Las Pilitas Nursery

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

The 2 Salvia 'Pozo Blue' that lived

The nursery is one of the worst places I have every tried to plant plants. I didn't realize this till I grew up and got my own place somewhere else. I always thought I was just a plant killer. Not saying I'm not, but this environment is a big contributor to my many plant murders. Summer temps are regularly over 100degF and with very low humidity. Things from coastal areas just desiccate. They look like someone threw them in the oven. The winter’s are often dry and cold. The ground freezes a foot down and it doesn't thaw for months. The spring and fall are even worse. Temps can swing from 10deg low and 80deg high within a few days. Add to this ridiculous weather our rural location! We have deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, mice.... and customers who like to wander off the path in their boots. Oh and don't forget no irrigation system in our landscape. So getting plants established in the demonstration garden can be demoralizing. You water stuff so it won't die of thirst ( if you can find a hose that reaches, if you remember) and it either freezes or gets eaten. If you don't it just dies of drought. So when things just take off I take note. I have finally found a plant I can't kill. I planted two Pozo Blue this last year. Both shockingly lived. The first one was in one of the coldest areas of the nursery, only a few yards away form the thermometer that recorder our record cold temp of negative 4 deg F. So supper cold spot. Add to that, it was once an access road that was converted to landscaping, so horribly compacted. Plus, and this is the kicker, it is on top of our concrete septic tank. Not the leach lines, the TANK. There is only a few inches of soil. It is very dry, hot, compacted and cold. Oh and there are tons of gophers in that spot.
EVERYTHING I plant there dies. So anyway I planted this pot bound mangy 5 gallon reject Pozo blue, figuring it was to sad to sell and it was probably going to die anyway but I had to get it out of the nursery stock. Not only did the scraggly thing live, it thrived! I watered it twice. Once when I first planted and a few weeks later. That was it ever. And it is huge and flowering.
pozo - grid24_12
Salvia Pozo Blue
My second planting spot is awful to. This little tale I have to admit what a plant killer I am so bare with me. We had this oak tree here that came up in a bad spot and we let it go for a long time but finally realized there was no way we could let it grow where it was. So we cut it down. (This place is a jungle of trees we planted, most of them we encourage but they can't grow everywhere.) So anyway we had this giant hole right in front of the office. I decided that a Pozo Blue would be perfect there. Unfortunately we were sold out in the nursery. But being the calm patient person I am I went home with an empty pot and a shovel...If only my plants could run away. Anyway I had a nice fat Pozo Blue that couldn’t run (for those of you who are not botanists, plants don't have legs). It hadn't rained in months so the ground was really dry. Transplanting in dry soil... really bad idea. Digging up mature plants, really bad idea.
Hummingbird on the Pozo Blue sage in the parking lot - grid24_12
Hummingbird on the Salvia "Pozo Blue in the parking lot.
Salvia Pozo Blue in the parking lot - grid24_12
Salvia Pozo Blue in the parking lot
So anyway I proceeded with my bad idea and dug around trying to get it up and couldn't get it out. So I gave it a good pry. Pop! Out it came, no root ball. Just a foot or so of two main roots. I held it up feeling guilty. But what the hay, threw it in the pot and drove back to the nursery with my prize. I planted it in the dry soil. On top of the tree stump a few feet below the soil level. Ta day! Perfect. I watered the heck out of it. It lived! It hasn't grown a lot but it flowered like crazy! I can't believe it. It barely even wilted back. No die back at all. So anyway for all you plant killers like me. POZO Blue! It doesn’t have legs but it does survive.
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