Sunday, October 8

Do I Have Baby Salvias?

I was dismantling my large containers today when I came upon a few surprises. Six surprises, to be exact.

In two of the three pots where I had temporarily tucked some 'Caradonna' salvia, I found these tiny seedlings that looked like baby sages. One of them was large enough that I was comfortable breaking off a leaf and sure enough it smells a bit like meadow sage, too--just a lighter scent than my larger plants give off.

I'm kind of confused about all of this... how does this happen? The 'Caradonna' salvias were just babies (tiny little plants from Bluestone) and to my knowledge they haven't flowered for me yet.

Could these things have sprouted from some of the roots that were left in the pot when I unceremoniously yanked the plants out to put them in the ground? Or am I being fooled by a clever weed that just happens to look like baby sage and was growing in the right place?

I planted all of the tiny seedlings in my garden beds, but I have no idea if these little guys will overwinter since they're so tiny. Anyone have advice on how to give them a good chance--or do you think I should bring them inside for the winter instead of leaving them out? I would appreciate any thoughts on this... I would love to have more salvias, whether they are true 'Caradonna' babies or some unnamed hybrid between my 'Caradonna' and my 'May Night'!


Anonymous said...

I don't know if these are actual offspring or weeds. Can't tell from picture. It does seem likely that they could be "rooted cuttings" if some of the roots were left in... and they were good healthy roots. However, it seems MORE LIKELY that these are weeds.

I'm impressed that you planted them in your garden. I am contsantly fighting weeds and do nothing to RISK inserting anything like this into my garden. (My garden is FULL of Salvia nemorosa and it is sometimes hard to tell what is what.) I have the Mainacht (May Night), Caradonna, Ostfriesland (East Friesland) and Rosenwein (Rose Wine) (my favorite) cultivars. Each is just a little different in leaf or color (Rosenwein is actually reddish.) I call 'em "Woodland Sage" because nemorosa means 'of the woods.' By you are right, they are called all sorts of things: Violet Sage, Ornamental Meadow Sage, Balkan Clary, Perennial Woodland Sage.

If it were me, I'd dig 'em up. Put em in some smallish pot and greenhouse or basement-growlight 'em to give them a chance. There is NO WAY the roots on such small plants will be large enough, deep enough to penetrate the frozen layer. (I'm on Lake Michigan Zone 5.) So, I'd bet heavy that you'll loose them if the winter is normal to hard. If it turns out they are weeds... you know what to do (and they won't be in your garden).

Alternatively, LOTS OF MULCH... I donno. They might not be strong enough to punch through come spring. I'd dig 'em up. I'd work with 'em.

I HATE letting plant go to waste and have some big gardens. There is always room for more Salvia nemorosa... ANY VARIETY.

That's my 2 cents.

growingagardenindavis said...

Could they be seeds that were in the soil with the salvias and germinated after you put the salvias in the pots?

Unknown said...

Leslie, I hadn't thought of that, but it could very well be. Maybe when the nursery "makes" them they put extra seeds or extra cuttings in each pot and these just appeared late? Hmm.

Clerk, thanks for confirming what I feared... that the the roots on these won't be large enough to survive the winter. I'm still reasonably sure that they are salvias (and in any case they don't resemble any of the usual obnoxious weeds in my garden) but I will pot them up and let them hang out on a sunny, cool window sill this winter as you suggested.

I love the salvias, too, so they're definitely worth the chance in any case. So far I only have 'Mainacht' and 'Caradonna', but 'Ostfriesland' and the cute little 'Marcus' are on my wishlist. That 'Rosenwein' is a new one to me and it's very pretty... if I didn't have such trouble adding pinks to my garden, I'd be all over it!

Bob said...

Hi, I'm not sure what your winter weather is like but if it was here in the UK and they were seedlings I valued I would pot them up for the winter and protect them from the cold and wet weather.

Anonymous said...

They sure look like baby salvia plants to me. The plants seem to propagate well if any roots are left in the ground. Found this out when I was trying to move some. The funky smell would be a dead give away too.

I would mulch them well or move a few into a warmer place if you can.

Sigruns German Garden said...

You are lucky, that are babysalvias. I clicked the pic larger.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Plant Collector and Sigrun, for the positive ID! I will definitely be taking UK Bob's advice and potting them up to bring inside. In fact, I'll be doing that tonight because it's supposed to start getting COLD tomorrow night... :(

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