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Salvia greggii questions

November 23 2009 at 5:05 PM
Dan  (Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

1) Cherry Chief hybrid seems fairly popular among forum members, but not so much elsewhere. Where is everyone getting theirs? I didn't do a ton of looking this summer, but I did not see it at any local nursery and I don't see it on any of the popular mail-order sites I've visited.

2) I definitely remember seeing Furman's red locally. The way I currently have my 2010 garden planned there will be two spots where I want red salvia. One spot gets about 4 hours of morning to midday sun and the other gets about 8 hours of sun centered around midday. Assuming I have both coccinea lady in red and greggii Furman's red, which one would you grow in each spot? Can one of them get more shade and still perform well? My original plan had the greggii in the 8 hr spot.

3) Indy Steve, I think I read in an old thread you grew Furman's red for a few years and it did not perform well. Could you elaborate? I'd also like to hear from others about their FR experience.

4) I've never been a big pink guy, but the more I look at photos of greggii wild thing the more I want one. I see it at a couple mail-order sites, but is this something that has made its way to local nurseries?

5) Anyone know if the Mesa series hybrids have any greggii in them or are they microphylla or something else? I would love to get a Mesa purple. I know one local nursery had at least the Mesa rose and scarlet this summer.

Dan
Zone 5a
East-central Iowa

 
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Russ Thompson
(Login russlouky)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 23 2009, 6:39 PM 

Dan, I bought my Wild Thing at Lowe's in spite of the cost $10.99 and it did well in a pot.

wildthing3714.jpg

Russ Thompson
http://e-hummingbirds.com
http://vimeo.com/hummingbirds
http://hummingbirds.photoshop.com
Louisville, Kentucky

[linked image]

 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 23 2009, 8:42 PM 

Lady in Red can take shade and still bloom very well. I usually plant 3 or 4 in front of a shady bed that stays moist most of the time. It only gets early morning sun but the plants bloom very heavily. Most of my coccineas are in morning sun and afternoon shade. My greggiis are in as much sun as they can get and do very well.

Furman's Red was new for me this year and it did outstanding. It did take it a while to get going but once it did it was a non stop bloomer until a few weeks ago.

Wany of us grow Cherry Chief as a living memorial to one of our past forum members and moderator. It was one of his favorite salvias. Even so it is a beautiful greggii and I believe one of the truest red and largest greggiis. mine grew to over 3ft and bloomed all summer until a hard freeze in a somewhat recessed bed in nearly full sun. I got my plants from Rich Dufresne from A World of Salvias http://www.eclectasy.com/gallery_of_salvias/

Wild Thing wasn't much of a bloomer for me this year even though it was in full sun. It was very bushy but under 2ft. tall The soil may have been too rich thereby producing a larger plant with fewer blooms.

The Stampede Series of greggiis have done well for me. They grow and bloom quite reliably and with protection have been hardy. The flower of the Cherry Stampede which is what I had was more of a magenta color.

Penny
Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by Pennytoo on Nov 24, 2009 6:27 AM


 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Bird Lover

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 6:08 AM 

Cheery Chief is a hybrid from Richard Dufresne's garden and if you email him (A World of Salvias) he can tell you whether he has it for sale. It is a good red and bloom pretty well even in the heat of summer. My only gripe is it is not reliably hardy for me in zone 7a.

You won't see the same results from any of us on the various greggii and hybrids. Ron in Delaware and Penny report heavy bloom on Furman's Red but for me it is more of an autumn bloomer and its flowers are small. Wild Thing is one of the most hardy greggii here and also one of the earliest bloomers and one that stays in bloom all summer in any conditions. It is also fairly compact, less than three feet tall and wide.

For early bloom nothing seems to beat the hybrid Cherry Queen. It is very hardy. A couple of years ago it bloomed by early April and continued to bloom to hard freeze.

There are dozens of cultivars of greggii and its hybrids available, mostly by mail order. What is available at local nurseries, at least in my area, seems to change on a yearly basis. Cultivars come in and out of fashion. What is available usually has more to do with what the big growers are doing and nothing to do with any intrinsic value of a particular cultivar for a particular region.

 
 
Suchie
(Login Suchiek)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 10:38 AM 

I grew quite a few greggii's and their hybrids this season and they did very well. I have them in a well drained site with plenty of sun (8 hours or so).

