I haven't seen any signs of life from S. mexicana 'Tula' or 'Elise'. This was their first winter in my garden and I have no previous experience with S. mexicana. Should they be growing yet?
I don't have either of those, but i'm wondering about my salvia leucothoe. When does it normally poke up? And how about a portadora EE? I know they're typically both late, but at what point is it normal, and when do you give up?
I'd dig gently around the crown to see if there's any growth buds.
Shari, 'Elise' isn't hardy in my garden, so I suspect it will probably only overwinter to zone 8. Tula should be up by now, although it's been a pretty cool spring so far so there's still a chance. I do best with borderline salvias (even greggiis) when I plant them in the sprrng or early summer, so if you got them from me last fall and they don't come back, try again. It's a little problematic trading, because they're not growing enough for me to take cuttings until after the spring swap. If I get the space this year I'll try holding some over the winter for next spring.
Karen, I ordered those from Richard Dufresne last spring in the tiny pot size. They grew enough to bloom but didn't thrive in the drought. I lost quite a few of the many that I ordered but I still think it was worth the price I paid just for the survivors. The spot that 'Tula' was planted in has been the kiss of death for more than one plant and I don't know why. It's a prime spot visually for a tall plant.
I've got one of those graveyard spots in my shade garden. It's very annoying.
Tammy, My portadora isn't up yet either. Still too early for it. Black Stem and Chicago Harlequin and the regular C. esculenta are the only (in ground) ones up this early for me in 7a. The others I think want it consistantly hot, hot hot...before they start peeking up. Illustris won't show up until late June or even early July for me. IIRC Portadora is somewhere in the middle.