Salvia Pachyphylla & Dorrii
I am brand new here. After seeing the incredible amount of helpful information here, I felt like I had come to the place where I could get some really good advice!
I LOVE salvias!!! What is even more wonderful is that it seems like few things will eat them in my area. After reading a lot of information, i decided to try both pachyphylla and dorrii var. pilosa. The seeds were collected at a much higher elevation than where I am at. the seeds have germinated successfully as well!!!!!! Now I have little plants that I have planted in a mass planting. My location is the dry side of the mountains (maybe 5" rain per year) in San Diego county at elevation 2500ft. Some of the plants I put on drip, and others I put on the new low-volume overhead sprayers available now days. During the establishment period I have watered frequently (3x per week) with no detriment so far. I am weaning them off of this and am at 1x per week now. I will probably need even less as we go into winter. Oh, I should mention the soil is sand and VERY well drained. So, you say, what's the problem? Well, what do I do now?
These plants get more rain in the natural environment than I get here. I will need to keep these plant on an irrigation timer, as I am gone for significant blocks of time. I know I need to do infrequent deep waterings, so...
1) Should I supplement rain fall through the spring (say 1x every 14 days) and then turn the irrigation off in June? Or
2) Should I continue the 1x every ? number of days all year?
I am not sure if these plants go summer deciduous in their native environment, but I am going to guess yes. If so, If I water all year, does this shorten the life span, and if so, how long will they live? I have no problem Supplementing the rain fall in the spring, and then letting the plants go dormant during the summer, if that will work without killing them in this very arid climate.
I realize I might be asking million dollar questions here! I have done a fair amount of research, including this site. Thank you in advance for any advice that anyone can give, and MANY THANKS for such a wonderful site!!!!!!