Do You Have Tips for Diagnosing Problems?
Most of the problems are not due to infectious diseases, caused by fungi, bacteria, etc. The problems generally result from imbalances in the environment or from care practices that give rise to some sort of stress. SEE FULL CHART HERE
What Bug Infestations Should I Watch For?
Leaves will have eaten edges or holes in them. These creatures are easy to find and destroy early in the morning before sunrise, or in the evening after sunset.
Spider Mites -
Leaves will yellow and there will be tiny spider-like creatures on the underside of the leaves. Webs appear on upper leaves with heavy infestations. Control is maintained by keeping the humidity high and by spraying the undersides of plant leaves with water.
These are small greenish bugs that suck the plants juices and produce both yellowed and distorted leaves. These can be controlled with a soap/pyrethrum spray.
White Flies -
Leaves will have small spots on the underside of the leaves. White flies are small, white, and super-tiny. These can be controlled with a soap/pyrethrum spray.
A CONTROL TIP
Daily surveillance and removal of insects is good practice. Sticky yellow pest control cards work well to trap incoming insects and flies emerging from the soil. Sticky strips available from garden stores can be cut and stapled to bamboo grilling skewers and mounted in film cases filled with sand and placed among the plants. These are very effective for white flies, aphids, and fungus gnats. IMAGE HERE
Should I Use Fertilizer?
During the growing season, feed often with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Inorganic farmers prefer mixtures such as Miracle-Gro (formerly Miracid). The acid variety is the best for this. Organic farmers prefer high humus composted manure.
Do My Plants Need High Humidity?
Salvia likes warm 75-95 degree summer temperatures, with high humidity. If no greenhouse or humidity tent is available, mist in hot weather. The plant sunburns very easily, so grow in heavy shade. New plants need to have high humidity and they CAN be slowly weaned off of this...FULL ARTICLE HERE
What About Propagating Salvia From Cuttings?
Salvia divinorum is a relatively easy plant to propagate from cuttings. Small cuttings will usually root within two or three weeks. Cuttings seem to root best when they are between two and eight inches long. They should be cut off of the mother plant using sharp, clean shears. The cut should be made just bellow a node.
To root the cuttings in water: Put each cutting into a glass of water. Each glass should be filled about 4 -5 cm (1 1/2 - 2") deep. It is a good idea to use a separate glass for each cutting so that if one starts to rot it doesnít spoil the water and kill the others. Leave the glasses indoors in diffuse light and add a little water as necessary to maintain the water level. In about two weeks you should see some roots starting to form. Some cuttings may root more quickly than others. I find that they root just fine in plain water and no rooting hormones are necessary.
When the cuttings have several roots 1 - 2 cm (1/4 - 3/4")long, they should be planted in pots of loose potting soil and watered well so that the soil is completely moist. Keep them indoors for another two or three weeks so that they can establish a good root system in the pots with out having to deal with the wind and big temperature swings of the outdoors. You will need to keep the plants in a moist environment for a few days after moving them from the water to the pots to keep them from wilting. The easiest thing to do is to just cover the whole plant with a large upside down jar or use a big plastic bag with a wire cage support to keep it from collapsing on the plant. Spraying them with a fine mist occasionally is also a good idea. Donít wait too long to move the cuttings from the water to soil. If you do the roots will be more prone to damage and the cuttings will begin to starve for nutrients.
You should begin fertilizing newly rooted cuttings about a month after they have been transplanted to soil. Seed-raised plants can be fertilized once they reach a height of 5 cm (2 inches). Begin with a half-strength fertilizer solution for the first few applications, then use full-strength solutions according to the manufacturer's suggestions. Just about any general purpose fertilizer will work fine but be careful not to over feed them. They respond well to regular feeding but they are sensitive to excess fertilizer and will put out deformed growth if over fed.
The plants appreciate a lot of room for their roots so they should be re-potted to larger pots every few months if they are growing quickly. They grow best in light shade with no more than three or four hours of direct morning or afternoon sun. They do not like any strong direct light. On the other hand they do not do well in deep shade either. You may want to plant them in the ground if you have a suitable location. They can grow very fast in the ground, as much as two meters in six months.
The stems of Salvia divinorum are not very strong, when the plant gets taller than about one meter tall it will fall over if not given support. Sometimes the stem will break off, but usually it will just bend over and if the bent over stem is in good contact with moist soil it will quickly root and eventually send up new stems from the new location. This is the main way that the plant spreads in the wild since it almost never produces viable seed.
- Thanks to Daniel Siebert for this article.
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