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Which salvia to start with??

Posted by smokey28777 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 15, 07 at 18:47

I have a perrennial garden and want to add salvia this fall/next spring. Can you tell me which ones are good to start with and the best place to order them? I want to start with a hardy variety and I live in western north carolina. Our winters get down to around 5 degrees on the coldest nights. Thanks for your help as salvias are new to me but from what I am reading they would make a great addition to my garden.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Which salvia to start with??

I just prepared a list of suitable Salvias for someone between Greenville and Spartanburg, SC. I can send a copy to you as an Acrobat file offline.


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

Richard, if you could send me one as well I'd appreciate it. I'll email you.


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

I think I would choose either a hardy red selection of Salvia greggii, or Salvia guaranitica. Both of these are long bloomers, relatively easy to find, and adaptable to your climate, I expect. Why a red salvia greggii? I just like red. Another color would work as well, just select a cultivar that is hardy in your winters. If you weren't insisting on a hardy salvia, I'd go with Salvia coccinea. It grows easily from seed, grows fast, tolerates any climate.


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

My only question for anyone in eastern zone 7 is whether it is too late to be planting salvias at this point? And further whether there is any advantage in planting them now? Species like greggii make a lot of progress in the first season they are planted and by mid season, at least for me, aren't that far behind the older plants. You might consider making early purchases say next March, pot them up a size or two, and keep them protected until the danger of freezing has passed. You can even take cuttings and make more for the summer. They root pretty fast in April if it is warm enough.


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

Frost heaving is the enemy of woody sages like Salvia greggii, and that depends on winter cold spells.

A lot of the success of a fall planting has to do with the length of the growing season. Will they find a decent window of mid range growing temperatures and not have a misadventure with hurricane rains, drought, and an early freeze?


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

Maybe that was why several seedlings that didn't sprout until late in the season survived last winter - a winter that didn't start until the end of January. That winter wasn't so kind to some of my older more established plants. A large patch of microphylla Wild Watermelon only survived as a single layered branch that didn't even sprout until May.


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RE: Which salvia to start with??

I'm in central NC, and black and blue salvia did great for me. My regular soil is quite sandy, and my black and blue is planted in a raised bed with amended soil on a south-facing brick foundation wall. The plant that gets a bit more shade is smaller, but blooms fine. The plant that gets mostly sun is in the 3-1/2 to 4 feet tall range. It's hard to say because it's in the raised bed. It keeps the bees and hummingbirds happy and the green leaves are bright, the blue is electric and the black stems set them off nicely. Salvia coccinea 'snow nymph'would be pretty in front, though it is says it is perenniel in zone 9.


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