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The sage splendens or shining perennial herbaceous plant, native to South America, cultivated in the garden as an annual. It has small dark green leaves, with a velvety appearance, elliptical, pointed and serrated, with evident veins; from April to May, up to the first autumn colds, between the leaves develop erect stems, poorly branched, which carry numerous small flowers, subtended by two bracts. The kind of salvia splendens it has flowers and bracts of red color, but there are numerous cultivars with flowers of various colors from white to pink, from orange to violet, also striped or with bracts of contrasting color with respect to flowers. Depending on the variety, they can grow from 30 to 70 cm in height: in general, varieties with a lower development tend to grow between 30-40 cm in height. For an optimal development of the shiny sage plant it is good to remove the withered flower spikes. Plant of easy cultivation, very widespread in gardens, it is generally used in the beds of annuals, planting small plants in April-May, when nighttime minimum temperatures are above 10 ° C, spacing plants of about 20-25 cm between them.
Plants belonging to the genus salvia splendens or shining they prefer sunny, or even partially shady, positions, especially in areas with torrid summers. They fear the cold, wishing in winter can be grown in greenhouses, although in general the flowering is better in young plants. Often these plants tend to self-seed, giving the impression of being perennial even in our climates, thanks to the fact that they each produce new specimens.
from April to September water regularly, avoiding that the soil remains dry for excessively long periods of time; they can withstand short periods of drought, which often cause poor flowering and sometimes even withering of flower spikes. Every 15-20 days, mix specific water for flowering plants with the water used for watering.
To allow the root system to expand without problem, it is advisable to place the bright sage in a soft and fresh soil, quite drained, rich in humus. They can also be grown in pots, providing each container with a container with a diameter of at least 20 cm. Let us remember that the specimens grown in pots need more watering than those grown in the ground.
The multiplication of this variety of plants usually occurs by seed, placing the small seeds in rich and drained soil already in the period of January-February; the seedbed is kept in place with minimum temperatures close to 18-20 ° C, to allow the seeds to germinate and the plants to develop quickly, so that they can be planted in the spring. There splendid sage it can also be propagated by cutting, using the tips of the stems in autumn; the plants thus obtained are cultivated in temperate greenhouses until the summer season.
Shining sage - Salvia splendens: Pests and diseases
especially in spring they fear the attack of snails, which quickly devour their foliage; during the hottest months they can be attacked by mites. It is good to act quickly with specific insecticide products that will eliminate the root problem. It is possible to intervene before flowering to avoid causing damage.