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Salvia season started in the Netherlands

Posted by corb Z8 Netherlands (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 16, 11 at 5:36

Hi All,

After a harsh winter in the netherlands with very low temperatures (even on the seaside where I live) and for our default winters a real long and thick snowcover (>20cm at times) spring has finally arrived.
I am in zone 8/9 based on the average climatedata.

I try to keep most of my sages both outdoors and indoors (unheated glasshouse) just to find out how easy some species are in wintering. Last winters I always moved all the S. elegans, S. curviflora and S.rhinosina inside simply because I had the feeling they would not survice even the milder winters. This year I had enough stock to experiment a bit so I have left the larger specimens of these 3 species outside. After this type of winter I had no real hopes any of them would have survived. Much to my surprise they all did and the new shoots are growing fast.

Just thought it would be nice to share this with you.

kind regards


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Salvia season started in the Netherlands

Hello Cor,

Thanks for the info. Similar winter here in England, but I think the thick snow cover during the coldest weather provided good insulation. Last few weeks have been mild and quite sunny, and I am amazed to see all that is sprouting so early!

Rhinosina (or whatever it really is!) seems to be totally hardy here, Elegans can be "iffy" but this year all ok. I have yet to have curviflora survive outside, though. Others which are sprouting away are 'Phyllis Fancy', 'Indigo Spires', darcyi, involucratas, guaraniticas, etc. Also surprised to see fulgens and nana coming through. Atrocyanea and concolor have a lot of new growth also, and regla has new leaves.

A few which never survive outside here are madrensis, confertiflora, iodantha, and purpurea.

Oddly, I have lost a few greggii/microphylla types, but these were not established plants. (Sod's law, these are the ones from which I omitted to take cuttings!)

Also lost a couple in the heated greenhouse......pauciserrata and sessei...I probably did not keep them dry enough.

Incidentally, I read your mail on the yahoo Salvia forum...I don't think many people are active on this any more.

Enjoy spring, and let's hope we don't get a late frost like we did in May last year, which burnt much of the new growth!


RE: Salvia season started in the Netherlands

  • Posted by corb Z8 Netherlands (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 17, 11 at 6:15

Hello Robin,

I kept atrocynanea in the unheated greenhouse and its now really growing fast.

My microphylla/greggi's (mainly royal bumble) also have gotten a real beating this winter. Even established plants have gotten frost deep into the woody parts. But I see for them now (just like coahuilensis) sprouting from the core.

Just saw glechomifolia, repens also coming up.

In the unheated greenhouse I got plectranthoides allready in flower and a lot of others have survived winter. I got a set of clippings from aurea (africana-lutea) which survived very good in the greenhouse. And loads of stuff that I have to still see in flower for the first time (stolonifera for instance !).



I posted on the Salvia group and got some response, always unclear to me where the "real" salvia group is hiding :)

RE: Salvia season started in the Netherlands

Cor and Robin great info from different climates!

Sounds like most of us in the northern hemisphere had a colder than normal winter. We had 72 hours @ 17 degree's F (- 8.33 degrees Celsius). While we to are zone 8 we have had colder in the past.
What survived here was elegans,ballotaeflora,
S x Mystic spires,involucrata with S.coccinea some lived some died (ie Coral Nymph and Forest Fire) very odd.
regla,microphylla,lyrata, azurea var.pitcheri,farinacea and greggii no problem.Lost purpurea,madrensis ,Silkes Dream another odd one.My friend(Who is farther north + 10 degees colder) who grows his on limestone scree is up and flowering. Mine was in good garden soil. Something else is his is always more compact not falling all over the place.


RE: Salvia season started in the Netherlands


Thanks for bringing this up, I've been wanting to share my experiences here in western Washington for some time now. I seem to be the only salvia enthusiast in the area even though the Pacific NW is a hotbed of zonal denial for many other species. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I live in Olympia, about 60 miles south of Seattle at the southern tip of Puget Sound. The temps here are nearly always several degrees warmer than Seattle during the day and several degrees cooler at night. The growing season is nearly 2 months shorter. Technically it's probably 8a but has definitely been more like 7b the last few years with sudden cold spells going below 10 degrees F on consecutive days without any previous cold days to provide hardening off opportunities.

I have a lean sandy soil. Drainage isn't a problem but Olympia does average 50 inches of precip per year, nearly all between November and April. July - August is dry as a bone with average daytime temps in the 70s and low humidity.

I'm just now starting to experiment with a lot of different salvias thanks to seed purchases last year and this year, will be able to share more at a later date.

I have had absolutely no luck over-wintering Hot Lips and other microphylla types, including the species, over several years. Many of these are listed as zone 7 or even in the catalogs but that doesn't apply here. I planted Furmans Red last year, which I believe is listed as zone 6, it hasn't made an appearance yet although I will give it until late May to be sure. I bought bunches of seed from Robin and others this winter but will make sure to take cuttings or grow in pots.

Black and Blue has come back for several years now but it and Purple Majesty did not pop until at least Mid-May last year and have not shown up so far this year.

I planted Regla Jaime late summer last year and had high hopes, no growth so far. Same for Miltiorrhiza, darcyi, canescens var.daghestanica, barrelieri. I plan to try many of these again and get them in the ground earlier in the growing season.

My pleasant surprise this year has been the glorious return of a stand of viscosa I started from seed last spring, I am absolutely besotted with the delicate beauty of the flowers on this one!

More as time/experience will allow. I know that the endless winter rains and low amount of summer heat probably has a lot to do with the difficulty in growing salvias in this part of the world.

RE: Salvia season started in the Netherlands

That S. regla (Jame) is one of my collected species. It is deciduous and will pop out suddenly. If the wood (I hope you did not cut it to the ground!) is supple, not brittle, and the cambium layer under the wood is green, it is still alive.

Ditto for greggiis and microphyllas.

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