How to Propagate and Grow Salvia Divinorum
The Salvia Divinorum plant is typically grown in an isolated part of Mexico, but it can be grown by any one with good gardening intentions and these instructions.
Basic care for existing plants
Growing Salvia Divinorum plants is fairly low maintenance. You may have come across some salvia for sale and tried it on for size. If you decided to buy salvia as an existing plant from someone, transferring it to a new location should be done with care. The plant typically needs 4 hours or less of direct sunlight during the morning or afternoon. High sun is more likely to stress the plant and should be avoided. Optimal light conditions for existing plants include some sunlight filtering and partial shade.
Temperatures are best kept around 60°F – 80°F (15°C – 27°C) with 50% humidity for optimal growth. Lower and higher temps within a range of
18°F (10°C) in either direction can inhibit the typical growth rate but will not necessarily harm the plant.
The bigger pot you can provide the better. Roots of this plant appreciate space, be sure to monitor growth and re-pot when necessary. In some cases it may be more practical to take the plant to ground instead of searching for an appropriate sized new pot. When planted in the ground growth is known to be rapid. Salvia history involves mostly plants in the ground in rural Central America so it can absolutely thrive this way as well.
Fertilizer can be used and the plant responds well to it. Be sure not to overfeed them by waiting a few weeks after relocation before starting any feeding schedule.
Bent stems are a symptom common to the healthy Salvia Divinorum plant. To avoid them after realizing growth is underway, try offering support if you do not wish the plant to grow new roots. When this plant reaches about 2 feet, it may bend and the leaves will touch the ground (if soil conditions are right), when that happens new roots will grow. Bent stems are up to the gardener to facilitate or restrict and manage.
With a small cutting, the Salvia Divinorum plant can propagate without much fuss. Take a 2 inch to 8 inch cutting below a node on the giving plant with appropriate shears, for extra care be sure to clean any shears and all equipment for planting before use. The cutting will root in half a month or more, based on it’s size and other factors.
Water in a glass is the best approach for rooting a cutting. Glasses should contain approximately 2 inches of water or slightly less based on the size of glass being used. Cuttings have better luck when they are given their own individual glass for the rooting process, this is the best way to achieve a successful rooting and no hormones are required. After two weeks of diffused light and water level maintenance, some roots may be present.
Once multiple roots have been sighted of at least 1/2” in length the cuttings may be taken from water and placed in pots, do not hesitate or wait for longer roots. When potting, soil surrounding the new plants must be kept moist to prevent failure. In addition to moist soil, the humidity should be kept up. Keep humidity maintained by covering the new plants with anything that will trap the air effectively. Some extra misting is always a good idea.
Propagate from seed
It can be difficult to obtain viable Salvia Divinorum seeds, so treat them with extra care. Refrigeration helps maintain the lifespan of seeds, as well as sealing them in an air tight dry container. You cant benefit from salvia effects like the ancients used to if you don’t take care of the precious seeds.
Most plants are typically propagated from cuttings because of the difficulty of finding viable seeds. Diversity is not common because of this habit, the cuttings are mirror image replications of the plant they came from. Seeds produce new varieties of Salvia Divinorum and should be monitored for any divergence or unique traits in the plants they grow to be. Unique traits may include changes in salvia effects.
Once seeds are obtained, plant them shallow 1/10th of an inch or slightly less is optimal when using a potting mix of good quality. Mist the soil with water to mind the delicate seeds that now lie under the surface of the soil, alternatively the soil can be watered from the bottom if the pot allows. Be careful as to not over-water the soil, the seeds are delicate in their early life stage. Within 2-4 weeks germination will be achieved from viable seeds. Patience and good will contribute to a successful relationship with this plant, eventually it will grow strong but it is very weak in it’s early stages so nurture it.
The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center has some essential tips on growing and propagation
Growing Salvia divinorum guide on Erowid is a great source of wealth and information.