How to treat non-hardy perennial salvia

sujiwan_gwMay 18, 2007

Hey--I didn't realize there was a salvia forum!

Last year was the inception of my summer border and I tried both the hardy, annual and tender perennial salvias. My culinary salvias are doing very well but I lost other flowering types to the winter and probably to less than optimal drainage during that season.

Three questions:

1.What specifically are you adding to soil to improve drainage? My beds are all native silty loam with some mushroom compost added.

2. I have a large grassy area that only has an inch or so of topsoil on it due to previous owners putting down packed gravel to drive on. If I wanted to make a raised bed for non-hardy salvias, agastache and similar needs plants on this area (full sun) what would the ideal raised bed mix be and how deep to make it above the packed ground?

3. Is there are way to overwinter the tender salvias inside somehow or is it not worth it outside their normal climatic zone?

Thanks for your help.

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I've had success in similar situations by bringing in sand and raising the bed about 4 inches or so. Some bush sages that have been particularly hardy for me have been: S. microphylla San Carlos Festival, S. X Maraschino, S. greggii Wild Thing, S. Raspberry Delight, and for Agastaches Desert Sunrise and rupestris. The herbacious perennial sage Black & Blue just might work for you too. If you are in the Philadelphia area there is a new public garden just across the river at Palmyra Cove Nature Park. We just put in a 400 foot row of the plants you are asking about and added patches of others in various areas around the center. By next year we'll begin to have a clue about which of the many kinds are hardy there. Interested growers will be able to get cuttings to try for themselves.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:25PM
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Some areas of my land are clay and other areas are sandy rocky soil if you want to call it that. Due to suggestions from you and because of my conditions for the first time this year I have been playings with raised beds and so far my plants are doing well. I have done this with all my plants, salvias, tomatoes, zinnias etc. For my mix I use scotts select garden soil and a mix of composted cow manure, Thanks Wardda.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:34AM
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