I live in Kansas zone 5 and I bought a wild thing autumn sage. It says it zone 5, I google it to get more info. Several sites list it with a ? for zone 5. Does anyone in zone 5 have any experience with this plant?
I don't have any experience as far as overwintering. I ordered mine from Bluestone. They sell it as a zone 5 plant so I take them at their word. It did not do much but maybe because it is a new plant (first year) Let's keep our fingers crossed on this one.
I hope it makes it too, the red flowers were quite lovely.
There have been several interesting crosses out in my Wild Thing row - white flowered seedlings. I suspect they picked up pollen from the nearby greggii Whites via hummingbirds, but there is no way to know for sure. Both greggii types are very hardy and will be interesting to see if the two white seedlings will be also. The white also have a red seedling but I think that may be a cross with a microphylla.
Seedlings have begun to pop up all over the place now that my long bush sage hedge has entered its second year. I wonder how I should mark the seedlings once they are moved? By next year I expect to be overwhelmed with seedlings and as best as possible I'd like to note the parentage.
I live in what I consider to be a zone 6 pocket of the Chicago area, which is mostly zone 5ish. I have well-drained sandy soil, so I thought I'd have a good chance overwintering some Bluestone Wild Things I planted in early summer, or whenever it is that they have their post-spring sale. None of them made it. I ordered more this year and planted them a little earlier, but still I think I'll hedge my bets by taking at least one indoors to put in a cold room and mostly ignore. I've overwintered salvia 'Black and Blue' that way, and it's worked out ok.
VERY sharp drainage, prune late, take cuttings!!
Ward, the hybrids Cherry Chief, Cherry Queen, Raspberry Royale, Plum Wine, and Maraschino were all discovered as garden sports long ago, when I had only a total of around 8 different greggiis and microphyllas. You are in for quite a time, and I would definitely take notes on possible parentage, and mark the plants.
Watch out on watering Dirtdiver. Greggii can quickly dry out even in a cold room. If the temperature is slightly above freezing they won't go dormant. You might consider keeping a decent sized Wild Thing as a potted plant and use the late winter new growth to make more. Last I left a medium sized pot of the hybrid Raspberry Delight outdoors all winter and was amazed to find it survived the winter here. This isn't Chicago, I'm in zone 6b/7a but we did have several nights around 10 degrees F. If you are looking to try other bush sages you might considier trying it. It is rather large and lanky and a very strong summer bloomer.
Thanks for the encouragement Richard, a few of the locals probably think I'm a bit crazy. Some your own selections have made offspring in the past few years. There is a rather nice four year old Royale seedling of a slightly lighter color with smaller leaves. And Marachino may be involved in another, it is red and at times looks slightly orange. Now that I have access to almost unlimited space to grow them it will really be "a time". Maybe something really good will eventually occur. Watching the new seedlings grow and approach flowering is something like the run up to Christmas; I feel like a kid.
I never really thought about crosses when growing from collected seed of any plant.
I just got 3 Salvia greggii Heatwave which I'm potting up to overwinter outside (with leaf bag protection) instead of putting in the ground at this late date. Know it's wrong time of year to plant them in this zone but I got weak as they meet the size requirement I have and really wanted some greggii early next year.
The bed where they're destined to go will also have Salvia farinacea "Victoria" which you sage people will know is blue.
Guess there's a chance they could produce seed with crosses in bloom?
After reading this thread I'm having second thoughts about putting them in the mailbox bed due to possibility of plowed snow being dumped on them that close to the street.
Assume they'd have a hard time staying sharply drained under hardpacked snow particularly if we have a winter where it stays on top of plants for extended period.
Since I won't be planting them out until Spring I can put them by mailbox and move them next Fall. They may be destined to spend the rest of their natural lives in pots since that mailbox bed is the only full to mostly sun position where I can plant.
Would it be better for plants to have pots buried in mailbox bed in Spring for easier removal in Fall or plant in ground and then return to pots for overwintering?
I would not plant brittle stemmed sages like greggii or microphyllas where a snow plow will forcefully deposit heavy wet snow. They will be easily shattered.
Better to go with sages that come out of the ground in the spring.
This is a little off topic but some woody sages make good annuals. Microphylla Orange Door has done better than almost any other. There are several in a sheltered area near the Delaware that are still blazing away. It has the most wonderfully bright odd pink color that I can't quite nail down. It would work if you like the greggii/microphylla flower type.
Thanks for "sage advice"...my little Heatwaves have beautiful flowers which I hope the Hummingbirds will like.
I googled "salvia spring growth" and came upon the Cabrillo web site. Breathtaking.
The Salvia semiatrata is just so lovely.
Found photos of Raspberry Royale on another site...gorgeous.
Have Caradonna up in that mailbox bed.
So many beauties, so little safe sun space to plant.
Thank you guys for your advice. I mulched the heck out of it and after the last frost, I didn't think it made it. I went out to check how much damage the rains had done and there at the base, new leaves. I didn't cut any of the stems in the fall because I wasn't sure but I can cut them now.
That is great information. Wild Thing is among a select few greggii the are completely reliable here in South Jersey. They along with the hybrids Raspberry Delight and Cherry Queen already have set their first flower buds and should bloom in about a week or so.