The type of soil you will want to mix up depends upon the environment
you'll be growing these plants in. If you are in a constantly humid or
environment you'll want a fast draining mix with little or no peat moss
In desert or dry environments I recommend Miracle-Gro potting soil.
Some peat moss
keeps the roots from drying out and seems to prevent root bound plants
I've seen very large plants potted in Miracle-Gro potting soil continue
over a year in very small pots! Plants I potted in N'Rich wilted or
died when they became root bound!
I have tried commercially available
premixed soils from the Kellogg Garden Company such as "N'Rich
" or Kellogg Garden Soil or "GroMulch
For humid areas I have found a product that is very good for Salvia
growth and that is Kellogg
Here is a Quote about N'Rich:
"Kellogg N'RICH® is ideal for all in-ground planting as well as
mulching. Its blend of premium ingredients — including kelp meal, worm
castings, bat guano and chicken manure — helps establish strong roots
* All-natural and organic
ingredients, nothing chemical or artificial
* Contains long lasting redwood
* Loosens hard, clay soil
* Large landscape size, 3 cubic foot
bale ($7: Affordable)
* Ideal for planting and mulching
* 100% satisfaction guaranteed"
In very humid areas Salvia likes this fast draining mix!
Alas, this brand is usually only available on the West Coast of the
States. If you can find a similar topsoil mixture of compost and
with little or no peat moss in it, that drains quickly, it's
okay to use
This mixture is all natural and has no peat moss. Best for very humid
environments! In humid areas peat moss tends to degrade into an acidic
(like a bog) faster.
In either environment Salvia needs to let her soil dry out between
waterings: and her roots NEED access to air to prevent them from
getting root rot!
Some considerations about soils that are favorable for growing Salvia
A Suitable soil for Salvia in humid areas has some of the following
Little or no peat moss. Peat moss degrades if kept wet ...
Drains well ... Salvia's roots - if left soaking - will get root rot: a
'Loose' soil with larger chunks of bark in it: promotes good drainage
and aeration. Not as important in desert areas.
Beneficial ecosystem organisms such as Michorizea and Nematodes and Red
Earthworms added. This is a good idea no matter which environment you
Organic fertilizer components. Salvia in pots Needs enrichment for good
Slightly Ph Negative.
N'Rich has most if not all of these in it's favor.
It is mostly compost, soil looseners, and nutritional supplements (also
No Peat Moss: I approve. If I can repot them frequently or if I lived
in a moist environment
I would use this exclusively.
Because it also contains composted redwood forest debris: it contains
some excellent rot proof redwood wood bark / chips and drains VERY
Well. It contains composted bat guano / poultry droppings / and
earthworm castings as well as dolomite for Ph balancing.
I have finally figured out that the composted red earthworm castings
included as a fertilizer are Shot Through
with LIVE Red Earthworm eggs! I've had people repot my plants and find
a huge red worm in the tiny pot: It's happened to me too! I've watched
them bail out of the pots as I'm wrapping up the plants for shipping!
I've also seen red worms escaping from a bale of N'Rich about a month
after it got soaked! Potting plants with this soil and putting
household food waste as compost on top encourages vermiculture in the
same pot your plants are growing in!
And 3 cubic feet in a big bale bag costs as low as $7! The Best happens
to be very affordable too.
There is no need to loosen up the soil with vermiculite or perlite: If
you are repotting plants with a well established root ball I recommend
you just use
N'Rich, or something just like it, straight out of the bag!
For making potting soil for rooting cuttings in: I use Miracle-Gro
out of the bag and amend it with fertilizers that contain beneficial
fungi and bacteria to get a finely textured, and dense, soil and
fertilizer mix. Babies need good compact soil to hold their stems
firmly, while they develop roots, but after that period they like a
loose, fast draining soil that is well aerated. Take the
off of the pot and put bricks under the pot so air can go in the drain
Whether I am mixing bark chunks into soil, for re-potting plants, or
making a special mix
for cuttings to root in, I always add in to the mix an all organic
fertilizer with added beneficial bacteria and fungal agents.
is very important to amend soils for Salvia with beneficial microbes
and Mycorrhizae! It is fairly easy to add these necessary
organisms to any soil you were going to re-pot plants with, or root
What are mycorrhizae and why are these biological amendments so
What are they and what do they do?
