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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 14, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Soils, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Cedar sage not blooming in pots in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have cedar sage (salvia roemeriana) in containers on a dappled-shade apartment patio in Austin, TX. This is their first season here, transplanted in May (it's now September). All the plants have been shooting up racemes in abundance for months, but no flowers have emerged. One of the plants was flowering when transplanted; the others were very young. Do you believe the problem is simply that this is the first year after transplant, or maybe that the potting soil is not alkaline enough? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage)  is well suited to container gardening, with partial shade. You can follow the link to our webpage on this plant. Note especially the following comment under Growing Conditions.

"Conditions Comments: Has a hard time perpetuating itself under deciduous hardwoods, as the large leaves on the ground will block the emergence of seedlings and of the new years growth. It really is adapted to live under junipers/cedars. If you do plant them in areas with large, fallen leaves, keep leaves cleared from areas you want the plant to naturalize in. Also, it can become stressed and stunted in continuous full sun, so plant in dappled shade."

If you have not already read it, please see our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants. Referring back to your question about soils, and again to the webpage on Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage), you will see this comment

"Soil Description: Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay. In the wild, occurs almost exclusively in fine, rich, fast-draining juniper leaf mulch in areas of exposed limestone."

Obviously, you can't sprinkle juniper mulch on your pots, but you can mix in a good compost to your planting soil, or even just spread it on the surface. As it decomposes, it will continue to enrich the potting soil, and to shade the roots from too much sun.

As for the blooming, this plant is a perennial and most perennials do not bloom until the second season, or even later. The plant that was already blooming when it was planted may be suffering from a little bit of transplant shock, which could be tied either to the soil it is in or the amount of sunlight it is getting.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Source for dotted blue-eyed grass from Saluda SC
February 23, 2013 - I lived in Texas for several years and now live on acreage in South Carolina. I have heard that bluebonnets don't grow well in South Carolina. However, there is a place by the road near our house t...
view the full question and answer

Effects of Hedysarum mackenzii from Pflugerville TX
May 08, 2013 - What are the effects of Hedysarum mackenzii?
view the full question and answer

Technique of using cut flowers to make paper
October 18, 2006 - Have an inquiry regarding how to locate (or if such a craft/technique exists) someone or some service that is aware of a process to take fresh-cut flowers & dry & press them into paper or onto paper t...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
May 03, 2014 - What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
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