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Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Posted by ccroulet z9 CA Sunset 18 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 2, 08 at 21:50

Gardenweb has apparently purged old messages. I'd hoped to bump the "my little Salvia apiana" thread to currency so as post my promised Feb 2008 follow-up. Anyway...

Here is a population of S. apiana, photographed today, Feb 2, 2008. These plants are west of Temecula, CA, in Riverside Co., just a few feet north of the county line. S. mellifera is also common in this area, and the two species hybridize here. The sticks that are sticking up all over the place are dried up S. apiana flower stalks from last summer:
Field of Salvia apiana.  Riverside Co. line, west of Rainbow, CA.  2 Feb 2008.

This looks into the heart of one of the plants, showing the new growth, mostly from just these past two months, since our first serious rain event was Nov 30. You can see that the young leaves don't have the white hairs that they get later:
Salvia apiana, showing new growth.  Riverside Co. line, west of Rainbow, CA.  2 Feb 2008.

Last August I posted photos of two young plants living under the blazing sun of summer. I couldn't find those particular plants today, but this is representative of similar plants as they look now:
Young Salvia apiana.  Riverside Co. line, west of Rainbow, CA.  2 Feb 2008.

These are some of my own seedlings, photographed Jan 23, 2008:
Salvia apiana seedlings.  23 Jan 2008.

This is a closeup of one of my seedlings on Jan 23, 2008. This one is quite a bit larger today (Feb 2):
Salvia apiana seedling.  23 Jan 2008.

This is a cutting I took last July. I took two cuttings that day, and they seemed to exist in suspended animation for months, neither dying nor putting out roots. One never developed roots, but this one finally took off during the fall:
Salvia apiana cutting.  23 Jan 2008.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I would be very pleased if you could give a detailed description of the substrate that you use for your S. apiana seedlings and young plants.

Regards,

Janus


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 3, 08 at 8:59

Wonderful photos, CC! I think I would like to roll around in the field of apiana in the first pic. Oh, that scent! :) Thanks so much for the update.

The small apiana I planted around April or May of last year has really grown, as well, and I have it supported now, since the blustery weather was really blowing it around. I will try to remember to get a pic of it when daylight arrives.

Brenda


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

janus59: Prior to growing these I did a lot of online research on growing media. Not that I'm an expert now, but a year ago I knew zero about it. Based upon my research and what I read about growing native Calif. plants, I decided to use "peat lite"-type media for all steps.

I germinated the seeds in 72-cell seed trays, using EB Stone Seed Starting Mix. At the 2-3 leaf-pair stage I transplanted them into the 4-inch pots you see in the picture, using Sunshine Mix #1, with some myccorhizal fungi spores and Osmocote 14-14-14 pellets mixed in.

If I had to do it again, I might leave out the Osmocote at this stage, since the SM#1 already comes with a fertilizer charge, and I've had some transient leaf-yellowing that may or may not be due to the Osmocote. There were no yellow leaves in the seed tray, which had no fertilizer. Also, the multi-cell seed tray (instead of an undivided tray) is pointless with seeds so small and viability so low.

All germination has been done outdoors, on a shaded side of the house (though with about 45 minutes of morning sun) and without bottom heat. I may try lights and heat in the future, since growth has been slower than I'd like. The seedlings have been subjected to lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s and low 60s. We've had below-normal temps for several weeks now, not so much at night (very little frost this year), but during the day, when high-60s low-70s would be more typical on sunny days. After transplanting the seedlings into pots, they were moved to an area that gets dappled mid-morning sun and some afternoon sun. They'd get fried if the sun were high, but right now the sun is very gentle.

The cutting was originally planted last June in the EB Stone seed-starting mix with myccorhizae added, and now the cutting is in the Sunshine/myccorhizae/Osmocote mix, as mentioned earlier. It's doing fabulously now. For rooting I enclosed it and its pot (not the pot in the picture) in a Zip-lok bag, and it was outdoors in shade. That was during summer, and I did not feel compelled to try bottom heat at that time.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Thank you very much for your very detailed information. If your germination rates are low, I would recommend using smoke primer. Last year I germinated S. apiana seeds with and without smoke primer obtained from Ginny Hunt. Seeds treated with smoke primer for 24 hours had about a three-times higher germination rate than those not treated.

