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Overwintering perennial plugs

Good evening. I purchased a number of perennial pugs last Autumn and have managed to bring most through the winter. However the sage / salvia is looking poor. I am wondering whether maybe I’ve watered it too much or else: Is this normal die back for a perennial. Any thoughts? Thank you. Katie-Sue. 🌱🌱🌱


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,658
    edited 10 January
    Do you know what variety of salvias they are? The hardy herbaceous perennial ones normally die back and regrow from ground level in spring, whereas the shrubby ones generally lose their leaves and the amount that the stems die back depends how cold it is. Some years they die right back, others they grow back from all over the plant, sometimes it's somewhere in between.
  • KatieSueKatieSue Posts: 29
    Thank you Jenny. I bought the plugs on special offer - 72 for the price of the postage! I will hang on to them and see if they come back in spring. As they die back then they may just be dormant. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,932
    If they were small plugs in autumn, they would have needed warm conditions over winter to be happy, even if they're the tougher salvias. Even jumbo plugs would have needed decent protection, as they wouldn't be doing much growing from that time of year. It can be a tricky balancing act with these plugs, even with  totally hardy plants. 
    That's the problem with these offers. They often aren't worth it at all. The best time to get plugs [of anything] is spring because plants are wanting to grow, and conditions are better. Autumn ones will always be harder to manage, especially in colder damper parts of the country, so your location is a factor as well.
    However, if any are viable looking, they might survive and grow, but they'll need nurtured a bit. If you have any photos, that can help too  :)

    @Lyn is very experienced with growing from seed/plugs, so she might be able to help further.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,992
    A lot depends on whereabouts you are keeping them, are they up against a house wall, in a coldframe or greenhouse ? Also your location in the UK can have a bearing. 
    Do you have any fleece for extra protection? 

    I think l know the types of perennials they might be, from offers l've seen in the papers etc. If you're happy just to wait and see what happens in Spring that's fine, but as @Fairygirl says if you would like to post a couple of photos in the meantime, or the names and variates as mentioned by @JennyJ, then you might get some information to make sure that you can give them any extra care and get your money's worth from them  :)
  • KatieSueKatieSue Posts: 29

  • KatieSueKatieSue Posts: 29
    Thank you for all of the useful information.
  • KatieSueKatieSue Posts: 29
    They have been in an unheated greenhouse and I have watered them sparingly. I have removed the dead leaves.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,932
    That looks fine @KatieSue :)
    It looks like something's had a wee nibble at it, but that's pretty normal. Do they all look like that?
    Keep them on the drier side - if they're out in a cold frame or g'house, they'd normally get enough moisture from the surrounding air, so they'd not need watering. The time to check more often is when temps rise, as even a basic frame can get very hot on a sunny say, and then very cold later on. 
    If they're in the house, the same applies, but they may dry out more quickly if you have heating on etc. Be sparing with the moisture though, and only water if the soil/compost is feeling dry or the plant's wilting. Feeling the differences in weight is also a good way of checking how wet or dry they are, so lift them up regularly so that you get a feel for that.
    It's always a bit of a balancing/juggling act from now until spring  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,658
    The picture looks like a herbaceous one, and it looks fine for this time of year! Keep doing what you're doing :)
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,135
     Everything in my garden is from seeds and plugs originally,  bought from J. Parker.
    I pot on the plugs and keep them in an unheated GH until frost are over, thats May here, just keep potting on,  by the time they’re ready to go out they’ll be in big pots so will survive slug damage. 
    Perennials will die right down and shoot up from the base in Spring so don’t worry about them,  keep them fairly dry. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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