The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Perennials => Topic started by: Pescalune on June 30, 2011, 08:36:53 AM

Title: Salvias
Post by: Pescalune on June 30, 2011, 08:36:53 AM
I love Salvia nemorosa 'Mainacht' for the deep blue of its flowers in April/May.
The Australian nurseryman Marcus Ryan told us (at an MGS meeting in Mallorca) that at his nursery they pruned it  and obtained a repeating of its flowering later in the summer. But can anyone tell me if he meant simply to dead-headed it or to cut it back to the ground?
My second question is: have you tried any of these  techniques, or do you know any other to obtain the same result (a second flowering in the same year)?
I garden in the Languedoc, my Salvia nemorosa were planted three years ago and I no longer water them for they are in a part of my garden which does not get any irrigation.
Jean
Title: Re: Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht"
Post by: John on July 02, 2011, 07:32:15 PM
I asked Marcus about this and he has kindly sent a reply. He may at some point join our forum but as you can imagine since his trip to Europe he is now very hectic with work and family.

At Lambley Nursery, we grow a dozen or more selections of Salvia nemorosa and the related hybrids S. x sylvestris, and S. x superba. These are collectively known as Meadow Sages, and the varieties we cultivate include, 'Lubecca', 'Ostfriesland', 'Amethyst', 'Caradonna', 'Wesuwe', 'Mainacht', 'Blauhugel', 'Scheehugel', 'Viola Klose', 'Marcus', 'Tanzarin', and several of our own selections. Perhaps the most beautiful is the naturally occurring Salvia nemorosa ssp tesquicola, with its rich claret coloured bracts and violet flowers.

Our Nursery and gardens are situated in the windswept plains of central Victoria, Australia, with temperatures from -7C to 45C. This group of Salvias are frost and drought tolerant, thriving in our conditions. Our gardens are watered only 3-4 times per year, during the extreme dry of our summer months.

These herbaceous Salvias emerge in early spring, and flower strongly for 8 weeks until early summer. By late December we cut the entire clumps to the ground, leaving neither stem nor foliage. For mass plantings we use a powered hedge trimmer to save time and labour. Though this seems severe, within a week new foliage emerges, and by February (six weeks after pruning) the salvia's are in full flower again. The flowers hold well until late autumn.  This second flowering is usually a shorter height than the spring display, as the rainfall is much less for this time. During late autumn the plants are cut to the ground again, to make way for the emerging under-planting of spring bulbs.

This mid-season pruning will also encourage other garden plants to flower more strongly in the Autumn: Achillea hybrids, and the globe flowers Echinops  bannaticus and Echinops ritro will also benefit from this treatment, flowering strongly again in the autumn.

I urge you to try this technique: the well timed hard prune in summer saves one from otherwise diligently dead heading all season, and rewards with a strong second flowering, giving strength to the Autumn garden!

David Glenn, the proprietor of Lambley has penned some more detailed notes regarding these Salvia's on our website, http://www.lambley.com.au/garden_notes/in_my_garden_salvia_nemorosas
Title: Re: Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht"
Post by: JTh on July 02, 2011, 09:43:32 PM
I wonder if this S. nemorosa 'Mainacht' is available here in Northern Greece? Sounds like an ideal plant for my conditions.
Title: Re: Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht"
Post by: Pescalune on July 03, 2011, 07:36:44 PM
Thanks to Marcus and to John for this very complete and satisfying reply. I'll try Marcus' method and will come back to you.
Jean
Title: Re: Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht"
Post by: Christine on July 13, 2011, 10:40:18 AM
I too have decided to try out Marcus's suggestion and have cut to the ground half my established group of Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht" and half the Salvia x superba. The beds now look rather ugly, but I shall watch with interest to see what happens and report back.
Title: Salvia sonomensis - groundcover on dry shaded loose slopes - tried it?
Post by: MikeHardman on August 02, 2011, 01:57:08 PM
I came across this by accident.

Las Pilitas Nursery have a detailed description of it -
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/salvia-sonomensis.

