Salvia patens Information

nuthatch_mo(Z-6 MO)November 20, 2007

Grew S. patens in a very, very large container. Had like 6 plants in it. Today when I went to clean them out, found that they were growing new foliage all around the base of the plant. Pulled one up and it had these long fat tubers. I cut back this years stems and leaves, repoted 4 of the plants that had new growth into smaller pots. What I want to know is, if I bring them inside onto a sun porch can they be overwintered and planted back out in the Spring? Have never tried to keep them before always just started new ones from seed.


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I bet you can. For several years I brought pots of Patens onto my porch for the winter, it was unheated but probably rarely hit freezing. I never lost a plant. It was the heat and humidity of summer that spelled failure for my plants. They would decline and look terrible for months until finally one year I let them go. It is a shame, because it has one of the most lovely flowers I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 6:25PM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

I am overwintering them this year for the first time as a tuber. I understand you treat them the same way as Dahlia tubers.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:16AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

You should be able to keep them. They're deciduous and die back in winter for me, then reappear in late spring/early summer. Keep them on the dryish side during dormancy.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:48AM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

Having said above that I have dug mine up - about 7 to 10 days ago. I looked at them yesterday and although they have been in the dark and in a near freezing garage, most of them have begun sprouting - little white shoots.

Any comments or suggestions. Did I dig them up too early? Do I leave them in the dark for the sprouts to die? - or what?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 2:59PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

As long as they are sending up shoots, keep them in the light, if only to replace the food stores they are expending to build the shoots. It sounds like they are in a warmer place.

Also, the shoots may be a response to the loss of fine roots, in which case the new growth will be dedicated to healing the root ends, which they will need when they resume growth next spring.

It is necessary when digging up tuberous plants to make sure you have more than the tubers and the stems that join them to the central caudex. In the image on the web page, most of these roots had broken or rotted out from too much water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salvia patens Guanajuato root system

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 4:49PM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

Thanks Rich - thats very helpful. My instinct told me that they were asking for light, so I shall give it to them. I think you have answered another query I had as well. When I dug them up they had a huge amount of fine roots, so much so that I couldn't see the tubers. Whilst I left a large amount on, I did remove a quantity - and I was concerned whether that was right.

I probably lifted them too early as well. Whilst temperatures have been down to freezing at night, some day temperatures have been quite a bit above. They always say with dahlias to let the frost kill off the top growth and then lift them. Presumably that goes for these as well. I assume it informs the tuber that winter has arrived. By lifting too early the tubers haven't got the message yet.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 6:51PM
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