Savia karwinskii 'Winter Red'

Salvia karwinskii ‘Winter Red’

Salvia karwinskii ‘Winter Red’: A low growing , shade loving Salvia 30-60 cm H, with red flowers during winter and spring.

Salvia karwinskii 'Winter Red'
Salvia karwinskii ‘Winter Red’

 

Salvia karwinskii ‘Winter Red‘ is a low clumping groundcover for a shady position.

Flowers: are long, tubular and bright red. The hood is furry with soft red hairs with the small lower lobes being curled under to allow birds with long beaks to penetrate the flower.

Flowers are found in whorls of 4-8-12 flowers as sets of 4 flowers opening at the same time. When these have finished the next set begin to open until all the flowers in the whorl has opened, allowing a very long period of time in flower, to attract not only birds but insects.

Flowering stems long, a brownish colour with the whorls placed very well apart, allowing each whorl of flowers to open freely, with out crowding. These stems are held above the foliage to attract passing insects and birds.

Calyces: are a crimson brown colour with soft hairs. Each lobe is ribbed with  a very  pointed tip. These fall off if the flower is not pollinated, just leaving a flowering stem to cut off.

Leaves: are a lovely fresh green colour, soft  and hairy. Large elongated leaves with small crenulations along the margins. These are spaced at regular intervals along the hairy green stems. They are large enough to make a closed cover effect.

Salvia karwinskii ‘Winter Red’ is a clumping groundcover that can be an useful filler for a shady area in among other spreading shrubs.

Grow beneath deciduous trees or evergreen trees or shrubs where  the bottom branches have been removed allowing enough light for the plant to grow. This Salvia loves a shady or dappled sun position, although it is winter hardy,it does need protection from frost. Once established, it is quite hardy for dry periods in summer.

As this Salvia has perennial growth, it has the ability to gradually spread and fill any gap. grow with other low shrubs and large perennials that flower during winter and spring. Flowering in winter  will attract the little Eastern Spinebill and be a welcome visitor to the clump.

Pruning: In late spring when most of the flowers have finished and the clump may have grown too unruly, then is the time to prune and clean up.

Remove any stems that are growing into other plants or have wandered too far. Cut down stems to one or two nodes and wait for fresh growth to appear before finishing off the job. Clean out the base of old leaves.
Feed and mulch well to keep the root area cool during the hot summer period.

Propagation: usually from tip cuttings taken at any time of year or rooted pieces dug up from the side of the clump.

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