Salvia Pruning..please help

uofmrockyJuly 21, 2009

Well I just planted some new perennials in my back yard this year. I put in some Royal Candles and some Salvia Veronica Speedwells. My question is about the dead flowers.

On both plants they had beautiful flowers, now the flowers that were there are all gone and the stems kind of look pretty bad. Can I get rid of those old flower...and will new ones grow? Do I need to prune these to get new flowers to grow..or do i get rid of them and if so how?

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Salvia Veronica Speedwells are not Salvias. Veronica = Speedwell.

I am not surprised that the flowering stem has wilted. Is there basal or axillary growth at the base of the plant?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:52PM
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I am new to Salvia plants, and need information on how to prune them back. I have them in two large container gardens, and in a small garden plot around my mailbox. The gardens were developed by a local gardener so my thumb definitely isn't green. Please let me know descriptive info on how them should be pruned back. They are the Black and Blue variety. I have "deadheaded" flowers before, but have no idea how to treat this stalk-like plant!

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 5:52PM
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Depends on which part of Zone 7 you are in as to timing
of your pruning. Black & Blue (Salvia guaranitica) is
Dormant in the winter so prune the stalks back after they
turn brown.During the growing season pruning can be
done anytime you want. Either deadheading any of the
old bloom stalks or pruning back for shaping about 1/3 of the total plant height can be removed.If your daytime temperatures are above 90 I would avoid pruning until temperatures cool. This way you avoid bottom foliage getting burned.As the plant emerges in the spring you can pinch
new growth as long as it has 3 nodes pinch the top one
to develop better branching.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 6:23PM
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Art, up here in the great white north we don't prune our tender sages until spring. "They" say water gets in the stem and freezes but I am uncertain of the real reason. But whatever the reason leaving semi-hardy plants standing, and not just salvias, does seem to improve hardiness.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Thanks, you are right(of coarse) all you get to grow stuff up north I can only dream about.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:34PM
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It works both ways Art, it is always the thing we can't grow that seems most inviting. Because of our faily rainy summer and moderate temperatures all the greggii/microphylla are already well recovered from the summer doldrums, it should be an exceptional season for late summer and fall.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:49PM
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Thanks for the replies. FYI, the area of Zone 7 is the Knoxville, TN area. We had a huge amount of rain for weeks, now hot and dry. I had stopped watering due to rainfall, but now leaves are pointed downward, but not wilted. Watering 2x a week (need to do it more?). Will take your advice and not try pruning back. The salvia in container gardens are getting very tall and spikey. The ones by my mailbox are at mailbox height, so worried they'll bother the mailman as he has to reach through them to open mailbox!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 12:44PM
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When a salvia stem is used up turns brown I clip it as I have done this year and new ones sprout. The old spent stems take away from the plant so get rid of it. But salvia coccinea so far do not survive my zone 6 winters nor do sal subrotunda. Just this year for the first time I got a sal. black and blue to return.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:32PM
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