Lady in Red issue

hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)June 23, 2009

I missed the spring planting, but I just bought a 4-pack of Lady in Red salvias to try out. I was going to transplant a few of them into the garden, but I'm not so sure now. I moved one into a small pot(the only plant with active bloom spikes). Of course, after growing in a tiny little container in a greenhouse for a few months, it is a somewhat skinny root-bound plant. I loosened up the roots before filling in the pot with a good commercial soil. The problem I'm getting is the plant is struggling when it gets even a little of the hot summer sun(this was the case before transplant as well). I've been watering it regularly and the soil has remained moist. This morning the leaves and blooms were getting wilty after only one hour of direct sun. When I moved it to the shade and gave it a bit more water it quickly perked up. The last few hours I've put the flower in a mostly shaded area under a tree that just gets a few peeks of sun. I just went out to check and several blooms that looked healthy this morning had fallen out. Just touching or breathing on the blooms caused most of the others to fall out... although the leaves were fine. I certainly can't transplant the other three flowers into the sunny garden if they are just going to wilt and maybe die. I'm going to add some miracle grow to the pot and transplant the other three flowers to a large pot. A couple questions: Should I expect my salvias to better tolerate the hot sun once the roots are able to grow out in the new pots? They are never going to be as healthy as they'd be if I started them with properly spaced seeds, but, considering they are supposed to be full to partial sun flowers, I'd like to be able to get them some sun. Also, are the blooms supposed to be so fragile? How long are individual blooms supposed to last before they fall out? Thanks.

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CA Kate

I think you just need to give them time to develop a decent root system, and that might take a few weeks. Watch out with too much water and fertilizer, those two together or singly could finish off these near-death plants. Keep the soil dampish, hold off on the fertilizer, and keep them out of the heat for awhile.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:31PM
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hybridsage

Summer is a hard time to plant Westelle is right. Give them some time to set out new roots then I would prune them in half to transplant.Reducing the amount of foliage so the
root system has time to catch up.
Art

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:04AM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

How long are individual blooms supposed to last?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:08PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

My blooms last only one or two days, but the flower spike has multiple buds, so it seems like they last longer. My Lady in Red are established but wilt and pout in the sun regardless of water. As soon as the shade takes the area, they perk back up.

Pam

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 11:58AM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

My LIR have been in pots for a couple weeks and they are doing well. I've noticed the blooms turning pink when they get sun and I do find it a bit annoying that the blooms fall out so fast. At least there are usually new blooms ready to pop out each day or two. Between the four plants I can see about 17 new spikes in the early stages of development, so over the next couple weeks there should be a lot of blooms... and, of course, tons of fallen blooms on the patio.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 2:04PM
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hybridsage

hawkeye:
Glad to hear your plants made it through!It is 103 here
and my LIR is blooming just not growing. Coral Nymph is
sending out a few blooms. Collect seed off your LIR
so you can grow some for next year or let them reseed in your pots.Have fun!
Art

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 5:42PM
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rosynmontgomery

this is the first time i've planted LIR salvia. Been in the ground for a year now. Depending on the amt. of sun some have grown larger and the ones in more shade or covered up by other plants are smaller. The largest one i have is about 2' tall. I'm curious as to how much y'all cut back when you remove spent flower stems. Do you just break out the stem or actually pinch down for more branching.
Thanks for help
Patti

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 9:34AM
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hybridsage

rosynmontgomery:
The plants that are shaded have competion for water
nutrients ,Light and space from your other plants.
they usually will be smaller.Here where I grow my plants
in alkaline clay working in some finely ground pine
mulch helps by loosing the soil. This way the soil being
more porous the water and nutriets go to the first plant.As opposed to running down to the last plant and it gets everything you wanted the first plant to get.(Hope I
explained that well).
Art

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 4:52PM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

Anyone know why the upper half of one of my many LIR spikes would suddenly go limp while the lower half remains healthy? This happened once a week ago and again yesterday.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 8:50AM
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hybridsage

hawkeye:
Are you getting the same rain amounts that the East Coast has been contending with?
Art

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:33PM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

We've had a wet July, but I have kept my LIR container out of the rain so the blooms don't get knocked off and the long spikes don't become bent over by the water's weight. I do keep it watered well, though... one soaking per day. The first time a spike went limp was actually following a couple day period when I did not water. The latest was following a well-watered week. The plants are all very healthy.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:21PM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

I have two batches of LIR. One in a container on my patio that I move around to keep it in the sun through the day. The other batch is in the garden in a spot that gets no more than half the amount of sun the container does. The garden batch is having a very tough time developing healthy bloom spikes. Nearly all of them are short, squiggly, have few blooms, and just look crappy in general. The LIR in the container look great, with tons of 5-9 inch spikes and healthy blooms every morning. Is the poor spike/bloom development of the garden batch due to lack of sun? I've also been watering both batches every day. Could the container batch be healthy because it can more easily dry out and the garden batch just remains too wet?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 9:10AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Could the container batch be healthy because it can more easily dry out and the garden batch just remains too wet?

That is a very likely possibility. Wilting indicates a weakened root system. They need to get air every now and then, too.

Many sages will rot out if their roots aren't airy, especially the xeric ones, and more so the California ones.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:07PM
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hummersteve

LIR plants do not survive my zone 6 winters but I do get re-seeders each year it seems. Would love to find the greggii plants that would prove hardy here.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:36PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Well. Salvia greggii x `Plum Wine' is evidently hardy in USDA zone 5b in western Massachusetts. This June, I visited a garden with a 3+ year old plant. If you can grow Salvia reptans west Texas form, you should be able to do Plum Wine.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:03AM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

I think I know what the main problem is with my garden batch of LIR. I said before they only get at most 4 hours of sun, but what I realized today is that the plants are so dense that no light at all is able to penetrate beyond the very top layer of leaves. I'm guessing that the plants just didn't have the energy to support all the new spikes. This morning I cut out a significant number of branches to really thin them out. Sun is now able to reach deep down into the plants again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 2:58PM
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hybridsage

Glad to hear you have figured out what your problem is
with LIR.
Art

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 7:19PM
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bettyjean-2008(6)

I have had lir reseeding for years, but the last few years the flower looks like it will flower, but does not flower. there are about a billion tiny pink moths around them. Does anyone know what is eating the flower before it flowers. I do not want to use anything poisonous because of the hummers. I have tried soap and water with oil and garlic and alcahol in it , it does help some but does not last

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:23AM
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hybridsage

Moths, Buterflies and Hummers are after the same thing. The Nectar in the flower.I do notice on windy day's my flowers are shredded as they open or also in very hot situations
the flowers will not open as they do when it is cooler.
Art

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 1:36PM
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bettyjean-2008(6)

Thanks, hybridsage but I mean no flowers, not one, just a spike where flowers should be, help

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:30AM
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