Salvia nemorosa, What a Sport!

It's no secret I like salvia in the garden. It's easy to grow and hardy here in Tennessee. Most importantly it never fails to produce great blooms. The foliage is nice but nothing spectacular, however today I saw something very interesting. It happens every now and then on various plants and is responsible for the creation of many variegated varieties, it's called a sport!  A sport is an unusual branch or stem that is significantly different from the rest of the plant. You could even think of it as a mutant, because it is!


I found this little sport in the Birdbath garden while my girls were outside playing.  It is the only oddly variegated branch among all the salvias plants.  The salvia sport is very randomly patterned, much like my Japanese dappled willows.  Is it worth cultivating? Probably not but I'll give it a shot anyway.  There are a couple of sages that are multicolored like this but I'm not aware of any Salvia nemorosa with the variegated leaves.  I plan on letting the branch grow a little longer to get more cutting material.  Then I'll take a small terminal stem tip cutting and let the branch regrow to hopefully produce more samples for propagating.  Once I have a few salvias to play with I'll observe and see if the pattern stays true.  It's very possible it will revert to the original coloring. When the salvias are large enough I'll plant them in the garden and see how they perform.  Most likely this sporty little salvia won't be anything worth cultivating for large scale production but sometimes it's just fun to experiment!

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