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To chop or not to chop / Salvia Guaranitica Black & Blue

SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
My salvia was actually still looking fine and happy until last week's frosts and snow. I had originally planned to chop it to one bud of the ground in the Spring, but wondering whether I should do it now instead as new leaves are sprouting already (in the middle of the frost-blackened ones).

Any advice would be appreciated.


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    I thought they were not hardy, so I put mine (it was in a pot) in the greenhouse.  I left all foliage on it.  

    I would leave the foliage on yours, as it will give some protection from frost.  A mulch of some sort would also help to protect it 
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,509
    Mine is also still doing fine and I've left it.  It's in the ground, I'll not cut it back until March asking with everything else,  I have taken some very healthy cuttings from the new growth! 😀
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    @KeenOnGreen I live in London and my garden is quite protected, and I did mulch in autumn. I do not have greenhouse (alas!) and this salvia is quite large so I don't have much choice but looking after it as best I can and cross fingers

    @WonkyWomble I'll heed your advice (and KeenOnGreen's) and leave the pruning till March then. Can you take cuttings from the new growth? How do you do it? I am new to propagation and not been very successful so far. I did take cuttings late summer but none of them took for this salvia. 4 cuttings of the Love and Wishes are surviving so far. But that's 4 cuttings out of 40 attempts, not the greatest record :/

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,481
    edited January 2021
    I agree about leaving the foliage for now, sometimes l have left it as late as mid April depending on the weather.
    I take my salvia cuttings in late Summer, but l find them a bit hit and miss and it seems to depend on the variety. Strong growers such as Royal Bumble and Hotlips seem to take very easily, but others (particularly the paler colours) seem to be much more difficult. Most of mine seem to be struggling this year whereas last year seemed more successful. 
    Hints here from Will Dyson, a salvia guru.

  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    @AnniD I am not throwing the towel yet with cuttings, but I have to say that all my efforts were rather disappointing. Still, will try again this year, especially since I saw that a 9cm pot of "love and wishes" goes for £7.99. At least I managed 4 healthy cuttings of that one :)

  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,509
    I have a sheltered garden too which is walled  in a Suffolk town. So the Salvia is quite protected.  I'm one of those gardeners that trys as there's nothing to lose.  When I see nice bit of new growth I just cut it off,  pinch out the centre,  strip some of the leaves off and make a nice clean diagonal cut at the base of the stem and stick it in the side of a pot of gritty  compost with the majority of the stem beneath the soil. Then leave it in my cold greenhouse,  or in the summer and autumn i just leave it outside.  Like I say,  nothing to lose and I usually have a 2/3 success rate  :)
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I’ve had limited success with cuttings too, even Verbena Bon failed and I have two out of six Amistad cuttings currently limping along. The Guaraniticas usually survive ok in the ground here, but this year we have had a very hard winter. I have bought some more 9cm pots as insurance! Sadly, Black and Blue had to go as it grew so huge and rampant it swamped everything else. The roots had also wrapped themselves around roses several feet away.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    After this post, we had a week of hard frost (for London). I heaped more compost and straw at the crowns of my salvias and crossed my fingers. Their foliage which was still green but died overnight but they survived! I chopped the old stems down this weekend and there are signs of new growth at the base. I was also bold enough to move one crown elsewhere as the weather is going to be very mild over the next few days.

    On the other hand, my salvia Love & Wishes doesn't seem to have made it through :/
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