Summertime is hot and dry as we all know, but it’s also the time to cut back a lot of Salvias, especially those greggii and microphylla shrubs that have become leggy or full blown and beginning to flop everywhere, over other plants.
You don’t have to cut them all at once, just select the worst, so you can stagger the cutting and loss of flowers. Of course if the cut back shrubs look odd among the others, then do that whole bed. Don’t worry about losing the flowers, they’ll be back in about 4 weeks, with a new flush of fresh growth and a new crop of flowers.
By cutting now, the new flush of growth and flowers will extend the flowering well into the Autumn and Winter.
Summertime heat and dryness isn’t over yet, even if there is a cool change appearing, so to keep your plants healthy and able to survive the heat, keep their roots cool, by watering well and mulching. This can be various mediums – sugar cane, straw, grass clippings and even stones.
Gardens that don’t use mulch, find that they need to water virtually every day and of course using so much more water than if the beds were mulched.
If you are cutting back now, don’t forget to fertilise before mulching. Water the fertiliser in well, then mulch, to prevent burning the leaves or the stem, the mulch will then keep that moisture close to the plant roots.
If you ‘re taking cuttings now of all your prunings, work in the shade , place the cuttings into water before placing into the perlite mix, keep the perlite moist. Place the pots/ trays of cuttings in the shade on soil, until it’s cool enough to place them in direct sun.
Remember the large leaf Salvias require shade to strike and the small leaf Salvias like the sun, but only after they have spent a few days in the shade to settle.
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