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Basic salvia problem

Posted by connie1946 NE WI (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 27, 07 at 14:48

I have a salvia plant that comes back every year (for about 5 years now). I don't know the species...but it's bright blue and the bloom starts out short and cone shaped -wider at the bottom than the top. As the flower bloom matures the stalk gets taller (from 5 to 8 inches) and tiny blue flowers start opening from lowest to highest..until they covers the stalk...then the blue diee off from lowest to highest. I usually deadhead these stalks when most of the blue is gone. Sometime the blue stalk devides into two at the tip.)
Anyway...the question is:
This plant blooms all summer but very early in the summer the leaves and stems of the plant look dry and turn brown, the leaves curl up. Still new growth keeps coomming from the top of this terrible looking plant. There are also some new shoots that come from the ground ..often a few inches from the plant. I haven't got the heart to destroy this plant because it tries so hard and comes every year and it does make flowers. BUT Is it normal for most of the height of these plants to look terrible while it's still making flowers? It's in full sun.
Do these plants need special care? I haven't noticed and insects bothering the plant and it stands among normally healthy plants of other types.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Basic salvia problem

I think an image of the flowers will be needed for an ID. Maybe its a nemerosa type. I'd make sure there is good drainage and that there aren't too many soil fungi or that the spot did not formerly support a sick plant.

RE: Basic salvia problem

Thanks for the reply.
I was looking at Google images and I think the plant is called Salvia Superbrum.
I think I should move and divide it. Because it has some fresh growth low to the ground.
I think I should cut it way back and hope the new growth come up looking better.
Would you wait till spring to do things like move and devide a salvia?

RE: Basic salvia problem

Salvia x superba sounds right. This was started from seed, unlike sterile nemerosa forms. It can be divided in spring or fall, when growth is active. If you do this in the autumn, make sure it has time to reestablish a good root system, to avoid frost heaving.

Are you in USDA Zone 5 or 4? Northeast Wisconsin might mean you get temperature moderating effects if you are near a large lake (around 1/4 mile is the range, depending on prevailing winds and air drainage).

RE: Basic salvia problem

I'm in zone 5a - Door County WI...about 4 miles from lake shore, on the canal that cuts through the Door penninsula to join the Bay of Green Bay with Lake Michigan.

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