Russian Sage: Is it mourning or is it dead?

woosmomMay 26, 2006

Yesterday I transplanted two russian sages and one catmint to a sunnier area of the yard. The three plants are in their second season and were in excellent health prior to transplanting.

Ten minutes after transplanting, they wilted! And I mean WILTED! 18 hours later, they are still droopy. Not laying on the ground, but very sad looking.

Does anyone know what happended and if the plants can be saved? I used root stimulator prior to planting and watered the area well after planting. They got a big dose of direct sun and wind yesterday afternoon. Could this have fried them? I didn't think much about transplanting in the afternoon given the hardiness of both species.

Any suggestions to revive the plants would be greatly appreciated.

Cori ~ The Challenged New Mexico Gardener

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ABQ_Bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

Plants don't like being transplanted when it's as hot as it has been. And moving from shade to sun is another big shock. So you're dealing with a triple whammy - transplant shock, heat shock, light shock. The biggest help to assist them in their new home would be to provide some shade and slowly acclimate them to the new spot by giving them less and less shade over time...

Also be careful of water - the plants are going to look droopy no matter how much water you give them because they're trying to deal with the increased heat and light. And you don't want the roots to rot. I'd probably just water like you were in their old locations - maybe a little less since they're in shock. You could add some humidity/evaporative cooling (by lightly spraying the dirt or walls or anything around the plants that's in full sun where it will quickly evaporate) which will help cool the area around the new plantings.

Warm weather transplants are best done during cloudy spells, it reduces the heat and intensity of the sun and provides some higher humidity. Good luck,


    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 3:24PM
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Thanks for the in-depth response Bob. Major winds, high temps, and little cloud cover ultimately sent the plants (or me) over the edge. I removed them and put in iris. I printed your post for future planting reference. Great information!


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 10:29AM
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shawna_8(z5 IL)

Woosmom - I'm curious - whatever happened to those Russian Sage? I just transplanted 6 giant plants and we've had 85 to 90 degree days. I'm completely freaked that I'm going to lose them all.

I've only watered once every day, but very heavily.

Let me know! Thanks! Shawna

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 4:21PM
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I planted some russian sage and 2 days later they were just as you described them, they were completly fried and droopy.I have bad luck with sage.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 5:21PM
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