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Woody salvias - how to keep them blooming

janebaljanebal Posts: 130
How can I keep my woody salvias blooming? Do I need to feed them with Liquid Seaweed. I have a purple one that seems to give up after it's first burst of flowers whereas Hot Lips keeps going until October.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    If they're in the ground you shouldn't need to feed them @janebal, if they're in pots you can give them tomato feed, but not too often. Do you know which variety the purple one is ? Some flower more than others, l have "Nachtvlinder" which flowers well, whereas "Javier" doesn't flower quite as much. 
  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130
    You have made a good point, Anni - Hot Lips is in the ground whereas the purple one ( a cutting from Rye railway station- no idea what it is) is in a big pot. I hadn't realized that some salvias flower more than others. When the purple one stops flowering should I cut it back at all? Thank you for your help.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    Hi Jane, l just cut off the flowering spikes as they go over. You could cut back into the stem a bit further if it starts going a bit mad, but l wouldn't go back too much. When it stops flowering, does it pause and then start again but with fewer flowers each time ? 
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I understood that salvias like quite low nutrient, poor soil.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    @Fire yes, they don't like a rich soil and they really need full sun. Sometimes in pots the leaves can turn yellow, so a bit of tomato food helps. Not much and very sparingly. 
    I've just got "Amethyst Lips", l think it's being officially launched at Chelsea next week, but it's been around for a while.

  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130
    Yes, Anni. The purple one does pause and then flower with fewer flowers each time. At the moment it is in full flower and looking excellent but I know it will gradually have fewer and fewer flowers as the summer progresses whereas Hot Lips keeps flowering right into October.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    I have one that behaves in a similar fashion @janebal, can't for the life of me remember which one it is 🙄. The only reason l can think of, is not enough sun, so if that's the case you could try moving the pot if that's possible.
    Failing that, you could try contacting Dyson's nursery to see if they can advise, l have found them to be very helpful. 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,053
    I have a red woody salvia, Greggii type, that flowers endlessly early spring to late autumn and a purple one, Nachtvlinder, which is more modest in form and flowering time. They are both in thr ground in gritty, improved clay soil. Is it possible the red strains are just more vigorous? I do have to keep chopping and tidying the red as it does take over. 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,316
    Like Nollie I have different Salvias. The red one Royal Bumble flowers all summer long and will take over the garden if I let it. Nachtvlinder also grows into a large mound but doesn't take over the garden, the flowers are a beautiful deep mauve. I also grow others, some in containers, especially the one that are not so hardy so that I can put them somewhere unheated in the winter.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    I think you are right @Nollie I have noticed that. The purple ones seem less vigorous than Royal Bumble. I also have one called Heatwave Blaze that can be quite thuggish.
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