hot lips salvia

kevinsmom1January 17, 2014

We had some really cold weather for us here in zone 7b and my hot lips salvia looks really bad. It got like to 0 with wind chill which never happens here. There was also lots of cold rain. Is here anything I can or should do to revive it? I got a replacement offer from a friend. Is there a difference between hot lips salvia and lipstick salvia? Thanks.

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Hot Lips is a variety of Salvia microphylla. Lipstick is a form of the related S. greggii.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:56PM
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I planted this lovely salvia, hot lips, last summer; WOW, it was incredible, grew like a weed! The branches got very heavy with blooms. Over winter, a couple branches got broken at the soil, probably by a couple romping raccoons and then the remaining branches were defoliated during severe freezes, 20 degrees for days so I cut the plant back mid to late winter. So far, no new growth. Any hope? Or, shall I dig out the root ball? I thought it was supposed to grow in USDA Zone 8. I'm in Zone 7-8; Sunset 4-5 - Port Townsend, WA

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:24PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

My stock of Hot Lips plant has defoliated, and is just now reviving in my greenhouse. Also, S. microphylla San Carlos Festival lost its leaves outside in a hard freeze, but the one at the more protected J C Raulston Arboretum (Raleigh, NC) is coming back. Give your plant a few more weeks, don't cut back, and please don't dig it up.

If you want to, break off the tips of one or two tips th see if they are brittle or supple. If supple, scrape off the bark to see if there is a green layer underneath, and to see if the pith is light yellow, not tan. We are having such nasty weather, most of my nursery friends are saying their plants are 2 to 3 weeks late.

The greggii Lipstick and microphyllas at the J C Raulston Arboretum looked good last Saturday.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:25PM
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I live near Portland, OR. No sign of hot lips growth, yet. My greggii have a couple leaves, though. Hopefully my hot lips will start something soon.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:03PM
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This has been the most annoying winter with warm days followed by bitter cold. My hot lips salvia looks terrible. I have never cut it back and I have had it for several years. it is about 3 feet square. It is showing no signs of life. I would love to hear from others about any life theirs is showing after this bad weather.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:54PM
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How are your salvias doing? I am in Portland, zone 8 and my Hot Lips shows no sign of growth yet. Everything else has leafed out, including the lavender right next to it. This is its second year.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 12:11PM
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nothing doing on my hot lips salvia. I am going to be patient though. every nice day here seems o be followed by frost. I am not giving up til we have consistent nice days.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:26PM
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My hot lips is 2 years old, and it is always the last thing to wake up in my garden. It loses all of it's leaves ever winter (including this one). Just this weekend I am noticing new growth from the bottom. Just barely. I usually trim it by a third just before spring. Don't cut it to the ground!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:15PM
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I do see green on the stems. Do you cut into the green when you cut it back? Mine needs a good reshaping.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Yes, I cut in to the green. I also give it haircuts throughout the summer to keep it bushy.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Thank you! I'll get out my pruners as soon as I see some sun!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:20PM
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I've got a few leaves on my hot lips as of today !!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 1:20PM
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ditnc(7 NC)

I, too, am waiting for signs of life! One HL is definitely coming back. Another looks dead, but it's not brittle down at the base, so I'm giving it time. But it's taking up a nice container, I wish it would give me a sign!

My black and blue is always late to sprout. It looks pitiful, but I'm trying to have faith that it may come back soon.

I bought a replacement "May Knight" yesterday for my final winter casualty. But it wasn't looking that great last summer anyway.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:33PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

My potted Hot Lips, which have been in their pots for about six years, have not yet come back. I do have smaller ones that are coming back, also in pots, but kept in the greenhouse.

I will definitely be putting in some small raised beds this year, after the spring festival is over. I'm really tired if losing tricky stock plants in pots, and need a better source of cuttings, pollen, and seeds

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:11AM
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I am in the UK and have several of these and have done for many years as they make a wonderful addition to the borders. Mine have survived -15. I tend to cut them back quite hard as Spring looms and they've never suffered.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:48PM
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These salvias are kept in a sheltered corner of the garden and receive sun for part of the day. They are doing well considering one of my ducks has her nest underneath and spent quite some time ripping pieces from the bottom to line her nest.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:46PM
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From my perspective Hot Lips has always been a somewhat tender microphylla, one of the tenderest I grow. Currently none of the plants are showing life but there is still hope because except after the warmest winters it is one of the last microphylla to leaf out. I'm in zone 7a New Jersey and the plants grow in dry fine grained sandy soil.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:21AM
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sweet_betsy No AL Z7

Hot Lips here is several inches tall. Our lowest temperature was 5 degrees.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:08AM
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