Thursday, 11 September 2014

My salvia arrived in the post. What do I do now?

This is a question we get asked quite a bit.

When your salvia arrives it will be in a plant-pak to protect it from the post and to keep it humid.

Unpack it gentely and pot it into a mix of compost, perlite and vermiculite (1:1:1) I have used a small pot here just for demonstration purposes, but as long as the pot you use fits inside the bottle, all will be well.

Snip the bottom off a clear plastic bottle, place the pot on a tray or saucer and gentely lower the bottle over the salvia. mind those rough bottle edges on the leaves now!
Mist the plant and leave at room temperature in the light. Not direct sun as this will cause the bottle over-heat and kill your new Salvia Divinorum plant.

 Every now and then (I usually do it when I walk past the bottle) lift the bottle for a minute or two to let some fresh air in, otherwise the air will stagnate and mildew will start.
After a couple of days remove the lid. This will lower the humidity and help to acclimatize your plant to your home. Still remembering to lift the bottle as you think about it. A couple of times a day should be fine for now.

After about a week of no lid and lifting the bottle, remove the bottle completely and mist.
If your salvia starts to wilt within an hour or so, put the bottle back on and carry on with the acclimatizing process for a few more days. Soon she will be happy to live out of the bottle in the lower humidity of your home.

Salvia divinorum likes damp (but not soggy) roots and an occasional misting. Direct sun will cause her to wilt and frost will kill her. During the winter, in the UK especially, she will slow her growth and some of the leaves will develop brown tips. This is perfectly normal and she will pick up again in spring.

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