Janus


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Actually, I had a much higher rate of germination with S. apiana than with S. mellifera sown at the same time, but I can't quantify it. I just don't think it's enough to justify parsing out only a few seeds at a time to each cell in the propagation tray.

Last week I sowed a new batch of S. mellifera, because I wanted to do it a bit differently: no cells in the tray, and use "smoke." But what I'm using as "smoke" is burned plant debris from one of the October fires you probably heard about. I used a sieve to sprinkle a fine dusting of it on the seeds. I'll let you know how it goes.

BTW, I don't think it would be much fun to roll around in that field of sages. It's rocky; there's all those old flower stalks; and I personally think the smell of live S. apiana foliage is vile. S. clevelandii is heaven, and S. mellifera is a pleasant reminder of all those days tromping through the chaparral when I was young. But S. apiana? Yuck!!! I don't know what it smells like when burned as smudge, but the live shrub is awful, IMHO. No wonder it's claimed to drive away evil spirits. Even they can't stand it!


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

  • Posted by dicot Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 3, 08 at 17:17

That's interesting to hear Janus about the effectiveness of the liquid smoke, as I asked about that with a number of growers and they all said it was unnessecary and added nothing. The ones who recommended any treatment said pour boiling water over the S. apiana seeds or even heat in an oven briefly.

Ccroulet, are you surface sowing the seeds or giving them some depth in the growing media? I've had trouble with moisture control while surface sowing - I just don't have the time to give to keep them continually moist at the start.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

The batch you see in the photos was surface sown. I then sprinkled a bit of medium very lightly on top, but that was it. In my latest try with mellifera (I'm out of apiana seeds), I used a sieve to sprinkle a light dusting of peat moss on the seeds and then I dusted them with the charate. Then I used a spray bottle to moisten the surface. The growing medium was already damp, of course. For my first batch of seeds (the apianas in the pictures), I had the cells sitting in a tray, and I filled the tray with water and let it soak up through the propagation medium. Then I put on a matching clear lid to retain the moisture. The trays and lids are standard items bought at a hydroponics store. I thought the resulting medium was probably much too wet, and a visitor with some experience groaned when he saw how wet they were. But they germinated just fine and never needed additional watering. I had *zero* problems with damping off, which is unlike an experience several years ago. In that case I grew some melliferas using some potting mix that my wife had, and I lost a lot of plants through damping off, and then I had problems with them drying out after I uncovered them. Out of hundreds of S. mellifera seedlings I germinated that year (fall 2003), *two* plants survived, which are in the ground and flowering in my yard now. That's one of my motivations for working with this now: I to gain some mastery over the process.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I want to amplify and correct some things I said in my earlier posts.

First, a correction: I said my photos of S. apiana in nature were "west" of Temecula. Well, they're sort of west from my home, but for those of you looking
at a typical road atlas to figure out where the heck is Temecula, CA, the photos are south-southwest of Temecula. If your map is detailed enough to show the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, the photos are between the Reserve and the county line, a bit west of I-15. "Temecula" is accented on the second syllable, not the third.

Also, I hadn't said anything about pre-treatment of the seeds. That relates to the question of when to sow them. Available info is confusing and contradictory. Dara Emery's "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" says on p.23 that Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sows "shrubs and trees by the middle of March," but the table on p.92 says to sow S. apiana and S. mellifera in "early fall." An online propagation protocol from the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery on Santa Catalina Island says they sow them in a shadehouse "during late winter and early spring." Hmm. I decided to go for a fall planting, because I hoped to have some good-sized plants by the following fall. I also decided to experiment with cold stratification for an intended three months.

