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Salvia Josh ( darcyi)

Salvia ‘Josh’ ( darcyi): is a medium upright shrubby perennial 1-1.5mH with large coral red flowers in spring and summer.

Salvia 'Josh'(darcyi)
Salvia ‘Josh’

Salvia ‘Josh’: is a perennial cross between  Salvia darcyi x microphylla. It shows the typical S.darcyi leaf.

Flowers: are semi tubular, a coral red to crimson colour. The slightly hairy hood is prominent with the stigma protruding at the tip. The bottom lobes are folded downwards which allows better access to the inside of the flower. A faint paler area is seen around the throat area to guide the bees and long beaked small birds further into the flower.

Flowers are held in small whorls of 4 flowers on long green stems above the foliage to attract passing insects and honeyeaters.

In warmer areas, S”Josh’ can flower for most of the year, but in areas with moderate temps. the main flowering period is Spring through summer and into autumn.

Calyces: are green, well ribbed with pointed lobes. Most of the calyces fall off after the flower has finished unless the flower was pollinated and has developed seed.

Leaves: are a mid green, a cordate shape  with a truncate bottom and an elongated tip. The surface is slightly hairy, less so on the underside. Leaves are well veined with small, neat crenations around the margins.

Salvia ‘Josh’: is a good filler plant. Having  shrubby perennial growth, it makes an ideal filler for areas behind a small hedge or small shrubs in the foreground of a bed.

It likes a sunny position, but likes it’s roots protected from harsh dry winds and sun. It can be a tender shrub, so needs protection from frost, but tolerates the cold weather quite well.

Too much shade and the plant becomes lanky, spreading, with few flowers.

Plant with other blue, purple, yellow and white coloured shrubs and perennials either beside or in front of. ‘Josh’ acts as a good background plant, attracting both birds, bees, moths and butterflies.

Pruning: ‘Josh’ certainly needs an annual prune and cleaning up at the end of summer or autumn. Most stems will root when they touch the ground, which enables it to spread. Cut back all stems to a good green bud, cut out any dead or twiggy stems. Cut back or pull out any unwanted stems, neaten to a desired shape and space.

Feed and mulch well to keep the root area warm during the winter months, especially if growing in a cold zone. In spring, feed again and top up mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer season.

Propagation: can be either by tip cuttings, taken at most times of the year or by easily layering pieces.