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Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Posted by hybridsage 8b Austin,Tx (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 29, 08 at 20:57

Everytime I plant S.patens it dies,is it to hot
for patens in central Texas? Any advice helpful.
Art


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

As I find it very easy, maybe excess heat is your problem. Have you tried it where it is shaded for the hottest part of the day, and do you give it plenty of water? It might well fry in blazing sun but I would have thought it should be happy with a good deal of heat if shaded and watered enough. I've certainly known it to be grown successfully in a glasshouse in Britain, and even in our climate it can get pretty hot under those conditions!


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I've tried S. patens several times with no success - our heat and humidity always seem to overcome it, and it only produces a few paltry blooms. S. guaranitica, in any of its color forms (dark blue w/green calyces, "Black and Blue", dk blue with almost black calyces, and "Argentina Skies", a pure, sky blue) is the best substitute I've found. It blooms all summer, attracts scads of hummingbirds, and is totally hardy here. It can spread, but is easy to control.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I've had the same experience in southern New Jersey. They rarely actually die but always look sickly. These days with so many sages that will thrive in our heat and humidity it is hard to find a reason to grow it - the flowers are fantastic though.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Well, sorry to say this, but in this year's cool and cloudy summer in England, all the patens plants have thrived, and flowered for months. Two years ago, we had a very hot and sunny summer, and they were pretty disastrous. I always plant them in a partially shaded area. They occasionally suffer from some die-back.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

It must be the heat since it doesn't survive here in central CA either.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I grow 'Guanajuato' in bright, dappled shade where it grows up through its neighbors and blooms just fine, especially in the fall. I think letting it mingle rather than trying to make it stand on its own keeps it from appearing too leggy.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Well, it certainly seems like it dislikes heat. Personally I wouldn't give up yet as I do think it's stunning - I haven't yet come across anything else to touch those flowers, certainly not S guaranitica which has its own place but can't compare for flower colour - but you might have to give in gracefully in the end! It sounds to me as though you need to try the shadiest place you have that isn't positively dark, and probably surround it quite closely with other plants to help conserve moisture. Sounds as though there would be quite a few people who'd like to know how you did it if you do eventually succeed!


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Thanks everyone!
My soil here is clay add to that drought conditions. I can water but the water is akaline too. Does it prefer a well drained site with more humus in the soil and a Ph preference?I also have several S.guarnitica forms.Are some
forms of S. patens better at taking heat? I can try the
ice cube trick too.In order to keep a cool root run during
our 100 degree heat.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Practically nothing really likes hard baked clay, so yes, the more you can do to break it up, add humus etc, the better, but I don't think it cares about Ph, though my soil and water are acidic. I don't think the forms differ enough to make any difference on the heat issue, but I suggest growing from seed (very easy) rather than buying in plants which might have been raised in ideal conditions, and will get a shock in your garden! It will probably grow very fast for you so you might have better luck if you can sow under controlled conditions fairly late - May, perhaps? - and plant out to flower in autumn when the heat starts to die down a bit.

What do YOU do to keep cool in all that heat?? I'm prostrate at 80 degrees!!


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

One way to kill it for sure is to overwater it when it is dormant in summer heat and in winter. It is somewhat rhizomatous.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I have tried growing from seed, growing in shade, part shade, everything, I have just traded for a plant, potted it up and just ignored and now it is in bud, it is the giant patens, now if the plant doesnt cark it in the meantime I may just yet get to see the flowers, I dont expect it to survive the hot humid summer but you just never know.

Cheers Annette


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Aha, Rich says it is dormant in summer heat - I had no idea it could do this! So maybe when you think it has died it is just sleeping, and could be coaxed back into life when cooler weather comes? I haven't a clue how to go about nursing it through summer dormancy and getting it to flower later, but perhaps Rich can help?


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Water lightly, keep it in good drainage, and keep the pot or planting site as cool as possible (for the root zone). This is a rhizomatous plant, which means it grows in soils that don't allow access to its food storage by gophers or pine voles. Think rocky slopes, not temperate forest soils.