In early August, not long after I'd collected the seeds, I soaked them in water at room temperature for 24 hours. The seeds glued themselves together into a paste, which I hadn't expected. I spread the damp seed "paste" onto coffee filters and inserted the folded-up filters into peat moss in butter containers, which I then put in the fridge for an intended three months. In late October I checked the progress of the seeds, and I found that some of them had already germinated, and, worse, some of them were rooting into the coffee filter paper. Emery says (p.20), "If any white root tips are visible, the entire batch should be sown immediately." I mulled it over for a few days before getting down to work. Most of the glued-together clumps of seeds were easy to break apart. At first I tried to sow three seeds per cell in the 72-cell tray, but I quickly decided that parsing out a few at a time into each cell was tedious and probably not worth the effort. I sprinkled the remaining loose seeds over the top of the growing medium. I manually pressed them down into the surface of the medium and sprinkled a dusting of peat moss over the top, thin enough to allow them to get plenty of light. For the seeds that had rooted into the coffee filter paper, I clipped the paper with scissors and inserted the paper & seedlings into the medium. To my delight, these coffee-filter seedlings became the largest and most vigorous of all, and the filter paper itself completely dissolved into the planting medium. As a group, these S. apiana seeds, have shown much higher viability and have grown much more rapidly than some S. mellifera seeds sown at the same time in part of the same container, but I don't have any controlled data to say whether it's due to the pre-treatment or some other factor.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Time for an update.

Since the pictures I posted on Feb 2 (photos taken on Jan 23), my seed-grown apianas have grown spectacularly. And to think I was previously complaining of slow growth! Im startled at how quickly the root systems have grown. About two weeks ago I noticed them coming out of the holes of the 4-inch pots. Then I pulled out a couple of the plants and found the roots wrapped in circles around the bottom of the pot. Its hard to believe theyve grown so much in six weeks.

In the earlier "My Little Salvia apiana" thread, I questioned whether jeraperthros plants were really S. apiana. I owe jeraperthro an apology. My plants look even less like plants in nature than his/hers. The only facts which keep me confident that that these are really S. apiana are: (1) I personally collected the seeds from Salvia apiana plants; and (2) the leaves, when rubbed, are starting to give off the skunky smell characteristic of S. apiana. I wonder when theyll actually look like white sage

This photo (Mar 5, 2008) shows the exact same plant as the little one in the Jan 23 photo. In the earlier photo it is a speck in a 4-inch square pot. Now it easily spans a no.1 ("1 gallon") pot.
Photobucket

Here are some more plants as they exist today (5 Mar 2008):
Photobucket


My goal when I started this was to have 72 good S. apiana plants ready for sale/trade/donation by next October. Im not sure that Ill have that many. It depends on whether some of the small plants have a big spurt of growth now that they've put out all those roots. If I had it to do over again, I would have collected and sown many more seeds to achieve the 72 good plants. And let's hope they actually look like white sage by then!


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

They should. New growth of gray sages is often green or even somewhat chloritic, because it is so busy building biomass that it is putting little energy and mass into the hairs that will later reflect light when it becomes over abundant and slows down growth. Give it some time to reach puberty.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Thank you for your comments, Rich. I was hoping you'd have something to say (anything!) during the course of this thread. There hasn't been a lot of discussion in this forum of the species that interest me, and I've had to feel my way along with regard to procedures. I'm not an experienced gardener, and this is the first time I've attempted large-scale propagation in a quasi-professional manner. Procedures and materials that may be second-nature to others have been major discoveries for me. One thing that has helped immensely, I'm sure, is that I don't have to struggle with climate issues. OTOH, I hadn't appreciated that I'd need a lot more seedlings so I could do some culling to get the 72 superstars I want. I wonder: For a commercial grower, how much culling do they do to achieve the desired number of salable plants?


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Time for another update.

Since I put my Salvia apiana in no.1 pots in late-Feb/early-Mar, they have grown rapidly. Up to now these plants have looked more like salad greens than white sage, but some are starting to show white on their newest leaves (not easy to see in the photos). As before, I've included a photo of one particular plant to show its progress. In the group photo, the closest row (row running from bottom center to upper right) is S. mellifera. Although they were sown at the same time as the S. apiana, the S. mellifera haven't grown as fast. They finally went to no.1 pots only a week ago. They're already noticeably larger than when they were in 4-inch pots.

One problem I'm having is that unseen critters are chewing up the leaves at night. Another problem that I never dreamed of having is that these plants may outgrow their no.1 pots well before my target date of 1 Oct. Many of the S. apiana already have roots coming out of the holes in the center-bottom of the pots. In just a month they went from the ball that was in the 4-inch pots to the bottom of the no.1 pots. My plan was that no.1 would be the largest pot I would use.

