Not one Salvia seed germinated

greenbug(zone 6_CT)May 14, 2009

I sowed Salvia seeds from a commercial packet more than a month ago.

Unfortunately, I hadn't realized that they need to be surfface sowed.

I sowed them and put the tray outside. I kept it well watered though. The temps haven't been great outside, but not so bad either somewhere in the lower 50-60s.

Nothing has come up and I dont know if I should hold on to any hope at all?

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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

My only experience sowing salvias is the California subgenus Audibertia group. So far I've done S. apiana, S. clevelandii, S. eremostachya and S. mellifera. For growing medium, I've used a commercial mix: EB Stone "seed starter mix," which is a nearly pure "peat lite"-type medium. I put the medium and seeds in a domed tray, bought from a hydroponics store. I have trouble finding what I need at typical garden centers. I grow the seeds outdoors on a mostly shaded side of the house, though it does get 1-2 hrs of sun in the morning. I sprinkle the seeds on top of the leveled, dampened medium, and then I sprinkle a slight dusting of peat moss on top. I've also used cold-stratification both years I've propagated seeds, but I'm becoming skeptical that it makes much difference for my species. For the 2007-8 season, I sowed my seeds in mid-autumn. This year I waited until mid-January. I'm always worried that a bad frost will get them, but I think I'll go back to fall sowing next time. I'd like my plants to be further along than they are with the later sowing. My sowing schedule is mainly to conform to the California climate, where most native plant growth is winter and spring, because that's when we get most of our rain, should it deign to come. So my sowing times are probably irrelevant to other areas. If you have access to a greenhouse or shadehouse, it should make some parts of this much easier and less vulnerable to environmental whims. Also, I've had raccoons and/or opossums raid my pots.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:08PM
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I have seelings come up from fall sown seed the following
spring. I don't have any snow to shovel though.First which
salvia seed is it ? The temperatures are to cool for the
more temperate Salvias to germinate.Mine don't come up until
air temps hit 75-80 on a regular basis(soil is about 65-70).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:52PM
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greenbug(zone 6_CT)

I had no idea that its to be sown in Fall. I sowed in April. I believe it was the Salvia Bonfire. So it needs heat as well as time, huh?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:55PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I toss my salvia seeds in when it was in the 70's and they popped right up in about a week. Salvia regla, S. azuria grandiflora, S. macrophylla tingo blue, S, scabra, s. juriscii, s. roemeriana, s. texana, s. nemerosa meadow sage. The salva coccinea took a bit longer. I just used sterile medium with a bit of vermiculite added in 4" pots outside under a oak tree.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:18PM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

I'll add that after spreading the seeds and the thin top-layer of peat moss, I use a spray bottle to dampen the entire top surface. My native Calif. salvias are obviously different from what the guys in Texas are growing, as my seeds sprout in the upper 30s & lower 40s. They continue to grow slowly, even if daytime temps are in the 50s. Our average daytime temps are upper 60s in January, but there are always several spells of cool weather.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:06AM
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You will have better success growing Salvia splendens
'Bonfire' if you sow seed indoors,in a greenhouse or use a cold frame.
This is so you can be ahead of your growing season and can get blooms earlier(being so far north).Pick a location with
plenty of direct sun (outdoors).If your tray has a clear lid put that on it if not see if you can find something clear to cover it with. this will get the seed to germinate,because the soil temp. will remain more constant. Once your seedlings have 2 sets of true leaves you can transplant them into their own individual pots.Transplant your plants on a cloudy day or in the shade of a tree so they can recover from being transplanted.After transplanting begin using a water soluable fertilizer (half strenghth at first). At 4" you will need to clip or pinch the top of the plant so it starts to branch. I am guessing you should see some blooms in August or maybe later.
Keep us posted on your progress.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:33AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

That is very interesting about the native californian salvias and how thwy grow. It makes sence since you are a winter rainfall area.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 9:49PM
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ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a

I wintersowed all my Salvia. I find Salvia germinate very easily and plentifully. Some were from seeds people had given me, others were ones I bought. Several varieties of Salvia-scarlet, blue, black and white, lady in red. All of them germinated very well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Winter sowing

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 7:55AM
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