Nancy - The little salvia start you sent me earlier this year is now quite tall and has bloom spikes all over it. The first blooms opened today. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this plant with me! I am watching to see if the hummers agree!
The first blooms:
And another bud spike getting ready to also bloom:
This message has been edited by beckygardener on Oct 6, 2013 9:07 AM This message has been edited by beckygardener on Oct 6, 2013 1:21 AM
First flowers on mine are not open yet and the migrants are giving it a good going over to check for flowers. I have 2 plants side by side in the backyard. One is Salvia 'Margie Griffith' and the other is a seedling from the first. Both are nearly 10 feet tall and wide! They will be spectacular in a couple of weeks.
Salvia 'Margie Griffith' is an F2 hybrid of a Salvia mexicana x Salvia involucrata crossed back to Salvia mexicana. It was developed by a friend and is not commercially available. I have 2 other Salvia mexicana cultivars, both of which are in bud, but this one is the only Salvia mexicana I need. It won't do anyone any good north of zone 8 since it is a fall flowering plant.
Kathi - This is my first experience with this hybrid. It gets nice and tall and seems to produce a number of branches. Not so thick as to develop fungus issues, so I like it's growth habit.
Nancy - Has the hybrid from the original ever bloomed for you? If so, what color are the flowers? This is definitely a southern salvia for the bloom time. I am very happy with it because it is surviving and thriving in my garden. I have lost a number of salvia plants this year because of the soil and probably bad nematodes. I am happy with any salvia that can survive despite the odds!
Here is a photo of the garden bed that Margie Griffith is in. Because of her height, I put her in the back. You can see that Phyllis's Fancy and Amistad look pretty pathetic. I am waiting to see if they are going to die completely or make a comeback. Salvia oxyphora looks great! Makes a very nice, lush bush. Can't wait to see blooms for the first time!
Behind Phyllis's Fancy in the above photos is Lavender Lace Saliva. It is another one that seems to be thriving in my yard. And it is stunning when in bloom. Phyllis's Fancy is nothing but stems now, very few leaves. Amistad is looking about the same way. I think both plants are on their way out. Will have to grow them in containers next time, should I try them again.
Another salvia that has done really well, is Salvia miniata. I have this growing in 2 places in my backyard. It always has some blooms on it. It is also a semi-shade loving plant. Which works out good because I have quite a bit of shade in the garden beds along the back fence. I do need to put another taller plant behind it to hide the fence. Not sure which plant though ...
Becky asked: " . . . Has the hybrid from the original ever bloomed for you? If so, what color are the flowers? . . . "
The original hybrid was a volunteer in my friend's garden. She called it Salvia 'Raven'. It is a lovely dark blue, somewhat like 'Margie Griffith', but that plant did not get so large. Like the pink parent, Salvia involucrata, the blooms formed in dense clusters [involucres]. It never lasted more than a year or two here and I do not currently have it.
Wow, Tom, that is quite a sight!! In the north, we could only dream about something like that.
Nancy, thanks for the detail on this plant but don't even think that I want any more salvias. We already have too many, more than the hummers (the few that we have) will ever use, and some are not yet blooming. As much as I love salvias, it is way too challenging to try and grow unusual ones in a rotten climate with such a short growing season (although we can can grow cuphea very well.) Salvias always grow well, but blooming can be another story. Amistad did both, but only received attention from hummers at the very end of the season.
I know it will be difficult for you or anyone else to believe, but we have successfully grown both Salvia involucrata and Salvia mexicana in our yard and have had hummers at both. Although the photos are not at the level of others on The Forum, here are links to prove it:
A few of the other interesting and more unusual salvias we have grown this year with much success include:
-Salvia macrophylla 'Big Swing' (a HUGE hit with our hummers this season!)
-Salvia 'Phyllis Fancy'
-Salvia 'Mulberry Jam' (another HUGE hit with our hummers this season---great plant!)
Of course, we have all of the standard salvias---guarantica, greggii, miniata, coccinea, microphylla, darcyii.
Now that the hummers are pretty much gone, we are DONE with gardening until next spring. We envy those of you who can garden year-round, but that will never be us in the Upper Midwest. I'm still trying to think of something positive to say about what we can grow here.
Enjoy your winter gardening and hummers everyone and thank you for all of your kind support this year.
The "Margies" are in places that are difficult for me to see, Becky, so I don't really know how many visits they received. I know they got some.
Kathy, you still have a few hummers, no? If not, I hope you can enjoy the rest that fall and winter bring in Wisconsin. I'm sure the leaves are beautiful now, no?
I'm pretty laid up now with back problems. I had a friend hack though a path in my back yard yesterday. The hamelia patens are now at least ten feet high and some reach 15 feet. The hummers really like them.
Nancy, I've had the same experience with Raven as you did. It was a lovely plant, but did not do well over the winter in my greenhouse, and I lost it. Mind you, my greenhouse is not regulated with automatic venting and heating. I can't afford the investment of a second electric service these days; I also rent property a mile from where I rent my residence.
Kathi and Michael - I think your photos are beautiful. Wished I could get some good photos of the hummers using blooms. Always so pretty compared to just a feeder shot.
Tom - I am sorry to hear about your back issue. I you start feeling better ASAP! I am just now trying to catch up on yard work. My yard literally looks like a jungle in some areas. I still can't do any heavy pruning with my right hand/arm. But I am trying to do everything else. If I was a hummer, I'd be all over those Margies of yours! Beautiful sight!
Richard - I hear you about paying for heating (or in my case A/C) in more than one place. I've had great luck with any plants I've gotten from you ... at least until I planted them in my lousy ground soil. So many will be potted plants in the future. I will say that several salvias have survived this first year in the ground much to my delight. I always hope for 100% in ground, but that is probably unreasonable here in Central Florida
Becky asked: "Nancy - How long have you had your current Margie Griffith? And the one next to it, is it a duplicate of Margie Griffith or is it from seed and not exactly the same?"
NLN: This individual Salvia 'Margie Griffith' is about 2 1/2 years old. I was given the original about 5-6 years ago. The first one was put in a 20-inch terra cotta pot behind some other plants in the front yard. It quickly became very tall and top heavy. A strong wind knocked it over, breaking the tap root that had grown through the drain hole and into the ground.
So, then, I put a started cutting into a 30-inch stone planter outside the office window. In a years time, that plant had grown so large that it blocked my view of the entire back yard. It took considerable effort to deal with that plant, which had fill the entire container with roots as well as sending a root down through the drain hole. Termites had invaded the root system as well.
I had started another one and that one went out back against the cedar fence. Last year, Hurricane Isaac caused it to get far more water than it needed and I thought I was going to lose it, but after a month or so, the plant recovered and bloomed again, into late spring.
At one time, a seedling developed next to the original plant. It was similar in appearance, but the flowers were a bit smaller and not as densely arranged on the stem. This current seedling has not flowered yet, but there are many buds.