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Salvia Grow From Seed - A Journal (of sorts anyway)

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Rising Star
Before I go further I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Spaced Out 2, who generously and patiently answered my questions and advised me based upon his own grow from seed. Thank you again!

I was recently able to obtain some Salvia Divinorum seeds and have begun my first grow. I thought it might prove useful to document my experiences here since there are not very many salvia grows from seed, in spite of a few recent ones. Perhaps my successes (or failures) will prove useful to other growers seeking to cultivate salvia from seed. At the very least I can illustrate what not to do! 😁

I intend to post semi-regular updates until the seedlings are established, then will update less frequently as the plants are hardened off and settle in to mature.

This grow began with a 10-pack of seeds, of which I have now sown four. If you have never laid eyes upon Salvia Divinorum seeds, they are smaller than you might expect. They are MUCH smaller than a cannabis seed (perhaps 1/10th the diameter). Were you to drop a Salvia Divinorum seed onto a carpeted floor, you would likely never find it. Exercise great care anytime you handle them. When storing Salvia Divinorum seeds, keep them some place dark, dry, and relatively cool. It is my understanding that Salvia Divinorum seeds will remain viable for 1-2 years when properly stored.

Equipment List
(Not every item included below is necessary. You could certainly get by on less.)
- propagation tray and humidity dome (with adjustable vent holes)
- seedling heat mat and thermostat
- 13W (75W equivalent) LED light bulb (5000K)
- light timer
- small Jiffy Pots
- soil (Happy Frog)
- perlite
- spray bottle
- distilled water
- digital thermometer/hygrometer
- T5 6500K light fixture (will use once plants mature)

Sowing and Germination
I chose to add a small amount of perlite to my soil mix. Happy Frog already contains perlite and other aerative amendments, but since I am growing in a humid climate, I opted for some additional aeration mainly for fear of mold and damping off. The extra perlite might not have been necessary, but better safe than sorry. The soil mixture was saturated to capacity before being placed into the Jiffy pots, filling them nearly to the top. I then lightly tamped the soil to settle it. Next I created a very small and shallow depression in the center of each pot, gently pushing down on the soil. My intention here was to create a small void for the seed where there was less danger of the seed falling between soil particles and settling too deeply into the pot. Salvia Divinorum seeds should be sown at a depth of 2-3mm, so it would be a simple matter to bury them too deeply.

Once the seeds were sown and very lightly covered with bits of soil, the pots were placed inside a small propagation tray and humidity dome. Both exhaust vents were opened for purposes of air exchange. A 13W (75W equivalent/5000K) LED light bulb was placed over the humidity dome. With the aid of a seedling heat mat and thermostat, temperatures were maintained between 73-77F. Relative humidity levels ranged between 70-90%, but mostly towards the lower end of the range except immediately after periodic rehydration of the soil surface. Soil surface was misted daily with a very gentle spray, while avoiding spraying directly onto the spot where each seed rested (for fear of dislodging the seed or soil atop it).

The first sprout appeared after 6 days. The second sprout appeared the next morning on day 7. As of this writing (day 7), the remaining two seeds have not yet sprouted.
Day 6 (from planting), Seedling #1
(disclaimer: picture taken with potato and massively cropped)


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Day 7 (from planting), Seedling #2
This one is having a bit more difficulty and is growing somewhat parallel to the soil surface, I think due to a small chunk of bark bending her stalk. Hopefully she will continue to right herself. I am hesitant to give her much assistance as she is very tiny and fragile. I could easily see myself giving her a gentle nudge and killing her, so for now I watch. Feel free to give her some encouragement!


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Day 8 (from planting), Seedling #2
She's reaching for the light today, so I am a bit more hopeful for this seedling compared to yesterday. Glad to have a macro lens for my camera or else it would be tough to see much at this stage considering how tiny she is.


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Beautiful pictures MJB, and thanks for putting the small writeup together. Might try this very very soon. Thank you. :thumb_up:

EDIT: Also a big thanks to SO for this.
Thank you both for the kind words:love:

Nice work on putting this together, it'll be helpful for anyone else wanting to go this route! :thumb_up:

And brother are you right on seed size, I'm so surprised anything could be crammed in there so tight, lol. Funny thing is I did drop one, luckily it was over the pot but I did "lose" the seed, once it hit the soil it was gone, tucked in a crevice somewhere, I couldn't see it with a magnifying glass, I said to hell with it and just figured I'd keep it moist and wait. If I remember correctly it was the last one to sprout, its also the one that didn't survive.

Don't give up on the other two though, givem a couple more weeks.

Maybe using the macro lens you could put a pot seed next to a salvia seed for comparison
Spaced Out 2 said:
Don't give up on the other two though, givem a couple more weeks.
Don't worry, brother. I'll keep working them like the one doctor in the movie who refuses to give up on the dead patient, pumping their chest while the other doctors just sorta stand there awkwardly, pondering an intervention. 😁

Spaced Out 2 said:
Maybe using the macro lens you could put a pot seed next to a salvia seed for comparison
I will try that next time I actually find a cannabis seed for comparison. My seed vault is currently stored out of state. Remember when seeds were commonly found in any bag of weed? :lol:

For anyone else reading, if I could compare the size of a salvia seed to something similar, I'd say they are the size of a flea, perhaps slightly smaller.

tatt said:
Beautiful pictures MJB, and thanks for putting the small writeup together. Might try this very very soon. Thank you.
No problem, tatt. And thanks for the compliment. I passed the sentiments along to my old Nikon! :lol:

Make sure to keep us posted once you begin your grow. And best of luck when you do!
Day 9 (from planting), Seedling #1
Took this from a weird angle since I was laying on the floor. She's really not leaning as much as it looks like in the picture.


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Day 9 (from planting), Seedling #2

She has unfurled her cotyledons. I opted to add some soil around her base, mainly on one side of the stem in order to add some support and cover that exposed root. Rather than scrape at the existing soil in the pot, and risk disturbing her existing roots, I put a small amount of new soil onto a teaspoon and very gently tapped the spoon until the soil dropped into place. These macro shots make her look far more sturdy than she is. That stem is no bigger around than a hair.


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Day 13 (from planting), Family Photo
Seedling #1 in front, Seedling #2 in the rear. The unborn are off to the right of the frame.


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downwardsfromzero said:
Sat here, munching popcorn, waiting for the first true leaf to emerge from between those cotyledons...


Man you just nailed my life right now. :lol:

I keep zooming in on those pictures, urging those little nubs between the cotyledons to get moving! Maybe I should give them a little locker room pep talk. 😁
Me too

Your pictures are just so good. From the pics one can hardly guess how tiny they are actually in reality.

Just FIY: I'm really eagerly awaiting any new post in this thread, but I don't have to contribute anything, therefore I remain silent.

But keep up the good work. I think you have a big audience... 😁
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