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S. lavanduloides looks like dying – please help!

Posted by sunsetnovicegardener CA, Z10, Sunset Z17 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 07 at 12:45

I got a healthy S. lavanduloides in 1 gallon pot last month (2/10/2007). I do not think frost hit this plant since I put it in the ground. Its leaves are turning brown from the tip and new growth from woody stem seems to be drying up as well. (I noticed leaves hit by frost do not turn brown from the tip; instead turn brown wherever frost forms.)

It has been getting plenty of spring rain and placed in full sun. This salvia is not listed in Betsy Clebsch’s "Book of Salvia" so I thought I should seek help here. Cabrillo College’s Salvia Chart says this plant is semi-deciduous but my other semi-deciduous salvia’s leaves did not turn brown. I really like airy look of this salvia and I would appreciate your input.

Thank you for reading my posting.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: S. lavanduloides looks like dying – please help!

It sounds like root rot to me, especially the brown tips. Wilting and leaf drop are part of the symptoms, as is a potting soil that retains a lot of water. This is a Mediterranean plant and needs a fast draining soil and a neutral to slightly limy soil. Air drainage around the base is good. You can remove some of the dead leaves clustered at the base.

RE: S. lavanduloides looks like dying – please help!


Thank you for your response. Sorry I did not make it clear that I planted the salvia in the ground in my garden where get very good air circulation.

Cabrillo College's Salvia Chart says this salvia is from Central & Southern Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. So I thought it would like some moisture and dumped compost mixed with aged chicken manure in a planting hole.

I consulted with a volunteer at SF Botanical Garden at a plant sale 2 weekends ago. She says it might be getting too much wind. We put a protection around it but no sign of improvement.

Your assessment on root damage makes sense for I untangled bounded roots when planted and I might have damaged the roots. That is the only different thing I did for S. lavanduloides from 7 other salvia with root bound that I planted previously in my garden and all of them are growing healthy and achieving their mature size.
I bought a new plant of S. lavanduloides was available at the plant sale. I will not touch roots this time and hope this one grows well.

I put the link to the picture of S. lavanduloides:

RE: S. lavanduloides looks like dying � please help!

If anyone is wondering about the hardiness of this plant, I want to post a picture that I took today of one of mine, after several recent nights of frost in the Bay Area [unusual!].

RE: S. lavanduloides looks like dying � please help!

This one generally "looks like Hell" in the winter. It requires very good drainage and good air movement as well.

Doesn't look all that bad from the picture.

We are 140 miles to the North of you, BTW.

RE: S. lavanduloides looks like dying � please help!

Tony Avent planted about three different seedlings from Robin's seeds, and they were highly variable.

Here is a close up of some flower spikes

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