Survival of the fittest

Having a few different varieties of Salvia in the garden, and not entirely confident that they will be hardy enough to see through the winter should it be similar to the last, I have taken cuttings from all of them in the hope that should the parent plant succumb to an ill wind, I will at least (I hope, reaching for wood to touch as I write) have plenty of small plants to bring on and plant out next year.

So here are the little ones, potted in a mixture of quite fibrous compost with plenty of perlite and topped off with potting grit to help keep the moisture in:

Saliva and Eupatorium maculatum cuttings

I also came across some Eupatorium maculatum ‘Purple Bush’ at a local nursery that were on sale so I had to buy a couple (according to the label they were from Piet Oudolf’s nursery).  They are fine looking plants already so I am hoping that by getting them settled in the ground now they will perform well next year.  I also decided that it wouldn’t hurt to take a few cuttings from these in the hope that I can dot them elsewhere in the garden.

A really lovely colour flower but the photo doesn't do it justice


9 responses to this post.

  1. That’s something I must do with the Salvias, they survived last winter, only just, but haven’t done very well this year.


    • Hi Elaine,

      It never hurts to get as many cuttings as you can and to get them while there is still some warmth left so they get reasonably well established before the winter.



  2. Your posting today reminded me of when I first got this garden going. That first Winter I started 24 dozen seed pots. The house was covered in pots. The next couple of years and still going strong, I do cuttings of neighbor’s plants. It is the only way I was able to get the gardens here “off and running”. It would have been way too expensive to gather the amount of plants I have had I not started so many from seeds or cuttings. Now I am giving things away. Just gave away in the last week 60 of the daylilies I hybridized these past four year. I have no room! Glad others can use them, though it has been had to part with them. They are like my children. Jack


    • Hi Jack,

      Plants can indeed be an expensive business; I’m always on the lookout for bargains or the odd cutting or seed plant from here and there. And I agree that one does become attached to plants, especially as seedlings; it can be quite wrenching when some are lost to cold or damp (or mice, as sometimes happens!).



  3. A timely reminder Jason, especially as I lost my favourite salvia (Ulignosa) last winter and hadn’t taken any cuttings. Grrrr.


    • Sorry to hear about the death of a favourite plant, that is quite sad. Have you managed to get any cuttings taken in the last few days (not that I’m nagging and I know you’ve been busy with the meadow!!)?


      • No, ‘fraid not. I’ve been trying to catch up on some of the backlog of plants I’ve got pleading to be planted out. Working today though so may try and do some ….

  4. I need to take cuttings from my Salvia’s too. They don’t actually do as well for me as they should, I always end up having to water them. They aren’t as drought tolerent as you’d think. I think it is very good practice to take cuttings from new plants – I don’t always do it but I should. Christina


    • Hi Christina,

      It’s interesting that you mention the drought tolerance as a couple of new plants that I bought this year have wilted from time to time; they sit in a very open spot and at the moment much of the area around them is quite bare as I am in the process of replanting. This has probably resulted in the ground drying out very quickly due to a lack of protective ground cover.
      Salvias are lovely though and it is certainly worth having them, even if they require a little more attention than other plants from time-to-time.


      P.S. not sure if you’ve seen my response regarding the tree you were interested in? I have a planting plan and list from Wollerton so if you let me know which tree from which photo then I may be able to identify for you 🙂


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