Every year I try to test a few new plants and for every failure, I discover a new plant worth keeping.
I have several new salvias this year, but the most promising and precocious are the Chiapas Sage from the forest verges of mountainous Mexico, and Salvia “Roman Red”, a cross between Salvia darcyi (also from Mexico) and Salvia splendens, originally from the tropics. I took cuttings from “Roman Red”, and they struck in under two weeks. Today one plant had its first flower, and I am impressed.
It has settled in to the driest part of the garden, and Monrovia nurseries say it is a great for xeric plantings. It should grow to 24 inches or so and bloom all season. Other red salvias I have grown are late season flowering( “Windwalker” and Gregg’s salvias) and dawdle through till late summer. I do have “Windwalker” this year as well as “Vermillion Bluffs”, but they are still flowerless. Gregg’s salvias are not for New Hampshire, though if I lived on Cape Cod I would try them. If Crape Myrtles grow on the Cape, Gregg’s will too.
The other new salvia from Chiapas is both delicate and enthusiastic. It has been in its container under the Redbud for only two weeks, and it is already sending up fresh sprouts from its base. Of course, the hummingbirds have found it.