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flowers more tenacious

Posted by four 9B (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 27, 13 at 15:42

The only Salvia that I know first-hand is S. coccinea.
Blossoms always have dropped as readily as loose paper bits.
Probably it just is what this species does; correct my guess if I am wrong.

Please recommend an equivalent (i.e. long- and profusely-blooming)
whose flowers hold well.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: flowers more tenacious

There are probably 300 or more Salvias that fit your spec. To give a good recommendation you might want to specify color, height, USDA Zone, flower season, etc.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

Red, tall, 9B, all.

Flowers-to-vegetation ratio high.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

Hi Four,

I’ve sent you e-mail through the website with some info and a link to a hummigbird forum where there are many posters from Florida who are serious hummingbird gardeners. Whether or not you are interested in hummingbirds, I think they could help you find plants that meet your criteria and do well in your climate. And did you see the recent thread on Salvia regla? Kermit is a super expert and can help you as well, this is just in addition. Good luck.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

> Posted by river_crossroads
> hummingbird gardeners.... could help you find plants that meet your criteria and
> do well in your climate.

Good suggestion, I will pursue it.
Food for butterflies is my objective. Both they and hummingbirds like my S. coccinea;
and are subjected to detached flowers when trying to drink from them.
It is comical to see the hummingbird snap its head to the side to fling away the
loose flower over its beak.

> the recent thread on Salvia regla

Thanks, I searched for, found, and read it.
For reason of information stated therein:
"this species requires dormancy.... slow to emerge as well",
regla is not for me.

Kermit emailed a link to a briefly annotated list of red salvias.
The information bit on S. holwayi that makes it of interest to me is:
"From fall through spring".
I would appreciate inputs from those who know S. holwayi.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

The flower season you need is critical. Also, if four feet tall is your desired height, it is easy to find suitable selections. If you want plants six feet or taller, then you are much more limited. The other critical variant is whether you are in an arid or subtropical climate. I am assuming you can amend your soil type, and that you have access to either sun or shade.

Do you have carpenter bees, common in the southeastern US, with large, shiny black bums? They very vigorous work flowers, especially when the weather is hotter than normal. By mid day, most flowers rather tattered. Smaller blue flowered sages fare better, and these will work with butterflies as well, not so much with hummers.

I don't know of any sage that blooms continuously. The best I can recommend is a selection of four to six with overlapping seasons. And with climate change and more erratic weather, bloom times and durations are also getting more unpredictable.

If you are looking just for short-day reds (and fuchsias), S. gesneriflora mountain form is also worth considering. This is in section Nobiles, which includes S. adenophora and S. disjuncta. Holwayi belongs to section Cardinales, which also includes puberula, involucrata, wagneriana, and karwinskii. There are also hybrids amongst them that should work.

The image is of S. adenophora, taken during a visit at Cal State Fullerton from a field trip during the Second Salvia Summit, held this last March at the Huntington Library and Botanical Garden. It seems to have been in bloom for at least two months. The ratio of bloom to foliage is optimal, though gesneriflora mountain form may be denser.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

> Posted by rich_dufresne
> The flower season you need is critical.

Dec through March.

> if four feet tall is your desired height

Four is ok.

> arid or subtropical climate.

Subtropical.

> can amend your soil type

It is sandy.
Amend, no.

> access to either sun or shade.

Shade in abundance.
Some spots of long summer sun.
Winter-angled sun hits current sunny spots for fewer hours.
If more hours needed, then I will clear in order to increase them.

> carpenter bees, common in the southeastern US, with large, shiny black bums?

So THAT's what they are. Almost always a few.
Abruptly in high number yesterday,
and they tore up the Pentas the worst ever.
I do not think that these bees go much to my S. coccinea;
possibly they readily learn to bypass the flower-droppers.

My abundant Zebra Longwings prefer the S. coccinea.

> If you are looking just for short-day reds (and fuchsias)

Color preference takes back seat, other criteria drive the issue.

> S. gesneriflora mountain form....is in section Nobiles
> Holwayi belongs to section Cardinales

I do not understand sections.
Am willing to learn.

> S. adenophora... March.... been in bloom for at least two months.

Hits the season requirement.
And good flower ratio, thanks for showing it.

> The ratio of bloom to foliage... gesneriflora mountain form may be denser.

Neat, my further exploration will start with that one.

Thanks.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

can amend your soil type

It is sandy. - Amend, no.

Can you get organic matter, like leaves, coffee grounds from Starbucks or a road stop restaurant. It needs to be clean of debris.

I do not understand sections. Am willing to learn.

Sections are clusters of closely related species, with many shared characteristics, such as habit and flower type. Variations occur with leaf and flower sizes, sun/shade requirements, and general growing conditions, including flowering season. Holwayi has pure red flowers and can get 3 to 4 feet tall. Puberula and involucrata get taller, have fuchsia flowers and bloom late summer to late autumn. Karwinskii blooms later, but gets much taller. Wagneriana blooms in winter, and can have white or pink bracts. All of these sage species share involucres, which are rose bud like structures at the growing tip of the flower stem. They have tubular flowers.

Section Nobiles is a related group, usually taller and with more succulent stems and flowers with larger lips, relative to flower tube length and cross section.

You should be able to find online images of the mountain form of gesneriflora.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

Salvia miniata always grew well for my dad in St. Petersburg and might work for you since it likes a bit of shade. It continues to bloom for me in my greenhouse during the winter so I don't think day/night length is critical, and I'm pretty sure I remember it blooming in St. Pete in the winter. My dad's garden also focused on butterflies.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 21:08

> Posted by rich_dufresne
> Can you get organic matter, like leaves.... clean of debris

I can catch maple leaves on a tarp.
Then just stir them into the dirt?

> Sections are....

Thanks for the explanation.

> find online images of the mountain form of gesneriflora.

I already know that it is what I want, on the bases of
what you wrote (mostly that) plus a few things that I read thereafter.
I hope that I can find seeds somewhere.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 22:03

> Posted by karen__w
> Salvia miniata... might work for you since it likes a bit of shade.

Thanks, Karen, that characteristic interested me,
and I found more mentions of it that do not limit it to "a bit".
Thus, I am thinking of growing that one in addition to any other that I may choose.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

Salvia miniata has been reported to be mildly invasive in southern Florida. It is native to the low mountains of Belize, is well adapted to southern Florida and sets seed well.

I doubt if anyone is supplying seeds of gesneriflora except for very small quantities.


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RE: flowers more tenacious

I have literally thousands of gesneriflora seeds, but they may not come true as I have a few different types which presumably hybridize easily. In my NorCal climate they get quite tall and wide. I have the space, so I don't mind.

S. karwinskii is another favorite bloomer of mine and I have tons of seed, but again, a few types in my garden and therefore the seeds may be hybrids. Karwinskii gets very tall here. The light pink version [Strybing] starts in December and blooms until about summer!


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RE: flowers more tenacious

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 20:26

Thanks, voodoobrew, I will email you.

(Sorry for the delay in this asknowledgement.
I do not know why your posting did not come to me in email;
all the others did. )


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the carpenter bees

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 1:17

Rich, even a few are being a serious problem.
All Pentas flowers, my mainstay food, daily are trampled, like whole plants might be trampled by dogs or kids. Precious little remains in any condition for butterflies.
Do you, or does any reader, know of a solution?


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