Need Good Source of Salvia greggii Navajo Red

echinaceamaniac(7)June 9, 2008

I've heard this is a good salvia and the pictures are great, but I can't find a place around here that sells it. I'm very wary of mail order places after my bad Wayside Gardens experience! Thanks in advance for any suggestions of sources. I'd also like to know if this plant returns every year without problems if anyone has tried it.

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Salvia greggii 'Navajo Bright Red' is the same as Salvia greggii x microphylla `Cherry Chief'. I supplied Ball Seed with the original material for propagation.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:07PM
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It was one of the first greggii I ever tried. The first couple of years I kept losing it over the winter and kept having to reintroduce it from cuttings that were wintered indoors. Since then it has proved hardy in my zone 6b/7a garden. The winters haven't exactly be hard in the past 6 or so years so maybe it hasn't been a perfect test, but still, there it is returning year after year. Check out A World of Salvia and see if it is available.

Richard, are you saying Cherry Chief and Navajo Bright Red are actually the same cultivar - you don't really mean it, do you?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 4:20PM
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Thanks for the info. We've had mild winters lately in my zone so I'm going to give this one a try. I can bring a cutting inside too!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 12:53AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Ward, there is also a Navajo True Red, which I also sent to Ball. This cultivar (which I called Orange Basket and have since lost) was not as hardy and was inferior to Cherry Chief. It may be that this one was dropped by Ball and they simplified the name of the other form, dropping the 'Bright' part.

Perhaps this may explain the discrepancy. No one in the Carolinas has sold any of the Navajo series, otherwise I would have bought some myself, to check on the authenticity.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:12AM
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I can send you what they sold here a few years ago. There is the original one which is about 6 years old which came from Lowe's and some others I picked up at a local farm market last year for the salvia hedge. They appear alike to me.

A slightly unrelated question. Can soil conditions cause flower color to be slightly variable? My oldest San Carlos Festival plants are a kind of dark pinkish. They match up well to photos I've seen of other SCF. The group I planted in the hedge are much redder. In other ways the plants are nearly the same taking into account that the ones in the xeric hedge have slightly smaller leaves and aren't quite as bushy.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:14AM
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I'm in Chapel Hill and bought these last year in NC, labeled as 'Navaho Red' Texas Sage to test in my garden. Perhaps they were mislabeled and not really 'Navajo Red' -- notice the spelling difference.

They are truly stunning! I have 5 planted en masse. They were evergreen over the winter. I carefully hand-snapped the dry tips in March and they have been blooming since April. I have them on the east side of the house, with dappled shade from a willow tree to block the south and west sun.

They are my favorites in my very large garden.


Here is a link that might be useful: my garden

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 3:47PM
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The first photos do seem to match up, the third isn't as obvious. Navajo Bright Red is rather upright for me and these seem so too. I bet it is.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 4:44PM
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the third photo is taken from up the hill looking down into the salvias. It was shaded at the time, so the colors are a bit different.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 6:16PM
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I finally got a better "red" photo of my salvia this morning. These 5 plants are still full, bushy and blooming like crazy again. They've been blooming off and on for several months. I'd love to have more!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:58PM
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One good thing about Navajo Bright Red is its ability to bloom well all summer - my plant are just as glorious now as they were in May.

The dirty little secret is that cuttings should be very easy at this time of year, you can make all you want as long as you don't sell them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:34PM
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