The cutting that I photographed for previous reports is now in the ground now.

The plants in the front row (bottom center to upper right) are S. mellifera, 21 plants total. The S. apiana total 75 plants in no.1 pots, and I may transfer another 13 plants that I considered underachievers but which may catch up to the rest. Taken 5 Apr 2008.
Salvia apiana & S. mellifera.  5 Apr 2008.

Same exact plant as in earlier reports. Taken 5 Apr 2008.
Salvia apiana & S. mellifera.  5 Apr 2008.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Here's the latest news from my White Sage (Salvia apiana) project.

I couldn't find the exact same group of plants in my Feb 2 photo, but these are very close. Some are in flower, most are on the verge of flowering but not quite there. This is in the Rainbow Glen area of sw. Riverside Co., Calif., within feet of the San Diego Co. line. Photo taken 27 May 2008. 33.43395 N, 117.1630 W, 1468 ft. elev. +- 39 ft. The photo looks generally north. The green plant on the far left is California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica). The thing sticking up in the middle is a spent flower stalk (last year's) from Our Lord's Candle (Hesperoyucca whipplei).
Salvia apiana.  Rainbow Glen, Riv. Co., CA.  27 May 2008.

This is a closeup of White Sage flowers, but I took this in my backyard (plant shown below).
Salvia apiana flowers.  Plant grown from cutting from Rainbow Gap.  11 June 2008.

These are the plants that were in the 4-inch pots on Feb 2 and the 1-gal pots on Apr 5. The plants in the rightmost row, heading from bottom to right, are Black Sage (Salvia mellifera).
Salvia apiana from seeds.  Germinated late Oct '07.  11 Jun 2008.

This is the same plant as in the 6th photo in my Feb 2 post. It was grown from a cutting taken in July '07 from a wild plant. The plant has honored me with a panicle of flowers, which are in the upper right of the photo. Sorry for the confused background.
Salvia apiana from cutting from Rainbow Gap.  11 Jun 2008.

This is the same plant as the tiny one in the 5th photo on Feb 2 and in the 1st photo on Apr 5. The new leaves are white, and the old "salad green" leaves have whithered away.
Salvia apiana from seed.  11 Jun 2008.

Although I've planted four of my seed-grown plant into my own native plant hill, I still have about 80 potted Salvia apiana ready for market. Alas, I need a Calif. nursery license to sell them.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Corrections (sigh!): Pic#5 in the latest batch is the same plant as #5 on Feb 2, #1 on Mar 5 and #2 on Apr 5. Also, correct coordinates of the plants in habitat are 33.43395 N, 117.16360 W, 1468 ft. elev. +- 39 ft.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

As someone who just ordered salvia apiana seeds I thank you for this thread!


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

An ancient thread resurfaces. My plants in the pots got white foliage during the summer of '08. By the time I donated most of them to the California Native Plant Society San Diego Chapter's plant sale in Oct '08, they looked (and smelled!) as standard S. apiana should. I planted several on the hill in my yard, and I still have a few in pots that I don't know what to do with. I'd expected to sew some new seeds this year, but I haven't done it, and I'm not sure if I will. I'm trying to develop other salvias from seed, and I have enough to keep me busy.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Thank you very much, I will pass this along to the grower.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Love the pics of this plant growing wild but so far I have not been crazy about plantings I have seen in gardens. It always grows all wonky and crazy. Maybe too much watering or too many nutrients in a cultivated garden?


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I've never seen it in a private garden. A large number of them are planted at the Metropolitan Water District's building at Diamond Valley Lake, Hemet, and they look fine to me. The appearance of wild plants varies. As they get older and spread out, there may be some dead patches near the center. Also, they often look pretty sad during the summer-fall drought, especially if the preceding winter was dry. The attractiveness of S. apiana in various situations is an acquired taste.