Furman's red: grew upright and bloomed from May to November --- it slows down a bit in August.
Wild thing: blooms from May to November and grew slightly sprawling compared to FR.
Navojo pink --- bloomed the most of all my greggiis from May to November --- did not slow one bit.
Pink Preference ---- huge blooms from May to November.
Desert blaze --- very sparse blooms till September end, then it exploded with color. The leaves are pretty.
Heatwave series (blaze,scorcher)---- bloomed heavily from April to November.
Cherry chief --- bloomed from May to November --- grew tall, but not as bushy as the others.
Maraschino --- bloomed later in the season, but is still blooming. Grew tall and straggly.
Ultra Violet --- grew compact and bloomed mainly late summer and fall.

Have to see what comes back next spring.

Suchie

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Butterfly Lover

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 12:21 PM 

Dan

Yes its true I wasnt happy with my tries with furmans red, but dont put a lot of stock in that as many on here have been ok with it. I was really happy with the greggii autumn sage I got last year and I believe wild thing is just a variation of that plant, the sage being red and wild thing being pink. I took many cuttings from the autumn sage which Im trying to overwinter and see what happens. I also have seeds from pink white and purple which I will be trying in march. The only other labeling of my autumn sage was greggi red so thats all I have to go by

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]





    
This message has been edited by Stevenindy on Nov 24, 2009 2:01 PM


 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 12:35 PM 


Autumn Sage is the common name given to the Salvia greggiis. The species name greggii was named for Josiah Gregg by the American Botanical Society when he discovered the plants in the mid 1800's. So 'Furman's Red, Cherry Chief, Pink Perfection, Mesa series, Stampede series, Wild Thing, etc. are all Autumn Sages.

Penny
Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
[linked image]

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 2:29 PM 

Thanks, everyone. I've also been reading old threads today and there is a lot of good greggii discussion. What I'd like to do is get one wild thing and a couple different red greggiis to see how each performs in my yard. Since Furman's red appears easily available locally I'll give it a shot. I'll also consider getting a cherry chief from Richard. I'm looking forward to hitting all the local garden centers(and maybe one or two in chicago) next spring to see what they have.

Has anyone tried growing a greggii in marginal sun? I'd like a hanging basket with red flowers in a spot that probably only gets a few hours of sun(1 midday, 2 late). Would it be pointless to even try something like a Furman's red there?

Dan
Zone 5a
East-central Iowa


    
This message has been edited by hawkeye_wx on Nov 24, 2009 2:39 PM


 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Butterfly Lover

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 2:56 PM 

I had forgotten that I had supplied pics of my autumn sage over on gardenweb salvia [page 3] and Richard de Fresne had indicated he thought it was "cherry chief" and thats good enough for me. He had also revealed that "Navajo bright red" is the same as salvia greggii x microphylla "cherry chief".

On the same note the cherry chief I had tried before in Stans honor failed but it was also the summer of our flood which had submerged those plants. But this plant that I acquired last summer flowered beautifully and is the one I took several cutting from.

the Plant in the pot is a cutting I took from my sage[cherry chief]

Photobucket

Photobucket




Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 3:05 PM 

Dan,
I don't think that a Salvia greggii would work in a hanging basket. They are more like a miniature bush Also I think that even if you had a hanging pot large enough for it to flourish the shorter sunlight times might hinder flower production. How about a Fucshia. I have grown the Gartenmeister Bonstedt in conditions from dense shade to bright sunlight and as long as it got water and fertilizer they were heavy blomers. There is one that bloomers redder than the Gartenmeister but the name escapes me at the moment

Penny
Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
[linked image]

 
 
Gary
(Login Naturelover68)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 3:07 PM 

For me, the red varities don't seem as hardy as other varieties. In 2008 I tried Marachino, Cherry Queen, Flame, and Furman's Red and they did'nt survive the winter. I planted Raspberry Roayl, Ultra violet and Dark Dancer at the same time and they survived the winter. For many years I have grown Wild Thing and two other varietes whose names I don't remember and they have always survived the winters. Does anyone else have this experience with the red varieties? The red varieties are my favorites and if I want to grow them in the future I guess I'll have to take cuttings in the fall or dig them up and overwinter them in my basement.

Gary
Napoleon, OH
USDA Zone 5b

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 5:52 PM 

What kind of height are people getting from their cherry chief? Is it more than a foot taller than Furman's red?

Dan
Zone 5a
East-central Iowa

 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 8:20 PM 

Gary,
I haven't really paid much attention to which ones return when it come to color but a cherry stampede did survuve in a spot where cherry chief didn't.

Dan,
my cherry Chief grow to a height of between 3 and 4 ft. They don't seem to be as tight of a bush as the other greggiis. I imagine if I pinched them back early in the season they would get bushier and a bit more compact.


