View Full Version : raggedy hummingbird sage

08-26-2003, 09:09 PM
I have a hummingbird sage plant that seems to be doing quite well in its spot: it is growing large and sending off shoots. Still, the spires are raggedy and dry looking with only a few flowers at a time. Does it need more water? Or more shade? It has some shade in the afternoon Or is it the soil? a combination of clay, gravel and sand. Much thanks in advance for a very educational website.</p>


08-27-2003, 10:36 AM
Deborah -

It depends partly on where you live! Hummingbird Sage Salvia spathacea is found from the SF Bay Area south into Central & Southern California. In the drier southern counties, it grows in part shade under big trees like oaks, but still goes partly dormant in response to dry summer conditions.

If you live down south, and want to mimic northern conditions for this plant, you must do so consistently. It will certainly need part-shade, and should get supplemental water. I haven`t grown this plant in SoCal conditions, so can only guess about water regime - maybe a DEEP watering once every 2 weeks would do it.

There is also the issue of adaptability to local conditions being part of the genetic makeup of the plant. If your plant came from seeds or cuttings of plants native to areas of hot, dry summers, then it may not respond well to the extra water. Try it and see what happens!

The main thing to be aware of is that this plant does dry up and look poorly during late summer over most of its native range.

Hope this helps,

Lori Hubbart</p>

08-28-2003, 03:07 PM
I`ve been told by someone on the Central Coast that they like a good mulch of Oak leaves to be happy. If you have bare soil, try mulching. My Salvia spathacea is miserable in a sunny neighborhood of San Francisco in a spot that gets really dry in summer.</p>

08-30-2003, 07:38 AM
Thank you Paul and Lori for your ideas. I will have plenty of oak leaves, so will definately mulch the plant. Also, I have planted three other hummingbird sages in various places, so I will eventually learn what spot works the best. </p>


09-11-2003, 07:58 PM
Here`s my two cents.I have one hummingbird sage that seems quite happy with morning sun, afternoon shade. The leaves look fine, but the plant is a little 'rangy' in appearance. I don`t give this plant any summer water.

Sunset zone 23, clay soil, Alhambra near Los Angeles</p>