Best tips for growing Salvia splendens / Scarlet Sage / Tropical Sage at home
Salvia splendens native to Brazil makes a beautiful indoor as well as outdoor plant. Stem is square, hollow and upright featuring large, dark green, oval and serrated leaves on it. During blooming season Salvia displays spikes of red, tubular flowers. It blooms throughout summer as well as autumn. Not so tolerant to low temperature, Salvia should be brought inside home in winter months. Salvia splendens is known as scarlet sage, tropical sage also.
Salvia is not propagated from seeds as germination rate is extremely low. It is grown from stem cuttings. Cuttings can be rooted either in water or soil mix. Take a 4-5 inch long stem cutting. Remove leaves present on the lowest node and make a slant cut just below this node. Put the cutting in a jar filled with fresh water and keep in a bright spot away from direct sun light. Change the water regularly to avoid any type of contamination. Cuttings root within a week. Transplant the cuttings in pots or containers when roots are ½-1 inch long. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and tie it with a rubber band. Put some holes in the plastic bag for air circulation.
Follow the same above mentioned procedure to take cuttings. Prepare soil mix for planting cuttings in the pot. Poke 2 inches deep holes into the soil mix using pencil. Put the cuttings in those holes and water it. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and tie with a rubber band. Puncture the bag with 2-3 holes for air circulation.
Choose a 8-10 inches long container or pot. Container should have drainage holes at the bottom. Cover the drainage holes with small pieces of bricks or stones to ensure smooth drainage out of the container otherwise excess water stays in the container leading rotting in the plant.
Grow Salvia in any well drained soil. However, Loamy silt is good.
Sun / Temperature
Salvia grows in full sun to partial shade well. Put near window sill while growing indoors. It can tolerate moderate to deep shade conditions too.
Keep the soil moist always. Water the plant on first sign of drooping. But be careful not to over water Salvia otherwise it will rot.
Feed once a year in spring when it is actively growing. Use any general purpose liquid or granular fertilizer.
Salvia can be attacked by mealy bugs and aphids mainly. Treat the plant with appropriate method as soon as first sign of infestation appears.
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