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Continuing Education

Report From PIA – September 27 – on assignment in Raleigh, NC

As I began this year of conscious cultivation, one of the things I vowed to grow was the plants that I’m familiar with. Today I added a new plant to my knowledge bank: Salvia mexicana.

I saw this plant in two gardens here in North Carolina, but it’s native to central Mexico. The plants that I saw were just over three feet high, but I read that this plant grows up to seven feet in an ideal habitat.

Will I be able to grow this as an annual? I’m not sure. I’m willing to give it a try, however, either in the garden or in pots that I over-winter indoors.

It’s important to continue to learn new things. “Use it or loose it”, right?  Our world is so rich, and we are equally wealthy when we persist in our studies and discoveries.

I read that this salvia makes a good cut flower too... I'm ordering some seeds and plants next year, and I'll find out.

I read that this salvia makes a good cut flower too... I'm ordering some seeds and plants next year, and I'll find out.

3 Responses to “Continuing Education”

  1. 1
    Ellen Spector Platt:

    I was struck by the same plant growing at the JC Raulston Arburetum in Raleigh. A cultivar called ‘Limelight’ was absolutely stunning in the misty early evening. It would also make a great cut flower in an informal summer bouquet.

  2. 2
    Diana at Garden on the Edge:

    I love salvias like mexicana and gregii and am trying several that are borderline hardy for my area. When I lived down in NC I had lots of them.

    A good resource for salvia growing is Will Cook’s Web Site at web.duke.edu/~cwcook/. You’ll have to look for the salvia page since he’s also a big birder and most of his site is for the birds (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    Good luck with Salvia mexicana. Limelight would certainly be worth a winter spot indoors. Hmm… I even have a plant light down in the basement… You’re giving me ideas!

  3. 3
    CL Fornari:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely looking for seeds, either for S. Mexicana or for ‘Limelight’ – so far I only see it on Ebay. Anyone bought seeds on Ebay before?

    I’ve had great luck overwintering a bunch of plants when they are kept on the cool but not too cold side. If I get some of these growing next year I think I’ll put a few in pots and put them in different locations – some in light and some without – and see what happens.

    I have a “tower of power” in the basement from seed starting before my husband built me a seed shed, and I think I’ll fire it up to overwinter cuttings this year.