overwintering inside - leaf drop

bella_trix(z6b SE PA)November 18, 2006

I'm trying to overwinter inside and have moved some of my plants to an attic room with a small window (very small) that stays at about 50 degrees (well, except for our crazy 70 degree days in November). The plants have been slowly dropping leaves. In fact, they look like they're all going to drop. Is this normal? Can they go dormant and leafless for the winter? Or should I pull them out of the room and switch them downstairs where it's warmer, but better lit? The sage in question are Pinapple, chiapensis (which is holding it's leaves best) and holwayi. Help!

Thanks,

Bellatrix

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

A sudden change of environment will always trigger leaf drop in Salvias, especially bringing in plants that are acclimated to cool, sunny conditions to warmer, darker ones. New foliage will replace the old. Watch out for root rot or inadequate roots, though. Digging up plants is the equivalent of a vigorous root pruining, and if the foliage is not cut back, the plant will drop leaves to restore the balance betweel leaf surface area and root mass.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 8:24PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

For a fast growing sage like Pineapple sage I'd consider trying to start cuttings now and growing the cuttings through the winter instead of wintering a large plant. Small cuttings will be a lot easier to place on a bright windowsill than a full-sized plant. If you plant small rooted cuttings in the spring you can have nice large plants by fall when they bloom. I am not sure if the same logic applies to the other two, which in my experience are a little slower growing.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 5:59PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Chiapensis is capable of going semi-dormant, holwayi less so. The latter can be cut back and will resprout new leaves at the nodes providing the plant was robust and not severely root pruned when dug up.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 6:09PM
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