I have a bunch of hardwood cuttings brewing away, many of which are showing strong signs of growth, at least on the top. I posted an update recently, find it here. Among the cuttings are 4 Salvia ‘hot lips’ cuttings which I had high hopes for

The plant looks like this when established. I think it looks quite striking with the two-tone flowers, and apparently the foliage smells strongly of Ribena (well ok, blackcurrant) when brushed past or crushed.  I was looking forward to finding a spot for them in the new border design.


In the last update it looked like the Salvia cuttings were putting out some new leaves, albeit tiny ones, which was a pleasant surprise as they looked pretty hopeless otherwise.

False hope…


Sadly, those little leaves have now also died off and the stems are a dead loss.

It’s a goner!


Imagine my surprise then, today I spotted what looks like new growth at the base of 2 out of the 4 stems, coming up from the sand. I was not expecting to see that. I can’t imagine it’s anything other than a lazarus-like recovery, there’s no reason for anything else to be growing there.

It’s life Jim, but not as we expected it.


I should contain myself, keep my expectations low, at least until they grow on a bit, this might just be the final desperate death throes. Still, I am greatly encouraged.

These cuttings are ones I swiped from a local garden (with the owner’s permission, I might add). Having belatedly swotted up, turns out Salvia do not propagate well from hardwood cuttings, and I can obviously now agree from personal experience, but I might just have got away with it. The plant isn’t even really a shrub as such, I thought it was, more a bushy perennial plant. It should get to a decent size, maybe a metre high and across. The RHS suggest seeds and softwood or tip cuttings as more sensible propagation methods, particularly as the plant is only really half-hardy. If these guys survive then that’ll be what I’ll do later this year, just to hedge my bets in case we have a particularly frosty and wet winter.

[UPDATE 11-Apr-17, see here for more encouraging news on these salvia cuttings.] 

News flash, I also see shoots poking their heads out of some of the dahlia tubers I reanimated a couple of weeks ago. How exciting…

I’ll be back, with more propagation news at the weekend.