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What’s happened to my sage?!

fizzylizfizzyliz Posts: 390
Everything around it is fine :-( I watered it the other day but it’s not looking great.


  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,256
    Basically it’s died .Looks terribly overcrowded to me ,just my opinion from what I can see .Somebody may come back with a different view ,they usually do .
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,405
    Agree with @bcpathome as the primary reason.  Sage is a shrub which wants some space and sun and to be planted in a reasonable well draining soil.
    The growth on the Heuchera and the surrounding plants suggests that your Sage is in the wrong site.
  • fizzylizfizzyliz Posts: 390
    @bcpathome @philippasmith2 - I’ve scratched stem and it’s lovely and green so still alive! Attached is a photo only a couple of weeks ago… it’s only in the last few days to a week it’s suddenly gone like that…
    when I initially planted the bed everything was a lot smaller with lots of gaps!
    Wrong site as there’s too much else there now since everything’s grown? Or another reason…? It’s done well until now. I agree it’s getting quite packed now everything has grown! 
  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,256
    Right well in that case May I suggest moving it either to a pot or a different place in the garden where the other plants will not grow up and overwhelm it. It needs space as it grows and develops and somewhere it will not have to fight for its water and nutrients.
    Pleased it’s still alive ….good luck .
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,912
    edited July 2022
    I'd guess that it's not getting enough water for some reason - possibly the plants around it are taking it all, possibly there's a big rock under it or an ants nest or some other issue. Given there appears to be a heuchera next to it, it could be vine weevil. It will revive, probably, if you water it but you need to work out why it's dried out so suddenly when everything around it is looking fine. I think bcpathome is probably right - dig it up, put it in a big pot, water it and find somewhere else to put it when (if) it's feeling a little perkier. If it is vine weevil, you need to get rid of them all before you pot it up.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • fizzylizfizzyliz Posts: 390
    @bcpathome and @raisingirl thank you.
    Hmmmm we do have a LOT of ants round here - black and red! 
    How will I know if it’s vine weevil? And any ideas why they would attack the sage but nothing else?
    Thank you 😊
  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,256
    I would doubt it’s vine weevil more likely that the other plants are taking the water and light ,however I may be wrong ,in which case ,when you dig it up ,if vine weevil is present you will see them .They look like white little elongated cases about the size of maybe a wood louse .If they are present they need to be sent to heaven asap .I don’t put them out for birds I just dispatch pdq .They can become a problem if allowed to develop.However  I am getting ahead of myself ,I’m guessing it’s not that ,if you still have plenty of root on the plant then it’s not been eaten and is ok to replant in whichever way you’ve chosen. 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,405
    Sorry but looking at the pic, I still think it is being out competed by your other plants ( which look lovely and healthy btw ).
    Ants prefer a very dry site.  Heuchera tend to enjoy slightly damper soil and can be very prone to Vine weevil - their grubs burrow up into the roots of the plant and quite often the first indication is that the plant will suddenly wilt and will easily lift out of the ground with the minimal effort.
    If the Sage is still "green", perhaps dig it up,check the root ball for either rot or grubs - if live and clean,  trim off the obvious dead stems, pot up, water and site somewhere suitable. With any luck, it will come back to life and then you can decide the most suitable spot in your garden to replant it :)
  • fizzylizfizzyliz Posts: 390
    @philippasmith2 @bcpathome @raisingirl
    Dug it up… no vine weevil hooray! No ants, nothing! Guessing it was losing competition to the others surrounding it. I’ve put in pot, put some tomato feed on it and a water… let’s see 😊 thanks for your help!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,164
    edited July 2022
    That is much much much too dry 😨 

    I would also add a lot of horticultural grit to that ‘soil’ … so it’s about 3 parts ‘soil’ and 1 part grit. That way you can give it loads and loads of water but the water can drain away quickly so the soil isn’t sodden. 

    By the way, vine weevil grubs tend to be found on the thicker juicier roots just below the crown on the plant … not on the fine roots … so it’s worth have a good poke around. 

    It’s not a great idea to feed a plant that’s already stressed. Also tomato feed promotes flowers and fruit … not what you need for sage … and Mediterranean herbs prefer soils with low nutrition. 

    I’d cut that hard back and plant it on its own in a gritty mix as described above, give it a good soaking and let it drain and leave in a semi shaded spot to give it a chance to recover. 

    Fingers crossed 🤞 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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