The patens at Cabrillo was smashing when I saw it last August.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I will try S.patens again,no problem w/pine voles or
gophers ,just squirrels digging pecan and acorns into
the soil. I am also putting down a fir mulch(from
Christmas trees)to keep the ph in check. Even S.guarnitica
likes the fir mulch if I don't use fir they will show some
chlorosis here. Thanks to everyone!!
Art


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Drusilla, I'll take the heat over being able to grow S. patens (or delphiniums, lupines, astilbe, etc...) any day of the week. I hate being cold, as I am right now and will be for the next 6 months (it's 54 degrees F outside...). Once we were visiting Edinburgh in August during a "heat wave" - it was 78 degrees F, and as we stood in line to purchase tickets for the arts festival, workers were coming around and serving cold drinks to protect us from the "heat"!


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Art,
I'm down here on the Coastal Bend, and although I grow lots of salvias, I have not had luck with any of the blue flowered ones. I have tried them all over my yard and in town at our demo gardens. I have then in shade, full sun, partial sun, raised beds, composted beds, mulched beds, etc. I finally gave up on them. I think for me it's the combined high heat and high humidity.

Also a study was done in central Texas (I think I read it in Southern Herb Growing, Hill and Barclay.) that when the air temperature is 95 that the temperature at the ground level of the plant can be as high as 125. Even with mulching, I can't get the blue ones to survive.
Linda


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Linda:

Does that include the guaraniticas? I've heard reports that the Van Remsen form does well in Houston. Do you ever try shading the base of the plants with rocks? If you are like southern Louisiana, you will have to go far or pay a premium for hauling in rocks.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I have not had any luck with the Salvia guaranitica either. Like I said, I have tried to grow them several different ways and so far, I haven't had any luck. I sure do like them, well all of the blues, but they don't seem to like it here on the coast.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Itcollins
I don't have any problems growing several different
forms of guaranitica.Ie;Black and Blue,Argentine Skies,
Old American form. My "Purple Magesty" gets mealy bugs every now and then.Whitefly only occasionally. Mine are planted in morning sun only(4 hours) dappled shade the rest of the Day.Flowers for a good 6 months I do water in the summer too.I guess it also depends on how close to the sea shore you are too. I have friends in the Clear Lake area
who have no problem growing S.Guaranitica "Black and Blue"
but closer to the coast is a problem to much salt in the air.Well have fun!
Art


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Yup, 78 degrees is a heatwave as far as I'm concerned! A pleasant temperature to be out of doors in is not above 70 and 80+ is torture....at least it means I can take my hols out of season when it's cheaper!!

I don't mind the cold - you can put another jumper on or light the fire, but if it's too hot there is NOTHING you can do about it!

Yeah, OK, I'm just wierd, I know it.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

The blue salvia that has been performing beautifully for me west of Austin Texas on top of a high limestone hill with minimal soil and more than perfect drainage(read that as no water retaining capability) is Salvia Chiquita. The bees and butterflies have been mobbing it. I have watered it twice through the 45 days of above 100 degrees this summer. The blue is intense with a touch of violet but still definitely blue. A long stamen of small flowers. It is making seed. My other salvias are alive, that is all I can say about them this year. I have been thinking of trying the black and blue but some salvias (salvia madrensis) that grew 5' in Austin are only making it at 1' out here. I keep dumping the mulch and woodchips and anything else to build up the hummus.

As for what do we do to get through our intense heat. We swim in a natural pool called Barton Springs, that is 65 all year long, or some other spot like the Blue Hole, Blanco river, or Hamilton Pool. We swim. It is our religion.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

I just recently saw a couple of salvia patens at the nursery picked them up. I have them in well-draining soil container but in full sun they are not doing well so I have moved them into shade and partial sun and see how they do.


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Salvia patens dislikes intense heat and sun, best in partial or total shade. Don't give up with this beauty!


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

Robin

The flowers on this plant was quite large the main reason I bought it on the spot. But it is still doing the same even in shade till at least 2pm. But It has been hot here lately and this week will be even hotter mid 90s. So far it has been extremely stingy in giving up any flowers. Foliage appears good though. Possibly later this season it will do something when it cools some. Now Im beginning to think for my area this plant might be more of a house plant since it likes cooler shadier conditions. When I saw this in the nursery it wasnt out in the sun but under a greenhouse roof but It was cooler at that time and less humid.

Steve


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RE: Growing conditions for Salvia patens

So far I have not had a bloom open fully to what I saw at the nursery. Im thinking even though I dont have the heat of texas it still may be too hot for it in my summers. Im going to wait till cooler temps hit in sept. before I render a final judgement. At least Im hoping for cooler temps by then and less humidity. If I dont see results by then it will need to be discontinued here knowing that I cant grow it for hummer use. My property is small and I have to make use of the space I have.


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