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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Browse Posts In Ask Mr. Sage

Ask Mr. Sage

Ask Mr. Sage is our new question-and-answer feature. It is based on topics raised in calls and emails we receive at Flowers by the Sea. Questions cover a broad range of topics concerning sages (Salvia spp.), companion plants and general gardening topics. When you have a particularly helpful question and we have an answer, then Mr. Sage speaks!

Ask Mr. Sage: How to Combat Whiteflies Safely

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage is our blog's new question-and-answer feature, based on calls and emails received at Flowers by the Sea. This question concerns how to safely rid Salvias of Whiteflies and their eggs.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Identify Fertilizer Burn

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Synopsis:

Ask Mr. Sage is our blog's new question-and-answer feature, based on calls and emails received at Flowers by the Sea. This question concerns dark spotting on foliage that may be caused by fertilizer burn.



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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Control Snails

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature from Flowers by the Sea. This one talks about how to ward off snails and slugs safely through simple organic methods, including barriers and handpicking, as well as through careful use of iron-phosphate pesticides. It also talks about how to nurse damaged Salvias back to health.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Sages Grow in Clay Soils?

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives, such as concerns about what Salvias will grow in clay soils. This article talks about specific plants for dry and wet clay conditions, how to improve soil drainage and planting on slopes in wet areas.

 



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Ask Mr. Sage: Does Flowers by the Sea Sell Seeds?

Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. Sometimes customers want to purchase seed, but FBTS doesn't produce seed for sale. This article talks about the reasons why, including the complications of producing seed that is certified to grow true to its parent stock.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Hummingbird and Butterfly Salvias Tolerate Lots of Moisture

Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This one explains how to cruise the Flowers by the Sea online catalog to find butterfly and hummingbird Salvias that can handle lots of moisture.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How Light and Growing Conditions Affect Flower Color

Posted: Saturday, June 7, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This one explains the many factors that can cause the color of a plant's flowers to vary from one location to another. The blossom color of Flowers by the Sea plants in your garden may not always exactly match the colors in our photographs.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Kinds of Salvias Are Edible?

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This post concerns Salvias that are edible and tasty. Although we are unaware of any Salvia species (true sages) that contain poisonous parts, we are cautious about which ones to recommend for culinary use. A link to our culinary species is included along with links to our blog posts about cooking with sages.

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Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Ship to My Address?

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This one talks about how we work with you if a glitch arises in shipping. It concerns addresses to which Flowers by the Sea can mail plants.

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Ask Mr. Sage: Shipping Outside the Lower 48 States

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage is a question-and-answer feature based on calls and emails received at Flowers by the Sea. This inquiry concerns whether FBTS ships plants to foreign countries and parts of the nation outside the continental U.S. The simple answer is "Yes." The complicated answer about shipping to foreign countries is that the process is time consuming, costly and highly regulated. We won't break exportation rules

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Use the 'Email Me When Back in Stock' Button

Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage is a question-and-answer feature based on topics raised in calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This post concerns the FBTS "Email Me When Back in Stock" button -- a feature on our plant description pages that allows customers to request notification as soon as out-of-stock plants become available again.

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Ask Mr. Sage: When Is It Too Late for Autumn Planting?

Posted: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Synopsis: Learn how to determine the best start and stop times for fall planting. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to Flowers by the Sea. This post concerns fall planting and provides tools for making decisions based on local frost dates and temperatures.

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Ask Mr. Sage: Why FBTS Uses Foam Packing Peanuts & How to Reuse Them

Posted: Friday, October 3, 2014
Synopsis: It isn't easy being completely green. Flowers by the Sea explains why polystyrene packing peanuts are essential for shipping and what you can do with them after unpacking your orders. Ecofriendly reuses include donating them to shipping companies and using them to lighten container plantings. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Water Desert Plants

Posted: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Synopsis: Overwatering harms desert plants more than underwatering. When growing them, you need to consider the quantity, duration and timing of watering. Excellent soil drainage is also essential. This article talks about how to identify overwatering and establish an effective watering schedule. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Prevent Root Disease in Plants for Dry Gardens

Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Synopsis: Learn how to prevent root rot and keep dry-garden Salvias healthy by providing optimum growing conditions and avoiding overwatering. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to Flowers by the Sea. This one, which concerns a Salvia species that is drought resistant and native to a dry climate, considers how to identify and prevent rot caused by a complex of soil pathogens that attack when roots.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Space Salvias When Planting

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2014
Synopsis: By spacing Salvias properly when planting, you avoid problems caused either by overcrowding or leaving too much space around individual plants. Most Salvias are healthier with good air circulation. Crowding leads to the spread of fungal diseases and pests, such as spider mites. Too wide of spacing may cause branches to break in high winds. By paying attention to plant measurements before planting, you can create a good spacing plan. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants in Warm Zones

Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014
Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This one concerns how to select plants when you move to a different USDA cold hardiness zone, such as in a warmer climate.

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Ask Mr. Sage: First-Aid for Salvia Frost Damage

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Synopsis: Harsh winter weather in areas that normally have mild conditions can bring unwelcome surprises, including the death of favorite plants. This article talks about how and when to remediate frost damage to favorite Salvias in warmer USDA Cold Hardiness Zones. It concludes with a sidebar about a harmful cold snap in California's Bay Area that killed plants as well as birds in 1972 and which changed planting choices at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature that is based on topics raised in calls and emails we receive at Flowers by the Sea.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How to Choose Plants for Microclimates

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014
Synopsis: Even in a small yard, you can have more than one climate. These variations are called microclimates. This article talks about how airflow may create microclimates in the yard, such as chilly areas near fences. It suggests ways to troubleshoot these problem areas and to make the best planting choices for them. Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives from customers.

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Ask Mr. Sage: How FBTS Chooses New Salvias

Posted: Saturday, August 8, 2015
Synopsis: Some Salvia collectors want to obtain a broad range of sages including all the new introductions on the market. But Flowers by the Sea can't and doesn't want to grow all the new cultivars available, partly because there is a growing abundance of Salvia introductions. Instead, FBTS focuses on selecting the most superior new plants even when introducing its own hybrids in its series of Rainbow Jame Sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Average Watering?

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015
Synopsis: Confusion about watering of plants is understandable, because moisture needs vary so much from one species to another. It also varies based on your local growing conditions. Ask Mr. Sage, a regular feature of the Everything Salvias blog at Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery, explains the differences between the labels drought resistant, average water and water loving classifications for estimating water needs. Some FBTS average water plants also grow well in dry or damp settings.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Salvias Grow Well in Containers?

Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Synopsis: What kinds of Salvias are good choices for potting? Ask Mr. Sage, a regular feature of our Everything Salvias Blog, says the answer is many. In this post, Mr. Sage suggests some surprising combinations for potting and explains how to navigate the Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery catalog to find Salvias and companion plants appropriate for container gardening.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Withering My Native Salvia?

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Synopsis: A California native sage that looks like it is suffering from drought may actually have root disease caused by a water mold called Phytophthora. Natives are affected by types of this pathogen that strike when soil is moist and temperatures are hot. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.

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Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Shipping in Boxes Like for Salvias?


Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Synopsis:

It's understandable to worry about the condition of plants following shipment in a box. However, Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery is exceedingly careful to make sure your plants arrive in healthy condition. A satisfied customer sent us the photos in this article. Step by step, they illustrate the process of unpacking and hardening off FBTS plants received by 3-day ground delivery more than 1200 miles away from our Northern California farm.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Best Time to Plant Drought Resistant CA Natives

Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Synopsis: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.

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