It sounds like it would be ideal for a steep soil bank I have topped with Cupressus sempervirens var. sempervirens (not fastigiate) (which holds the top edge) and which casts light shade on much of the slope during midday to afternoon.

Here's what it is capable of
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2292/2366664751_da41b026d4.jpg
---perfect for me, beautiful, fantastic!
(context for that image - http://back40feet.blogspot.com/2008/03/regional-parks-botanic-garden.html)

I find myself thinking 'I've got to get me one of these' (like Will Smith in 'Independence Day').

If anyone has tried it in mediterranean gardens and/or knows of a source or has other comments, please reply!
Title: Re: Salvia sonomensis - groundcover on dry shaded loose slopes - tried it?
Post by: Alisdair on August 02, 2011, 03:46:44 PM
Southwestern Native Seeds (see draft List of Plant Suppliers attached to this plant suppliers posting (http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=158.0)) should have seed - if you're prepared for a wait! (They don't dispatch till the autumn, which would be the best time to sow.)
Title: Re: Salvia sonomensis - groundcover on dry shaded loose slopes - tried it?
Post by: MikeHardman on August 02, 2011, 09:39:06 PM
Thanks v. much Alasdair.
Now I have looked at their seed list, I have a few others I fancy trying.
Title: Re: Salvia nemorosa "Mainacht"
Post by: Pescalune on August 12, 2011, 08:28:22 AM
Here is the first result of the technique inspired by Marcus Ryan's talk I heard at Sally's house in Mallorca last spring.
I severely cropped the half-dried stalks in July, after they had finished blooming, leaving only the basal leaves; I used the dried sticks to cover the rosette to protect the plant from the heat of the sun. I watered twice; but we had some unexpected and unusual rains in Languedoc in July and August, so I was lucky.
And a few days ago, a first flowering stem, rather shorter than usual, began to grow and produced the flowers you can see here.
(http://)
Title: Salvia patens
Post by: John on October 08, 2011, 12:06:25 PM
This herbaceous species now comes in a wide range of colours but the typical habit is quite short, to maybe 60 cm. A friend of mine, from Kew student days, James Compton was in Mexico around 20 years ago (was it so long ago) where they collected this form. Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'. I personally don't think it should be a cultivar as there has to be several clones around. I grew about 6 from wild seeds and distributed them. This is from a wild population in the Sierra de Guanajuato with plants up to 2 m high and flowers 5 cm long. It maintains this habit in cultivation as seen here.
Title: Re: Salvia patens
Post by: Alisdair on October 09, 2011, 09:17:03 AM
As Salvia patens is a relatively thirsty species, this prompted a lively discussion on choosing plants to minimise water use, which we have moved here (http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=420): do join in!
Title: Re: Salvia sonomensis - groundcover on dry shaded loose slopes - tried it?
Post by: Richard T. on November 07, 2011, 11:03:36 PM
Hi Mike,
Here are couple of salvias that work well for me here in San Jose California: S. chionophylla (Mexico) & S. aurita var. galpinii (S. Africa).  Both are shown on Robin Middleton's website: http://www.robinssalvias.com  They are low growing, spreading, rambling types.  S. chionophylla spreads more rapidly.  I will try try to get seeds to Chantal for our seed bank.
Cheers
Title: Re: Salvia sonomensis - groundcover on dry shaded loose slopes - tried it?
Post by: MikeHardman on November 08, 2011, 07:45:36 AM
Thanks R.!
I am struck by how the foliage of S. chionophylla, in Robin's web site, looks so much like Leucophyllum frutescens.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Paul T. on November 21, 2011, 12:50:39 PM
Can I also recommend salvia chamaedryoides for a hot, dry summer garden.  Great silver foliage, almost lobelia blue flowers, and excellent droubt tolerance.  It never misses a beat. 8)
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on November 21, 2011, 03:29:39 PM
Salvia Chamaedryoides has been in flower for months and is still in bloom. Planted out last autumn.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: JTh on November 21, 2011, 03:49:13 PM
Fleur, were you able to by Salvia chamaedryoides in Greece? If so, where?
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: MikeHardman on November 21, 2011, 06:24:14 PM
Salvia chamaedryoides duely noted; thanks folks.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on November 21, 2011, 07:03:35 PM
Thorun - MGS garden nursery, last year. Sally did cuttings from her mother plant. I'm going to try taking some cuttings this autumn if it stops flowering!
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Michel GAUTIER on November 21, 2011, 09:35:36 PM
Salvia chamedrioides in my garden is blooming almost all the year, from january to december ! It is in full sun. This a picture that I made in november this year. It is a green foliage form, not grey foliage. I have tried to make cutting of this specie : is not easy...
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: pamela on November 26, 2011, 07:15:47 PM
Fleur,  that lovely S. chamaedryoides is so delightful with the Euryops. 
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on September 14, 2014, 10:11:23 PM
Has anyone grown Salvia 'Allen Chickering'? It has very pungent leaves.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Caroline on June 06, 2015, 12:42:39 AM
Can anyone give me some guidance as to how I should treat my Salvia cacaliifolia now that winter is here?  It was planted only a year ago, and has done really well in a modest sort of way. Should I cut it back?  If so by how much? My inclination is to take to it with the shears and reduce it by about half, but if there is an expert out there I would be glad to hear from them.  Frosts not an issue here... :)
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: MikeHardman on June 06, 2015, 05:44:33 AM
Not an answer, but of oblique relevance...

