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Moving Salvia melissodora

wantonamara Z8 CenTex
November 19, 2013

I am a lurker here. I have a good sized Salvia melissodora It was planted near the edge of tree shadow on the north side of the tree. It use to get good morning and some afternoon sun. But the tree has grown and it is in more and more shaded and I want to move it. It is growing rangy and not blooming as much. It is about 4-5' tall. Should I try to move it this winter (Central Texas winter)? Is it too large of a plant to move. Is there a proper time to move it? What should I watch out for? How mych heat, sun and poor soil can this plant take? I am on a limestone hill with lots of rubble and caliche they call soil .

Comments (11)

  • wardda

    I grew one for about 5 years in New Jersey, digging the mature plant each fall and putting on the porch. It did quite well with this treatment. If i lived in a milder climate and I was transplanting it out doors to out doors I would probably wait until the worst of winter is over before moving it.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    After II made this entry, I saw your description of moving Melissodora about. I guess I will try it later. I was hoping to do it now before the worst of winter because our summers are so brutal and I find giving things time to settle in before the onslaught of summer is usually advisable. That said , I worry about the rotting of salvia roots in the cold. That usual machts nichts situation, except it DOES matter. Fall and winter is the best time to garden here usually..

  • seamommy

    Now would be the optimal time to lift, divide and relocate perinneal plants in the DFW area. With cool wet weather coming plants will suffer little or no shock from being disturbed.

  • rich_dufresne

    S. melissodora is a mesquite-type of plant, which means that the fine root hairs that actually do the work of absorbing moisture and nutrients may be far away from the trunk. Working your way through the rubble might be difficult. You may need to prune the top back if there are few fine roots. Also, leave medium to narrow stems on the top, since it is usually the newer stems that have the active nodes for new growth.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Good to know about the roots, and the to making sure I know my nodes.

    I doubt I will get deeper than a foot in this dirt. I will try, but this plant went into an area of 4" of topsoil and was a 4" plant in a small hole.

    Even though the roots are close to 10 yrs old, the plant growth is about two years at its oldest. the a big freeze of 13 degrees and subsequent "drought of record" knocked this plant to the ground and made it a no show for almost 2 years. The branches could be cut back pretty far, most likely, I think.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    OOps. After I posted, everyone in my family and me got the swine flu and then some scary complications . Then we had two whopper cold fronts and 16F has froze it back to its roots and did havoc in my agave collection. I threw my back out moving plants, chainsawing and helping husband put wheels on a 250LB wood shaper. I am just now getting pick axe worthy. I guess the plant is in shock from the cold and maybe , I should forget this for the year and see if it made it through the winter.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Well my life keeps rolling along in a fine swing. We had two tornado vortexes on the nexrad radar go right over our house. It was OVER and not touching ground but we had 75 MPH wind for 45 minutes and I now have 5 trees lying on the ground (over a good sized area). SO, I now have western exposure for the Salvia melissodora, all of a sudden. They have plenty sun and I never had to move them. I just have to chop and burn up a tree. All is as it should be, I guess.

  • southerngardening24

    I came to this forum to post but ended up reading your post. That's quite alot of stuff to deal with. I hope all is well now other than the trees that made a mess.

    That is a pretty plant you are talking about. Never knew a plant can smell like grape until now.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Well, the salvia in question did make it through the winter and sprouted from the ground and is now about 3' high and growing. I did get about 6 cuttings made from it and they have taken so I will find a full sun spot and see how they go.

    OK on the eastern side of this plant 6'away is a live oak and the storm appears to have broken a root right at the base and it is leaning to the west. I came through with a saw and cut off some of the lateral limbs to lesson the torque on the loosened base. It seems That I might have to cut down that tree because it might fall on my Bridge/walkway. This plant might, just might get its full sun with out moving real-estate. I just find the unfolding of events just plain weird. Would all the subsequent happenings happened if I successful moved it when I first thought of it or would it has cemented in another stream of consequences. How about that for magical thinking. LOL.

    Gardens change drastically sometimes without our consent.

  • southerngardening24

    Yes, they do! And the answer to your question, we will never know! We suddenly have alot more sun because we cut limbs off our neighbors tree and sometimes I miss going in the shady garden, but then remind myself how soggy the walkway was most of the time, and dangerous to walk in some areas.

    Of course we were not able to grow sun loving plants there either which we can now do.

    I guess things have a way of working themselves out. It wouldn't be life if there were never any changes, even though alot of times they are very drastic.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Well , GEE, it is 5 years later and the tree has grown bigger again , and the salvia STILL needs to be moved. I am looking at it again and thinking about where and when I should do this long put off action.

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