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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: New annual Salvia 'Summer Jewel Red' - S. coccinea

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irishmist
Rochester, NY
(Zone 6a)

July 12, 2012
9:06 AM

Post #9202691

I'm growing this new mpressive plant for the first time. Very easy to grow from seed, reaching to 20" and blooming in 7 weeks from sowing. I started seeds indoors and transplanted out but next year may direct seed some outdoors to compare. (Just realized I can do that this year.) Seed is from Park Seed.. The blooms are like 'Lady in Red' which I've grown for years for my hummingbird visitors. This plant however is well branched with several flower spikes blooming at once. It's already a winner and has shown outstanding performance in the summer heat.

irishmist

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 16, 2012
7:24 PM

Post #9208040

Thanks - I'm always looking for good red Hummingbird plants for my "Red, White, & Blue" or "Hummers, Butters, & Fragrance" Bed
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 18, 2012
7:01 AM

Post #9209942

May I ask where you got the seed?
irishmist
Rochester, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 4, 2012
10:59 AM

Post #9229370

Seed is from Park Seed, a great company in South Carolina. Having both a mail order catalog and a website, I've ordered from them for many years.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 14, 2012
6:56 AM

Post #9241043

Thanks for the info, irishmist. It sounds wonderful. The hummers in my yard have always loved the annual Salvias, particularly the red or blue varieties. I like that it's so tall as most of them are shorter. Has it started blooming, yet?
irishmist
Rochester, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2012
10:52 PM

Post #9258985

It started blooming in early July and continues to pump out new flowering spikes on compact plants.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 30, 2012
8:34 AM

Post #9259218

Ooh, sounds lovely! Thanks!

Here's a pic of one of my Lobelia Cardinalis, newly blooming this year. It's not a Salvia, but it's another tall Salvia-like plant that's a Hummer favorite. I've yet to have a camera in my hands when the hummers were enjoying the nectar. They do love it, though and it's easy to grow from seeds.

This is my second try. For some reason the first ones died before blooming. These are almost 4-ft tall and I have them right next to a couple of hummer feeders. They're relatively short-lived perennials, though, so I'm going to let the seeds drop to keep them going.

Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

September 1, 2012
11:28 AM

Post #9261518

The condenser for my air-conditioner drains right by my back door. I put I little stock tub under it and made a "bog" garden out of it. I have been trying to get Lobelia cardinalis started there, but no luck so far. I am going to keep trying.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2012
12:05 PM

Post #9261545

Yes, please,do keep trying, pollengarden. As I discovered, when they do get going, they're definitely worth it. My hummers are constantly "sipping" nectar from the few I have. I only wish I had more plants.

I bought the first ones at a local plant sale from a garden club specializing in natives. They really took off right away and I expected they'd bloom their first year. Then... all of a sudden...first one, then the other wilted and died. I decided to try a few more from a different source and ordered from Bluestone. They grew fine, but never bloomed the first year. This year they shot up to about 4' tall! They started blooming about a month ago and haven't stopped, although they are winding down.

I've also heard they're easy to grow from seed. As I mentioned before, I plan to let the seeds drop. I may also buy some more plants and stick them in another area since the hummers love them so much.

You might consicer trying a couple of other areas just in case there's something in the soil by the air conditioner that's causing them problems.

These are terrible pictures, but they're some of the first I've been able to get of a hummer at the Lobelia Cardinalis.

Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature   Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2012
4:00 PM

Post #9262670

L cardinalis likes morning sun. I never had a lot of luck w/ them until I planted some on the east side of my garage. The great blue lobelia (L siphilitica) also likes morning sun. The problem I have w/ them is they grow so tall they get top heavy w/ the blooms and fall over. I am trying to come up w/ a shorter plant to grow w/ them to give them some support. Anyone have any ideas?
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2012
7:58 PM

Post #9262896

I bought a few packages of thin bamboo stakes at an "end-of-season" clearance a few years ago. They're about 36" long and I use them over and over again. On each of the tallest stalks of L. Cardinalis I used one stake and tied it in a few places with stretchy green plastic ties...the kind that comes on a roll. That seemed sufficient to keep them from flopping over and it was short enough that I didn't need to tie through the blooms.

As far as ideas for a shorter plant to support them - I can't immediately think of any, but I'll give it some thought. Ideal would probably be another plant that hummers love, even if it doesn't bloom at the same time.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2012
8:45 PM

Post #9262933

BCH521 - You got me curious about other plants to "intergrow" with the Lobelia so I started to look a little bit.

One that really interested me is another Lobelia, but a shorter, stockier one that's blue. I found it in Bluestone's and unless it was purchased during their Spring clearance might be a little costly, but I wonder how well it would grow from seed. I've read that with L. Cardinalis it's good to let the seeds drop to continue getting more plants since it's short-lived.

Here's the link so you can see what it looks like. I thought it was very pretty.

http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/LOBS.html?id=c2ZsVsDr&mv_pc=1427
ponyexpress
Lancaster, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2013
9:40 AM

Post #9404847

Irishmist, I grow the lady in red also. I had some as volunteers this year so I am going to winter sow some in milk jugs. I love this plant so much because hummingbirds just love it and it's pretty. I collected a ton of seeds this year and I even shared some with one of my professors after noticing her hummingbird calendar : )

This message was edited Feb 1, 2013 12:41 PM

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 2, 2013
10:00 AM

Post #9405952

I like Lady in Red - it was easy from seed for me, and even seeded back a few volunteers. I have some perennial salvia, too - but they aren't reliably winter hardy here. I have to mulch in fall, then again in spring to keep them from breaking dormancy too early. Ditto Stachys coccinea.

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