Penny
Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
[linked image]

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 9:02 PM 

Is it typical of all these red salvias to turn pink? This summer my lady in red blooms faded in the sun, but there was a new set of bright red blooms every morning so it was never a big deal. In an old thread Ron posted photos of his Furman's red and they are a vibrant pink, almost like wild thing. At davesgarden.com a some people have uploaded photos of their FR as well. Some are very red and some are pink.

Dan
Zone 5a
East-central Iowa

 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 9:27 PM 

My Furman's Red wasn't what I would consider a true red. It seemed to have a magenta cast to it but not really a magenta. Cherry Chief was closer to a true red. I don't think that you will find a greggii that is a really true red. I had some coccineas this year for the first time that developed pinkish red blooms along with red blooms. I had never had that happen before. I don't know if the cooler than normal summer had anything to do with it or not.

Penny
Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
[linked image]

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Butterfly Lover

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 24 2009, 10:14 PM 

I had one of the stampede series a couple of years ago and really liked it and it grew lengthwise rather than heightwise. It didnt make it thru the winter though as I thought it might. Wouldnt mind having it again.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 
Kate Sitler
(Login K8_Zone6)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 25 2009, 5:14 PM 

Here's another one you could try in your shadier spot.... Honey Melon Sage (Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon'). You would have to treat it as an annual, as it is only hardy in zones 9-10. I have found it various places, including the local farm store. The plant lady there ordered it for me when I mentioned that Honey Melon blooms much sooner than the regular Pineapple Sage, which blooms too late for hummers here. I have seen some hummer action on the Honey Melon Sage, but mostly I had it planted where I couldn't watch it. Never tried it in a hanging basket, though I have put a few greggiis in hanging baskets - mostly Sierra San Antonio and miscellaneous reds. Here is a description of Honey Melon Sage from Richter's, a Canadian herb nursery:

Looks and grows much like pineapple sage but has a stunning honeydew melon scent. There is nothing else like it in the world of herbs! Red flowers are edible, and they are favourite haunts of hummingbirds. Prefers filtered light but can tolerate full sun. Reaches 1-1.3m/40-50, but can be grown in hanging baskets.

http://www.richters.com/

I have ordered from Richter's a couple of times. Their prices are very good, but you might need to watch the currency conversion rates if you think about ordering. They also do 12 packs of plants and plug packs of 120 plants for some varieties. I keep looking at the plug packs, but how many of us can use 120 plants of the same variety? (Well, maybe you, Ward, for Palmyra and your spring sale. 120 plants for $55 plus shipping is a pretty good deal.) If you've never looked at their catalog, they have really unusual herbs plus a few hummer salvias. (I have no affiliation with Richter's.)

 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Bird Lover

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 25 2009, 5:28 PM 

Hey Kate, good to know you are still out there. I see you are looking for the Holy Grail too - summer flowering pineapple sage. And it sounds like for your place you may have found it.

To extend this tangent a little further, there is another summer blooming Pineapple Sage - Tangerine. While it is not quite as beautifully scented as standard pineapple or Honey Melon it is fine in other ways. My attempts at Honey Melon led to unhappy plants. To be fair,that summer was very hot and dry. This last spring we planted some Tangerine near the center's entrance at Palmyra: in barren dry soil and left it to its own devices: a little too close to a red-twigged dogwood. It was happy all summer and was never out of flower. There was one success story for Honey Melon. A friend took one to her place in Maine and it grew wonderfully.

 
 
Gary
(Login Naturelover68)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 28 2009, 2:07 PM 

I grew Honey Melon sage for the first time this year and I was very happy with it. I'm amazed by how long it blooms, especially compared with pineapple sage. It started blooming for me in early July and never stopped until we had a frost. I grew it in full sun and it grew about a foot tall and 2 feet across. Unfortunately, I planted it in a location where I couldn't see it very well because it didn't grow as tall as I thoguht it would. I saw hummers feeding from it several times when I was weeding in that area. I like it so much that I've dug up the plant to try to overwinter it in my basement and I took cuttings. I'm planning on having at least 2 dozen of them next year and I'm going to plant them in the front of the flower beds where I can see them better and also so can I can more easily see the hummers feeding from them. I may need to try growing 'Tangerine' next year, too.

Gary
Napoleon, OH
USDA Zone 5b

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Salvia greggii questions

November 28 2009, 2:25 PM 

If Monrovia is the big wholesale plant grower and the major nurseries around here buy from them, should I expect to be able to find many of Monrovia's greggiis locally? Their plant catalog contains something called the "heatwave" series of greggiis as well as Navajo bright red.

Dan
Zone 5a
East-central Iowa


    
This message has been edited by hawkeye_wx on Nov 28, 2009 5:18 PM


 
 
 
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