As a point of interest, there are vast numbers of this species on the south side of Palomar Mountain, San Diego Co. They are particularly abundant along Hwy 76 between Rincon and the junction with East Grade Rd., and also along South Grade Rd. (S6) going up the mountain. There are also a lot of them along Hwy 79 heading south from Hwy 76 toward Santa Ysabel, but unfortunately a big batch of them was graded off near the entrance road to a casino.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Clematis, next time you drive down Lincoln Boulevard through Playa Vista near LAX, take a look at the plants in the median right near the restored wetland area. I think they are S. apiana. Yes, they do get a little crazy in form, but I like the idea of roadway/highway plantings that don't require irrigation. Also, in that coastal location, I don't think they'll ever look totally "dried and fried."


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I grew up (to age 13) in the Westchester area of L.A., and there weren't any S. apiana along Lincoln Hwy in those days :-) At the time 1940-50s, Lincoln Hwy was kind of in the boonies.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I had someone from this forum show me their S apianagrowing on a granite embankment here in Austin. It is in a xeric Garden with other drought tolerant plants.I am working on creating a bed for S.apiana,clevelandii,,spathacea and columbariae any suggestions on cultivars and soil? I have
clay which would not be good.We also get some winter rains
and temps in the mid 20's. I have heard a n appication of wood ash would help with S.columbariae.
Art
art


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Rich Dufresne could probably give better advice. If I were in your situation, I'd be tempted to try planting them in a mound of sand/gravel/rock, maybe mixed with some compost. I'd have it in a sunny location. Winter rain, or lack thereof, isn't the issue. It's summer rain, humidity and steamy nights that do them in. Where these species grow naturally, summers are dry, and summer nights are mild or cool (i.e., sometimes you might want to wear a sweater). Except for S. spathacea, they'll probably take your winter temps. However, looking at an old climate summary, I see that Austin has had temps down to 15F, which is really pushing the envelope with S. clevelandii and S. spathacea. OTOH, S. apiana grows up to 5000 ft on Palomar Mtn, and they get regular winter snow up there and temps in the teens.

S. spathacea grows in richer soils under live oaks -- or so I understand, as I haven't yet seen it in nature. It doesn't grow in my area. At Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (Claremont, CA), they have it growing in partial to nearly full shade (two large patches of it). One patch is under a native coast live oak (Q. agrifolia). My S. spathacea are in partial shade, but one of them gets too much sun when the sun is furthest north, and it gets scorched and doesn't recover until late fall. The good news is, you can easily divide it and try the pups in other locations.

S. columbariae is an annual. It likes well-drained, gravelly soils and full sun -- you can't give it too much. Get seeds from Theodore Payne Foundation. In Calif., I'd sow it in the fall, Nov or Dec.

Check the Las Pilitas website for info on all of these and suggestions for cultivars. Most S. clevelandii sold by nurseries are hybrids, though not always labeled as such. Cuttings get passed from nursery to nursery, but most growers have never seen it in nature, and they don't know what it really looks like. Of pure S. clevelandii, "Winnifred Gilman" is very popular. Hybrids like "Allen Chickering" and "Pozo Blue" grow much bigger, bloom earlier and longer, and *may* tolerate colder temps. Las Pilitas introduced "Pozo Blue," and theirs have endured temps to 10F at LP's Santa Margarita site (central Calif., inland from the coast).


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Ccroulet, you'd be in for a big shock now. The median in question is just south of the Lincoln/Jefferson intersection. If I get that way again, I'll see if I can get a photo of the plants.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

ccroulet:
Thanks so much. We don't usually get down to 15 degrees
it is more like 20-30. I assume when you say live oaks
your refering to Coastal Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia).
We have live oak here (Quercus fusiformus or virginiana)
both are breifly decidous (new leaves push off old leaves
in early spring). I will plant S.spathacea in shade with
my S.involucrata. Is there a Clevelandii cultivar that
is more tolerant of water?Our Summers are hot, humid and Dry but we have the occasional tropical sytem move in during hurricane season.Iknow Pat McNeal had some S.
clevelandii planted on a limestone slope and they did
pretty well until we had a winter with temps around 10
degrees for a week.Shut the whole state down in 1989.
I will make sure to put these in gravelly soils. how about S.mellifera?
Thanks
Art


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Yes, "live oaks" refers to coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia. I would expect S. spathacea to also grow naturally under California sycamore, Platanus racemosa. S. spathacea would probably benefit from richer soils than other Calif. salvias that grow in more xeric locations, but I haven't done anything special for mine.