(Mycorrhizae is plural) is derived from Greek meaning ‘fungus-root.'
have been around forever; we are just now discovering them and their
importance, uses and benefits.
fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. They provide
a bi-directional transfer of nutrients to the plant root--carbon to the
fungus. In nutrient-poor or moisture-deficient soils,
taken up by the mycorrizae can lead to improved plant growth. As a
result, mycorrhizal plants are better able to tolerate environmental
stresses than are non-mycorrhizal plants. Since they are more
efficient, they grow better and bigger and can have better yields also.
95% of all plant species belong to genera that characteristically form
mycorrhizae. The mycorrhizal condition is the rule among plants, not
Have improved nutrient uptake
Use less water--up to 30% less, because they are more efficient
Are drought and salt tolerant
Have increased feeder root activity
Create a more efficient use of fertilizer and water
do we need to add them?
Tilling and crop rotation destroys natural colonies
Often we are introducing non-native plants (pansies in Palmdale, blue
grass in Glendale)
Leveling soil for building can remove or destroy mycorrihzae
Leaving ground fallow (no plants) can eliminate colonies"
I buy an organic fertilizer, made by the Kellogg Company,
"Kellogg Organic Rose and Flower Fertilizer". A 4 pound bag is seven
dollars and contains all organic and natural nutrient sources plus
beneficial microbes and fungus.
Rose & Flower® - Organic fertilizer for roses & flowers
Kellogg Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer
is a great choice for roses and flowers when you
want the best blooms possible. Gently feeds
with quick-release nutrients to help provide
Great for all roses & flowers
Superior buds & blooms
More available phosphorous
Reduces transplant stress
Feeds for several months
Two other organic fertilizers that have beneficial organisms added are
"Happy Frog for acid loving plants", and MycoGrow™
Here is the List of Ingredients (Right off the Side of the Kellogg
Organic Rose and Flower Fertilizer bag):
KELLOGG ORGANIC ROSE & FLOWER FERTILIZER 4-6-2:
GUARANTEED ANALYSIS (%)
Total Nitrogen (N) 4%
Available Phosphoric Acid (P2O5)
Soluble Potash (K2O) 2%
TOTAL METALS IN PRODUCT (ppm)
The symbol "<" indicates the minimum detection limit. The metal
was not found at or above the minimum detection limit.
Also contains non-plant food ingredients:
(in propagules per cubic centimeter)
Bacillus Subtilis ... 1430
Bacillus Cereus ... 1430
Bacillus Megaterium ... 1430
Azotobacter Vinelandi ... 75
Lactobacillus Acidophilus ... 1430
Rhizobium Japonicum ... 750
Aspergillus Oryzae ... 75
contains 2% Humic acids (derived from Leonardite)
Contains 233,174 viable mycorrhizal propagules, per pound
of the following organisms:
Ectomycorrhizae in propagules per pound:
Pisolithus tinctorius ... 211,864
Rhizopogon villosuli ... 5296
Rhizopogon luteolus ... 5296
Rhizopogon amylopogon ... 5296
Rhizopogon fulvigleba ... 5296
Glomus intraradices ... 42
Glomus mosseae ... 42
Glomus aggregatum ... 42
Using an organic soil, and adding in organic fertilizers with
beneficial organisms added, gives your Salvia plants the best head
start in life. Start with good, healthy, living soil - that drains well
- and your baby plants will thrive!
Note: do NOT use Rootone on Cuttings potted in soil with Mychorrhizae mixed in. It can be fatal to the cutting.
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