I see John Whittlesey has written a book on Salvias (reviewed in the RHS 'The Garden' magazine, Nov14, p.98).
I know John through violets, and am sure his book will have been well researched and based on a good amount of his own experience as a grower and nurseryman (in northern California).
'The Plant Lovers Guide to Salvias', 2014, Timber Press, 2014 220pp
Title: Re: Your Salvia cacaliifolia
Post by: Alisdair on June 06, 2015, 09:21:16 AM
Can anyone give me some guidance as to how I should treat my Salvia cacaliifolia now that winter is here?  It was planted only a year ago, and has done really well in a modest sort of way. Should I cut it back?  If so by how much? My inclination is to take to it with the shears and reduce it by about half, but if there is an expert out there I would be glad to hear from them.  Frosts not an issue here... :)
I'm no expert, Caroline, but yes, go ahead and cut it back as you suggest. It tends to sprawl, so that will keep it in shape.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Caroline on June 10, 2015, 10:33:13 PM
Thanks Alisdair - I gave it a haircut yesterday and noticed that new shoots are already starting to push up from the lower 'branches", so very timely.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: David Dickinson on July 24, 2015, 10:22:16 PM
Does anybody grow Salvia pachyphylla? I saw in the plant supplier's list that you succumbed, Joanne. Has it fared well/lived up to expectations? Would it grow in a pot?

I bought John Whittlesey's book "The Plant Lover's Guide to Salvias" recently (lots of good offers on Amazon) having read Mike's comments above. It is full of tempting photos and lots of useful information.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Joanna Savage on July 27, 2015, 02:11:16 PM
Hello David, Sad to say the S. Pachyphylla was short lived under my watch, but I would like to try again.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: David Dickinson on July 27, 2015, 02:19:27 PM
Thanks Joanne for the reply. Sorry to hear that it didn't last long. I might give it a try anyway  :-\
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: David Dickinson on July 27, 2015, 02:29:43 PM
Apologies Joanna. Misspelled your name, or rather, got it wrong twice!
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Fermi on July 28, 2015, 03:32:04 AM
Hi David,
I had it growing for a number of years in a raised rock garden bed with little supplementary watering but I think it finally succumbed to either severe drought or unseasonal summer rain! I can't remember which - it was a few years ago.
I have a new plant from seed which will hopefully go into a new bed this year,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: David Dickinson on July 28, 2015, 09:08:32 AM
Thanks Fermi. Looks like I'm going to go for it  :)
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: John J on August 23, 2015, 10:20:24 AM
Salvia patens 'Oceana Blue' is doing quite well in our garden despite the intense heat. We do give it a bit of a drink every now and then when it looks thirsty.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Fermi on December 08, 2015, 01:46:45 PM
Salvia muirrii benefitted from a trim back and getting some water in a dry spring.
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Charithea on February 25, 2018, 05:12:38 PM
I take BAD photographs and that stops me from posting photos of flowers  which bloom in our garden as often as I would like.  However, a friend, a retired school teacher, is a good photographer so when he came to photograph the Arum sintonisii Wednesday morning I asked him to help.  The following are his snap shots