Rich Dufresne is really the one you should ask about growing Calif. sages in humid climates. He seems to have a lot of problems with them. For me, getting them through the first summer-fall can be a problem. Most wild plants simply don't survive, but in a garden situation we're trying to baby just a few precious plants, so they need water the first year. Established plants look better if they get a deep, monthly watering in summer and fall.

For me, S. mellifera is easy to grow, both from cuttings and seed. Soil should be as for the others. Keep in mind that Calif. native plant communities (coastal sage scrub, chaparral) accumulate a layer of detritus that both protects and cools the roots, and provides protection for seeds. That's one of the adaptations for the dry summers. Myccorhizal fungi are also helpful (reportedly). I saw one online plant-growing project where they inoculated the growing medium with genuine local soil, to get the native fungi. In my pots, I've been using a commercial inoculum.

In nature, they like full sun and, sometimes, partial sun. You don't want waterlogged soil. They expect to get toasted in the sun for weeks at a time. I think they're going to require fairly mild winters. Mine have endured 23F without harm. For me, the clue as to what they'll tolerate is that wild plants grow generally below about 3000 ft elevation, and they're most abundant below, say, 2000 ft. I'd think occasional 20s would be OK, but regular blasts of teens would probably do them in.

Our local S. mellifera have white flowers. They are reportedly blue in some other areas. Most people would probably not consider them to be very interesting. You have to love Calif. native plant communities to really appreciate them.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Help! I am new to Salvia Apiana. I live in SLO County CA where this plant grows naturally in certain places. Not knowing anything: I initially planted the 3 Saliva Apianas in my front yard in dense, highly nutritive clay soil and right on the drip line. Then I researched the plant and discovered it supposedly should be planted in dry, well drained soil and not receiving extra water (and probably no summer water)? My plants had been in the wet clay for months and looked very happy. One was sending up 2 large flower spikes. But I was concerned they wouldn't live long staying in wet clay all summer. So I moved them to large pots with a well-draining soil. And now, I think they are struggling. The flower spikes droop completely down if I do not drench the plant with water every other day. And on that second day, if it doesn't get watered by 9am, the drooping begins, but pops back up after a good drenching and 20 minutes. Now I am very conflicted and don't know what to do. Is the plant just stressed from the move? Or should I leave it in the damp clay where it is being watered for 20 min. on the drip line every day during the summer? Even I was surprised that it appeared to be very happy here considering everything I have learned in retrospect. HELP! Any advice is appreciated!


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

I have seen these growing in Monterey, SLO and Santa Barbara counties in pure clay. Now, this is on steep rocky slopes where water cannot accumulate, and on south facing hills that are dry shortly after a rain.

Try fall planting of small plants, letting the winter rains do the job. This species does most of it's growing from fall to spring, and this method is typically successful for all of the California native sages.


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RE: Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation

Samarpana, it sounds like you panicked when the plants were actually doing well. Kermit has good advice, and I have nothing to add.

My own situation has changed from when I posted those messages in '09. We moved inland and higher, up to about 3930 ft elev. (Anza, CA). It's great for astronomy, but not so good for the native salvias I liked growing. At this elevation, we get occasional winter snow and frequent freezing temperatures. We had two nights of 15 deg F this past winter, and I suspect it can get a lot colder than that. I miss my clevelands that were doing very well on my native plant slope in my Temecula yard. They should be in flower right now. Some of the hybrids will probably survive here (most Salvia clevelandii sold by nurseries are hybrids with S. leucophylla), but I don't think I can get away with real clevelands. Two native salvias that should do well here are S. pachyphylla and S. eremostachya. I almost lost one of the latter last summer (grown from seed when I was living in Temecula), but it now looks like it's going to survive. We also have three S. pachyphylla, but they came from a local nursery, and for me that's "cheating." We also have S. apiana growing naturally in the area, so I'll try to cultivate some of those later this year. We're too high for S. mellifera. They stop at about the 2500 ft level on Hwy 371.


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