dirtrx(z7nc)October 8, 2007

I have two Salvia Transylvanicas (sp?) that were placed by your flag on Saturday. I think they are from Karen W.? I'll bring them to you on Tuesday when I'm there for the shrub tour/lecture. Shannon/Dirtrx

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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

Thanks, Shannon. I sure hope the weather forecast for a record high in the mid-90's for tomorrow is wrong. Do you still want the Toad Lilies that I have for you, or would you prefer to wait for them until it cools down?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 4:11PM
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Ralph, I didn't get a chance to talk to you on Sat. Is the Portulaca that I got from you the one you have overwintered? I'm going to bring it in to the garage with alot of other plants this winter. The garage is attached to the house but unheated. We have lots of flourescent light in there that stays on 24/7 and most plants I overwintered there last year did well.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 6:29AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

shari, i might be wrong, but i've always read that plants really need at least a few hours of darkness to do well. at least 8 darkness to 16 light is what i'd always read/heard. anyone hear different or the same? thoughts? maybe you can save on your power and have a timer cut down the amount of hours?

we do the same thing in the basement and it works pretty well. i can only put the stuff that can really dry out down there, though because i forget it's down there and so forget to water but 2-3 times a winter. which is just fine for quite a few plants. it stays around 45-50, but does get close to freezing on those 10-15 degree nights. the other stuff goes to the cool greenhouse aka plastic'd porch. i had ralph's portulaca out there last winter and it did great. we keep it around 40, but it dipped to freezing couple times last winter with no damage to things. we're going to try harder this winter to keep it from skating so close. we were amazed at how well many things did under those conditions as opposed to the house.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

Sharri, yes the Portulaca that I brought on Sat. is the one that I have been overwintering in an unheated storage bldg and now my greenhouse for about 5 years. I agree with Tammy that you should not need to keep the lights on more than half the time. Parts of my greenhouse got down to freezing a couple of times last winter with minimal damage, perhaps because there was no frost. I can vent the clothes dryer into the greenhouse, and I do have a portable butane heater that I can leave on in case of extreme cold.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 4:46PM
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Thanks Ralph. I don't know if I can get my husband to accomodate my wishes on the no more than half light since we come and go through this garage and he considers it his "shop". I will try to turn the lights on and off at bedtime and upon waking. I had pretty good success last year even with them on always.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 6:01PM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

The Salvia transylvanicas aren't from me. I remember somebody mentioning them in the pre-trading posts but I can't remember who.

Shari, you can buy timers for your lights at the big box stores. I've got most of mine on them, although last winter I ran out of outlets and had a couple of lights that stayed on 24/7 because I never did get back to the store. I work on the edge of survival anyway, so I didn't sweat it. Maybe you could rig one with a motion detector, but surely there's an 8 hour window where no one's coming and going. The plants don't care which 8 hours it's dark.

I can't believe we're going from 92 to 37 degrees in 5 days.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 7:16PM
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While we're asleep should be fine.

Karen, I'm going to bring your salvias and the plectranthus inside the house this year. Do you think I should go ahead now since those thirties are forecast?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 7:33PM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

Shari, probably not a bad idea. The Salvia regla will eventually be hardy outdoors but it's still too small to get well established this year and should be planted out in the spring. The plectranthus and the orange flowered seedling of S. van houtteii will be tender and should either be grown in pots or come in as cuttings for the winter. I keep those in the garage under grow lights and although it occasionally drops a few degrees under 40, most of the time it's over. If you lose one or more don't worry, I can start you more cuttings in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:34PM
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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

During the Plantsman tour of the J C Raulston Arboretum this afternoon I had an opportunity to ask the Asst Director, Mark Weatherington, about a stunning new Salvia blooming at the beginning of the Perennial Border. He informed us that it is S. mexicana 'Limelight'. He commented that the Arboretum had a Nurseryman's group in last week and that they all were raving about these plants and talking about their plans to offer it for sale next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of Mexican Sage, S. mexicana 'Limelight'

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 12:55AM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

'Limelight' has never wintered over for me. I grow 'Tula' instead, which has the same calyx/flower color combination.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Ralph the salvias were from me.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:52AM
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