 1 and 2 Salvia leucantha which seems to be the favourite for most of my visitors.
 3 Salvia microphylla very fresh looking.
 4 and 5 Salvia indicare-growing from last year. An on going battle with baby snails that escape my daily round up.  I have also grown three others from last year's seeds as an insurance. 
6 No name as the label faded.  It is 3 years old but has not flowered yet so can not identify it. Seeds from MGS seed bank.
7. Second year in the ground.  Same story.  If anybody recognizes it from the leaves please help.  I have looked up all the Salvia names from the MGS seed bank but I am none the wiser as to their names.
8 A sea of fresh green. Includes Salvia 'Hot Lips', S. discolor, S. africana-lutea and S. greggii[/i.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Umbrian on February 26, 2018, 08:23:04 AM
I think the many varieties of Salvia make wonderful ' backbone' planting in any Mediterranean gardening with their long season of flowering in many colours, variety of form and lovely aromatic leaves. I am fortunate to have a nursery close to me that specialises in them and am steadily building up my collection. At the moment we are suffering an unusual spell of arctic weather conditions and they are all looking rather sad but I am confident they will soon be bursting into new leaf and flower.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Charithea on February 26, 2018, 11:03:08 AM
I agree with you Carol. There are so many varieties and I am discovering that they do survive here if placed in  a favourable position.  We don't get the variety here because people don't apparently ask for them.  I have acquired a few salvias at a low price in early Spring last year because they were left unsold the previous year.  They looked sad but soon recovered in the ground. I have Salvia coccinea that has been flowering all year.  It came as a seedling in the pot of the Pavonia  that I was given by Sally R two years ago. It drops seeds in the nearby pots and now I have lots.  I have introduced  Salvia officinalis and leucantha into the village church garden.  I have been asked where the leucantha can be obtained. They sell for 8 euros when they do bring them in.  I have taken 'rootings' from our own for planting in April in the New Church Garden.  I am also planning to introduce Anthony Parker too as it has proved to be a winner.  Thank you David.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Charithea on March 07, 2018, 02:12:01 PM
I have had a wonderful present a few hours ago from my photographer friend.  He brought me a slightly snail- eaten specimen.  It is a Salvia hierosolymitana which he grew from seeds given to him by a friend who collected it from the Pentadaktylos Range in Cyprus.  Michalis, the photographer, belongs to a  group of plant lovers that collect endangered native plants.  He has given me seeds of various endangered plants a few months ago which are growing in many pots in the garden now. Unfortunately the day he arrived with them he had a slight accident and the seeds were mixed up.  Now we are identifying them as they are slowly growing.  For Michalis' efforts we gave him a Euphorbia dendroides and a Teucrium  flavum.
Title: Salvia leucantha 'Velour White'
Post by: Fermi on April 18, 2018, 12:32:10 PM
Salvia leucantha 'Velour White' was battered a bit last winter but is finally coming into flower now
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Charithea on April 19, 2018, 03:28:48 PM
My apologies for not participating for a while. I have been busy.  Fermi I love the photos of your flowers.  The dew on your flowers make me nostalgic for cooler climes. I am posting a photo of my Salvia hierosolymitana.  When it arrived as a small plant it showed snail damage but it is flourishing now.  The second photo is of my new Salvia hierosolymitana seedlings sown this year. The sticks are to stop my cats rolling on them.
Title: Re: Salvias
Post by: Charithea on April 23, 2018, 12:26:31 PM
I have finally identified one of the Salvias whose photo I have posted on the 23th February (no. 6)  It has flowered a few days ago.  It is Salvia interrupta.