En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Cedar sage in container in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Re: cedar sage purchased at your 04/11 plant sale: it sets flower spikes but no red blossoms appear, only calyxes. It's in terracotta pot w/Ladybug soil, shady apartment patio. Soil too rich? Too much water? Not enough light? Please help me help it bloom. Thank you.

ANSWER:

It just so happens that this particular member of the Mr. Smarty Plants team also purchased Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage) at the Spring Sale, while I was working at the Sale. And, mine is also in a porch garden which gets sun in mid-afternoon until dark. I have been getting lovely pink blooms in the bracts that will become seed carriers, but after all, for both of us, this is the first year out of the nursery. My blooms are tiny and don't last very long, but I have several plants and they are on shelves at eye level where I can really enjoy their delicate rose blossoms. Many perennials don't bloom at all until their second season. Cedar sage is called that because, as noted below, it grows under Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) which Texans call "cedar."

From our Native Plant Database on this plant:

"One of several plants that have evolved to grow in the shade and leaf mulch of junipers, Salvia roemeriana makes a fine plant for the well-drained shade garden. Its scalloped, rounded leaves and crimson blooms are as eye-catching in pots as they are against the limestone outcrops of its native habitat."

"Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Its crimson blooms appear in early spring, are profuse for a couple of months, and then continue sporadically through summer."

We both got our plants in mid-April, and the early blooms, if the plant was old enough to have any, had already gone.  We may both be over-coddling our plants with enriched potting soil, but duplication of the fine mulch of juniper needles on the ground would be very difficult for the container gardener. This plant, while native to this area, is somewhat out of its native habitat growing in our civilized "concrete gardens." I suggest we both be patient for a year. I rather like its round, scalloped leaves and, since it is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, its faint but pleasant fragrance.

Prescription for both of us: Patience.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

More Container Gardens Questions

Growing Plumeria in Ohio
July 15, 2008 - Can I grow plumeria in Ohio? We were in Hawaii this past week and I brought two plants home to try to grow. Thanks a bunch.
view the full question and answer

Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
July 28, 2006 - I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
view the full question and answer

Pill bugs in potted plants in Atlanta GA
June 14, 2013 - Hello, I repotted four aloe vera plants two days ago with a cacti soil and watered them thoroughly in terra cotta pots according to directions on the bag. Well the next morning the pots had pill bug...
view the full question and answer

Can non-native Mayten tree be grown in 4 ft. container in Cypress CA
January 30, 2010 - We have a mayten tree that is about ten years old, in a planter about 4 ft. wide. We were told that the roots will not be a problem--true or false? So far, no problem, but how about going forward?
view the full question and answer

Growing conditions for Giant Coneflower from San Antonio
August 09, 2013 - Rudbeckia maxima is considered to be a perennial plant for the sun but I have had a difficult time maintaining it in a pot in full sun before attempting to plant. Do you feel that it will survive and...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center