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Growing S.Apiana seeds (on another continent!)

Posted by russ101 South Africa (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 17, 08 at 5:51

Hello all,

I live in Cape Town South Africa. I have no gardening experience, but desperately keen to grown White Sage plants. I purchased seeds on a local internet site, and tried looking up simple instructions for growing. The info on this website is GREAT and OVERWHELMING!

Some info on my home town: it's spring here, although still very chilly (8deg C at night and about 16deg C day-time). I believe these temps are too low for this plant, so I bought a small indoor greenhouse in which I intend growing the seeds. I bought some sandy compost/soil mix stuff (I heard about good drainage), some copper solution (prevents fungus/mildew I think? with something called 'supercharger') and some organic pesticide. As you can hear from my very technical explanations, I NEED HELP!

If there is anyone out there kind enough and patient enough to support a clueless gardner (but one who is passionately enthusiatic about growing this herb), please post here or email me: russta101@hotmail.com

I would like some simple instructions on:
- when to plant (season)
- depth of planting
- fertiliser
- how often to water / how to water
- any other helpful stuff

Thanks for an awesome website!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growing S.Apiana seeds (on another continent!)

Welcome to the Forum, White sage is fairly easy to grow from seed, I have managed to keep mine alive for 2 years now in a tropical climate, it sounds like you may have better conditions to suit, first of surface sow the seed, salvias need light to germinate, once germinated, keep moist until it can be planted out, this salvia is drought tolerant once established, sandy soil mixed in is great for this sage,once this sage has a good root system it can be planted out, full sun.I hope that this helps;)

Cheers Annette


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RE: Growing S.Apiana seeds (on another continent!)

This is my third try to post this. Grrr!!

Your climate should be roughly similar to mine in so.Calif., allowing for the flip-flop of seasons due to different hemispheres. Here in Temecula, temps like yours would be a bit cooler than average in March, our equivalent month, but not particularly remarkable. Our nights average below 10 C into late spring. Your plants should do fine. For me they were easy to grow from seed. I used about 2-1/2 months of cold stratification, sowing them when I noticed them sprouting in the container. See the earlier thread "Salvia apiana in nature and cultivation" for pix of my own plants.


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RE: Growing S.Apiana seeds (on another continent!)

Lucky you, if you have got the Salvia bug you are living in the right place! Lots of them will love your climate. S apiana takes temperatures close to freezing if it's not wet as well, so once established you will be able to overwinter it outside I should think. You will certainly be able to get it to flower, with all that lovely sun you get! It often doesn't here. Try S spathacea too - should do well for you. Do you have your native S dentata? I think it's gorgeous but you don't often see it here. Have you seen the message from someone looking for S aurea and can you help?

Was in SA 3 years ago - definitely the best holiday of my life, your flowers are wonderful (and I don't mean the protea-type things, which don't push my buttons!). It was mainly the flowers we went to see, but the whole experience was simply terrific, we loved everything - scenery, food, people, fauna, the lot. My husband says the best beer of his life was the one we had on the top of Table Mountain, having slogged up Skeleton Gorge and all across the top on a v. hot day!!


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