Did you know that you can quickly learn how to propagate salvias and fill your UK garden with its beautiful blooms? The Salvia, or sage, is one of the most beloved British garden perennials that are easy to grow and propagate. Whether you’re looking for white, pink, red, purple, blue, or bi-coloured plants, you won’t have a hard time finding one that best fits your preferences because the salvia plant comes in 900 species and about 400 cultivars.
The best way to grow Salvia is to plant them in well-drained soil and expose them to full sun. Once the plant grows, you have to make sure that you cut back on the dead leaves and flowers to prevent pest infestations. When propagating, the best way to do it is to take cuttings from your main plant, as this ensures that the resulting new plant will look exactly like the parent plant.
How to Propagate Salvia from Cuttings
Among the well-known species of Salvia are woodland sage (Salvia nemorosa), scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea), and mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea). Whether you’re looking for a purple sage (woodland) or scarlet sage, or both to add colour to your UK garden, you can quickly grow one by taking cuttings from your main plant.
Here’s how you do it:
Step #1. Locate a Stem for Cutting
Before taking a cutting, you have to make sure that the stem you obtain will come from the right place to make sure that the Salvia grows successfully. In choosing the best branch, look for one with three nodes. While two nodes work fine, cutting from a stem with three nodes will ensure that the cutting will grow into a more prominent and more prolific plant.
Step #2. Cut the Stem
Using sharp shears or pruners, cut the stem from the main plant making sure that you cut from the area just below the bottom node. These nodes contain a particular plant growth hormone, auxin, which induces both leaf and root growth.
Step #3. Use a Rooting Hormone
Once you have your cutting, keep them fresh by placing them on a jar with water while you finish taking the other cuttings. The next step is to dip the salvia cutting into a rooting hormone to encourage faster growth of new roots in the next few days. Dipping your salvia cuttings is extremely important, especially if the colder months are approaching, where the cold weather can cause the roots to rot.
Step #4. Place in Soil or Water
Place the cuttings in well-draining soil – either in pots or wider planting boxes if you don’t have much space in your garden in the UK. Make sure that the plants receive full sunlight – preferably on the south-facing location. Water the cutting and cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to protect them from strong winds.
You can also opt to grow your cuttings on water. If you prefer this method, you only have to place the cuttings in the water, and after a few days, the roots will start to develop. Once the roots begin to grow, you can then transplant the salvias into the soil.
Keep the plant at room temperature until the roots successfully established. If winter comes, store the plan in a frost-free place.
Caring for Salvia Plants
Salvias are easy to take care of. To ensure success in growing and propagating, here are a few tips to follow:
Tip #1. Water them regularly
Salvias prefer at least ½ inch deep of water to avoid drying out—water during summer when the rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Be sure not to overwater as it can cause the root to rot.
Tip #2: Deadhead them
Deadheading helps prevent pests and diseases. Be sure to perform this regularly, especially during the season.
Tip #3. Add mulch
To retain moisture and control weed, add at least 2-inch of mulch around the plant.
Tip #4. Prune them
When you see woody stems developing on your salvia plants, you can prune them to encourage more growth.
Tip #5. Add more mulch in the spring
When the spring season comes, add another layer of mulch and compost to ensure that your Salvia gets as many nutrients as it can and encourages blooming.
Can You Grow Salvia Inside a Hobby Greenhouse?
Greenhouses offer excellent benefits for many UK gardeners. If you’re growing or propagating Salvia, placing them inside a hobby polytunnel can ensure healthy and prolific growth. Here are some of the benefits of growing Salvia inside your very own hobby greenhouse:
It offers protection from harsh weather conditions
Strong winds can easily knock your salvias down. For this reason, growing these plants inside a hobby polytunnel can provide them with the protection that they need from the effects of inclement weather, including strong winds, heavy rains, snow, sleet, hail, and blizzards.
Unlike traditional outdoor gathering which requires you to make the necessary preparations to ensure your plants’ safety, you can rest easy knowing that your hobby polytunnel acts as a protective barrier between them and the harsh weather conditions.
Extended growing season
Salvias bloom best during spring and summer, but you can extend their growing season by placing them inside a hobby greenhouse. Polytunnel gardening allows you to manipulate the levels of temperature and humidity, as well as the amount of light that your plants need to thrive.
Better pest control
Although pest infestations are rare, Salvia can still be susceptible to pests like mealybugs, powdery mildew, aphids, and botrytis bugs. By placing them inside a greenhouse, you can get them away from plants infected with these bugs and protect them from rots, leaf, and root damage.
How to Propagate Salvias: Final Tips
When it comes to propagating salvia plants, it’s best to grow them from cuttings rather than from seedlings so that you can replicate their parent plant. Learning how to propagate salvias is the first step to enjoying a UK garden filled with bursts of beautifully coloured blooms in the spring and summer.