Salvia funerea

robinmi_gwJuly 15, 2006

Hello from England,

Recently acquired seeds of Salvia funerea, from Alplains (I think!), and was not very hopeful of them being successful here. Just one seed germinated, two months ago, and it is already in flower! Tiny flowers on a straggly little plant just 8 or 9 inches tall. They appear from whitish, woolly calyces. I have kept this Salvia in a small pot with gritty compost in the greenhouse where it gets maximum heat...easy, currently, as we are having a prolonged heatwave here. I am so thrilled about this, as I don't think anyone else in the UK has succeeded with this. A tiny plant, just a few inches tall may not be a success story, but for me, it is!

Seeds of S. summa and S. urticifolia unfortunately did not germinate, but I hope to try these again, should any more seeds be forthcoming. Seeds of S. mohavensis germinate easily here, but as far as I know, nobody in the UK has ever got this to flower. Maybe this hot summer might help.

Chinese species are particularly good this year, provided they are kept in semi-shade. S. castanea and S. digitaloides are just stunning at the moment. But they need an awful lot of water in the summer.

By the way, 2 new pages recently added to my site www.robinssalvias.com .Some new species are there.

Regards to all, Robin.

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Heathen1(10a)

Thanks! I love looking at your site! :o)
the other Robyn

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 8:36PM
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annette68_gw

Hi Robin,

It is great to hear off your success stories.I have just started the Salvia Mohavensis from seed, the leaves on this species stink.The seedling is growing in leaps and bounds, when I pot up to its final resting place, I will use gritty soil as you suggested.

Cheers Annette

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 9:32PM
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remy_gw

Hi Robin,
I want to see your pictures, but when I go to your site, there is nothing to click on to see them. I see the red salvia and can click on it, but that's about it. Maybe this problem has happened to someone else and you know why.
Remy

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:58PM
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annette68_gw

Hi Remy,

It happened to me too. You need to have java downloaded to see the flowers.

Cheers Annette

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:57AM
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robinmi_gw

Hi Remy,

Annette is right, you must have java enabled, this only takes a couple of minutes, if that.

Robin.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:42AM
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remy_gw

Thank you Robin. I'll ask my husband about it when he comes home.
Remy

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:27AM
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remy_gw

oops, Thank you Annette too!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:28AM
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remy_gw

Hi Robin,
It's been awhile, but I'm back to tell you I did get my husband to install the java. I'm so glad I did. You really do have quite a site. I love looking at all the photos!
Remy

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 12:42AM
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robinmi_gw

Remy,

Thanks for your nice comments.

After flowering, my Salvia funerea died! But at least I have seen it!

Robin.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:39PM
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gerris2

Hi Robin,

I am up for the Salvia funerea challenge! When you prepared your soil to grow funerea, what proportion of sand to stones to other materials did you use? I read that funerea lives in soils that are limestone based so probably lime in the soil might help in survival?

Joseph

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:59PM
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robinmi_gw

I just used a 50/50 mixture of normal seed compost and vermiculite. I think that seeds will germinate easily in any compost, provided it is fast-draining. Death-Valley type conditions would obviously be very helpful, somewhat difficult to achieve in the UK!

S. funerea actually flowered here within 2 months of sowing, I was thrilled, but sorry that the flowers were so tiny. Shortly after flowering the plants died.

BUT.....I was so delighted to see flowers for the first time. Never had any success with the smelly S. mohavensis, always germinated, but never flowered. Now I have a healthy seedling of S. summa, but expect that this will not be a success here.

Even with the abnormally warm and sunny spring here, no sign of any flowers on S. clevelandii or S. pachyphylla.
Grrrrr!!!

The warm spring has prompted rare Turkish species such as bracteata, albimaculata (this is stunning!), and aucheri to flower brilliantly!

Robin.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 6:35PM
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dicot

I sometimes see S. mohavensis while hiking in the Sierra foothills, but almost never see it in gardens or retail nurseries - maybe the smell deters people from what is a great desert plant.

Robin (or any other knowledgeable members), could you be a little more specific about your seed germinating mix for drought-loving salvias? You said 50/50 with vermiculite, is that better than perlite? What is in the compost mix - manure(type?), alfalfa meal, forest profucts, kelp, ...? How often do you water after inital germination?

I'm currently trying to germinate S. leucophylla, S. virdris, S. reptans, S. Africana-lutea, S. greggii and will be starting S. mellifera, S. dorii, and S. apiana soon in 6 packs and 4" plastic pots in my los Angeles backyard in full sun. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks - Marc

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:54PM
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gerris2

Thanks, Robin for your sage advice! I bought all the other xeric salvias Alplains offers so will try them to see how they go, and your advice will help to improve chances for success.

We are having an incredibly cold and very wet spring that happened after a short spell of warm weather. The warm weather woke up some of my salvias such as S. hians then the brutal hard freeze after the warm spell probably has killed it. I will keep watching the soil for signs of green...S. evansiana made it through so maybe S. hians will appear soon.

Hi Marc, I have S. reptans and S. pachyphylla growing out from seed now...we can compare notes. I have them growing in standard soil-less medium but have begun watering them less frequently now they have several true leaves. I almost overwatered a S. castanea into oblivion but it looks like it may survive now (thanks for that advice, Robin, too).

Joseph

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 1:12AM
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