year though) and does need to be cut back. I like this one so much I have 5 more on order.

One you might like Ingrid is Saliva greggii 'Teresa'. It's a small, bushy mound of green, covered in cool pale pink flowers off and on (more on than off) most of the year. Doesn't need to be cut back. Mine is still young but it seems happy at about 2 feet tall. I have it bordered by roses that like the same amount of water it does--the hybrid musk Omi Oswald, Rose de Rescht, Comtesse O'Gorman, and Rosa canina Laxa. Mine came from one of my favorite sage sources, Flowers by the Sea.

Another one I really like is Salvia namaensis. It is a South African native. Thrives in really hot conditions with very little water and no fertilizer in my garden. I have it paired with Wild Edric who seems to have the same preferences. S. namaensis has beautiful pale/mid blue flowers and a very long blooming season. Doesn't need cutting back either. Mine is around 1 1/2 feet tall and spreading in habit. Leaves are kind of ruffled (unusual for a sage) and a really pretty mid green. I just bought another one which should arrive in the mail this week.

Melissa

Here is a link that might be useful: Salvia greggii 'Teresa'

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:36PM
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rosefolly

I myself am not so crazy about the Salvia greggii cultivars or the Salvia microphyllas either. They are very pretty for a year or two, then get brittle and woody, far less attractive. I suppose you could always treat them as annuals. I ended up taking out most of mine and cutting the ones I kept back hard. We'll see if they rejuvenate. I certainly do not like the mature form.

Folly

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:04PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Awesome info. Thanks for the book suggestion Kim.
Susan

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

I also have Salvia greggii 'Playa Rosa'. It has lovely silvery medium pink flowers. However, its growth habit is exactly as Rosefolly described. It became woody and brittle very quickly, and usually looks pretty scraggly. Planted not 10 feet away at the same time is Salvia microphylla 'Mesa Azure'. It couldn't be more different in habit. Nice round, bushy shape, not in the least scraggly or brittle. Blooms more than Playa Rosa too. Flowers are a bluish purple, not really "azure" to my eyes.

My Salvia greggii 'Teresa' was also planted at about the same time as the two above, a couple years ago. No signs of turning ungainly like Playa Rosa. I'm not a fan of such an awkward shape, so will be studying growth habits of mature plants more closely before I purchase. There seems to be just as much variety in the Salvia classes as there are in roses.;)

Melissa

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:54PM
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lori_elf z6b MD

Salvias do wonderful with my roses, though I only water roses that are newly established or during periods of drought. I have a plant of guarantica 'Black and blue' that has perennialized so far (and the hummers love it!), but my mainstays are hardy ones such as May Night, East Friesland, Caradonna, and Snow Hill (a compact white variety which looks great with the purples). The contrast of spiky flowers with the rounded rose shrubs is a very nice combination!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:56PM
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cath41(6a)

Salvia x superba does well here making an intensely blue flowered plant about 1.5 - 2 feet high. References say it is 3 feet high and hardy to zone 7. The hardiness information makes sense as we can only grow it as an annual and so I cannot say whether it would become woody with time.

Cath

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:45PM
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cath41(6a)

Salvia x superba does well here making an intensely blue flowered plant about 1.5 - 2 feet high. References say it is 3 feet high and hardy to zone 7. The hardiness information makes sense as we can only grow it as an annual and so I cannot say whether it would become woody with time.

Cath

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:46PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Thanks so much everyone for the information about salvias that would suit my requirements. Melissa, I have two of my Wild Edric planted along the driveway with plenty of space for other plants and like your suggestion of planting Salvia namaensis with them since it's a hot, dry and sloping area. I'll definitely check out Flowers of the Sea.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:10PM
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