Your shopping cart is empty.

Overwintering Black and Blue Salvia

jerseygirl07603 z6NJ
November 6, 2018

Every once in a while, these make it through the winter in the ground in my zone. I'm not sure what conditions make this happen but wondering if there's anything I can do to insure they come back? Cover with leaves? Lift, pot up and store in garage?

Comments (11)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    zone pushing is a game of chance ... sometimes you win.. often you lose ...

    i eventually gave up the game .... on many plants.. and other cheaper ones.. i accepted that i grew them as annuals ...

    but we all have to try it .. understanding the game.. and the odds ...

    and i dont recall the rest that disappeared ....

    one key it winning is getting plants dormant.. and maintaining that dormancy ... they have little sense of humor about going in and out of dormancy .... those relative mid winter thaws or heatwaves can be very problematic ....

    so you would mulch around the plant ,.. in the hopes that you would reduce heating of the surrounding soil in mid winter ... on either sunny days ... or those mid winter relative heat waves ... y and emotionally ....

    in the alternative.. with cheap plants... i treated them as annuals ... and sometimes i won and got an extra year ...

    you can try the potting ... and garage ... again.. the game.. maybe you win.. maybe you dont ...

    mulch .. see above re: game ...

    one key .. other than min winter temp.. of which you have no control .. would be to heavily mulch the plant ... not sure what you mean by leaves ... ground leaves would be better than just heaped leaves..

    the key .. is to allow it to go dormant.. and then try to maintain dormancy ... what i found was the big killer ... was a plant that goes in and out of dormancy over winter .... they dont have much of a sense of humor about that ...

    so you would mulch around the plant ,.. i the hopes that you woulld reduce heating of the surrounding soil in mid winter ... on either sunny days ... or those mid winter relative heat waves ...

    and in colder zones ... reducing howling winter winds also helps ... i often used a mound of mulch.. and the plant would die down to that level .... you have to be very careful with depth of mulch... and i bet i got away with more than warmer zone peeps might .. perhaps due to ground freeze .. i applied very late.. and started removing it before spring thaw ....

    good luck


    houzz screwed up my reply again.. i will try to recreate what it deleted ... i have to hit send first

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    what a nightmare ... i hope you get something out of the above ....

    get it dormant.. keep it dormant ... and roll the dice ... if you dont like the odds.. or it stresses you ... move on to other plants ... lifes to short ...


  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    S guaranitica is only half hardy even in my climate where it is recommended to mulch heavily (to keep the roots warm, not cold) and grow in a sheltered spot near a s facing wall.

  • Summer

    jerseygirl - another option is to dig up the tubers ( yes, they have tubers) and store them until spring.

  • Florida_Joe's_Z10a

    Here in zone 10 they go half dormant and look terrible during the summer. But in fall- spring when it's dryer, they thrive in my really sandy well drained soil so perhaps it's soggyness that in some winters rot away the tubers. I'd probably simply pull them right up and put them in buckets of sand over the winter in an attached garage. They're very easily propagated from cuttings too. I just stick long sections in soil and they root.

  • mxk3

    ^^ Didn't know they have tubers, that is helpful info.

    I have gotten them to overwinter in pots in unheated garage in the past, but haven't tried that in years, going to give it a go again this year. Going to try a couple things this year to see what may work - I have one potted and ready to be pulled into storage, and I have some planted in the ground in various locations (one right smack next to the house on the N side, one right next to the house on the S side, and one farther out from the house). I might try pulling one that is in the ground and storing the tuber to see if that works.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to store salvia "Mystic Spires". They've died back already but I don't think it's too late to dig and try to store somehow, it's not super-cold yet and the ground isn't anywhere near frozen (and is probably nice and warm under all the shredded leaves I just put down, so the roots are probably still just fine). Any suggestions for storing "Mystic Spires"?

  • jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

    I think I'll experiment - leave some in ground, mulching heavily and pot up some tubers for garage.

    They're considered premium annuals here and go for $5 each in the spring. So I'd rather not replace each year (but I do love them)

    Thanks all for your input.

  • samhain10 - 5a

    Haven't overwintered the black and blues, but did have success with digging my gentian sages and storing them in perlite and/or potting soil inside in a cool room. I got nervous and misted them in March, which induced sprouting earlier than I really wanted. But as I already had plants started under lights, I potted them up and moved them over under the lights. This year I will attempt to hold off moistening them unless I feel them shriveling too much when I check them. Should work with the black and blues I would think, if you want to try some that way as well.


  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    Here it is too cold to leave them in the ground or my garage, but they have survived in a large pot in soil in a south-facing windowed entry foyer for a door that is almost never used. They sprout at an appropriate time inspring this way. The one year I tried storing the pots in the cold cellar which gets down to the mid30s F, they didn’t survive, but I don’t know if that was moisture levels or what.

  • jana (z7b, Philadelphia, PA)

    One year I stored the tubers successfully, last year I did not. This year I’m storing in dirt. We shall see.

  • Kelli

    i live in zone 6b and have my black and blue in a pot. for the past 3 years i've just brought the pot into the house in a south facing room. (the plant doesnt really get any direct sunlight). cut back about 90% of the foliage and it just hangs out and grows very very slowly. i water it every once in a while when it feels super dry. this only works if you have the extra space inside i guess! :)

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).