How much pinching would you do?

Propaganda Garden DesignFebruary 23, 2010

How much pinching back to promote branching would you do on Salvia macrophylla seedlings? I have a bunch from last years plant in a big pot. Most of them are nice and bushy but a few have started to shoot up rapidly. Pinch again or just leave them and let them bloom earlier?

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

It depends on the number of nodes you have. It branches freely on its own, and if you need to, you can promote branching simply by removing early flower heads.

Cool temps and bright light will promote growth.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Propaganda Garden Design

Thanks. And I meant to say microphylla.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Most of us must ask that same question. Here in South Jersey some types of microphylla can be so lush that the problem is solved by the time we're done thinking about it. They really respond to fairly well manured soil and regular water. How often do you plan to water them in the dry season?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:16PM
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Propaganda Garden Design

I am just a few blocks away from the beach so "May Mist" and "June Gloom" make the start of the dry season not too bad. I'll just water when they hit temporary wilting point. Now once the real heat wave kicks in later in the season and those Santa Ana winds are making everything unbearable I will water for a bit until I get sick of it and they I will probably just let them go. Last year this didn't happen until September. All my Salvia's died because I decided to stop watering them. But then with the first bit of rain we got in November hundreds of microphylla seedlings started coming up all over the places and then with the huge rain storms we had here in Jan/Feb. the guaranitica 'Black & Blue' came back from its tuberous root stalks so I'm in business again.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:07PM
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Maybe you will get lucky and there will be a seedling that won't die because you are sick of watering.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Propaganda Garden Design

lol by your comment you seem to be judging me. I didn't mean to be flip with my answer about "getting sick of them".

I am gardening on a small balcony and don't have any more room for the larger pots that these big Salvia would require to be permanent. With several weeks of 100 degree weather that September brought last year I would have had to water them several times a day and I already wish I could be more water wise in my gardening.

Enjoying my plants until the later summer/fall heat and then letting them set seed/go dormant or die is no worse then people in cold climates who grow Salvia or other tender perennials as annuals.

Next time I will try to word my answers more carefully.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 5:09PM
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