Guide to making more Salvias
A helpful guide to growing more Salvias.
1. Choose Your Plant Carefully
Healthy, unflowered, tip cuttings should be selected – keeping a close look out for any insect pests that may be lurking on the underside of the leaf. The example seen here is from a plant of Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Enigma’.
2. Tidy up
Remove the lower leaves from the cutting using a sharp pair of bypass secateurs (I prefer the Felco 6) to leave just two pairs of leaves. Make sure that the leaves are removed as close to the stem as possible to reduce the likelihood of basal rotting.
3. Cut the stem
Make a clean, horizontal cut approximately 2mm below a leaf node. This area of a plant’s stem contains a high concentration of auxins (hormones that induce rooting) – the greater the distance from a node, the lower the auxin concentration.
4. Reduce leaf area
Reduce the lower pair of leaves by 50% to reduce transpiration – this will help to stop
the cuttings from wilting and ensure they are able to use maximum energy for growing. Make sure your secateurs are clean when you do this.
5. All in a row
Insert the cuttings into plug trays containing loamless, multipurpose compost and mix so that 25% of it is fine-grade vermiculite. This will ensure good drainage and aeration. The use of rooting powder is not necessary as most salvias root quite readily.
6. Forming roots
Spray a fine misting of water over the cuttings and place them in a humid, shady place, or better still in a propagator with basal heat. The cuttings should root within two to three weeks. Once well rooted, pot on into 9cm pots using a free draining multipurpose potting compost.