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Horticulture/Red Salvia

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Question
We purchased several Red Salvia plants from a local nursery and they seem to be losing their blooms.  When we first got them they we beautiful, but now they are a faded red, and most of them are gone completely.  Why is this and can will they come back?

Answer
Hi Richard,

Are they in pots, or in the ground?  Salvia likes to be on the dry side.  Here in Louisiana, we've had a lot of rain lately, and ours is looking puny, too.  They get a stem rot with excess water.  It looks like brown or black lesions on the stems.
Copper soap (there are several brand names, ie, Bonide, Fertilome, etc) will arrest it, but the question is whether it's worth the money to treat it, or cheaper to just get new plants.  

Anyway, try to let the soil dry between waterings, and give them some plant food designed for blooming - the middle number of the fertilizer should be the highest: 9-59-8, or 12-55-6, 10-30-10, etc.  The middle number is phosphorous, which also promotes root growth, so if the plants are weak, that should help them, too.
Thanks,
Susan

Horticulture

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

Entomology,plant pathology, agronomy, native plants, useful and edible plants,medicinal plants,landscape design and installation, plant taxonomy and identification, cultivars and varieties, Botany, nutrient deficiencies, plant recommendations and troubleshooting.

Experience

35 years as a professional horticulturist and landscape contractor. I have a network of contacts at leading universities and with acknowledged experts in the field. I've restored the landscapes of several plantations, 2 Governors mansions and owned/managed 3 nursery/garden centers. I discovered a new subspecies of Emelia in 1997. I've locally introduced several native or volunteer species into mainstream landscape design.

Publications
Morning Advocate The Register Better Homes and Gardens All Experts - Approx 1996-97

Education/Credentials
Louisiana State University - horticulture David L. Hoffman - California - phytotheraphy

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