|A Different Shade of Clone -- Reported 1999-01-11 22:33 by Pao Tzu|
Fig. 1. Pao's fabuloso salvia clone.
First step is obtaining a clone (no duh). I had this big plan to sell clones but I only have one left after sub-freezing temperatures combined with my absence during Christmas destroyed my eight foot tall mother plant along with five other clones similar to this one. But I still have one, so check with me in a couple of years. As well, I cut up the frozen mother plant into twenty seven clones. These should come around.
In the meantime you can likely obtain cheap clones at any hippy-fied farmer's market from Mendocino county clear up to Seattle. As I've previously stated, the cheapest place to get Salvia is in Mexico City. Plant dealers have them ready for tourists just like you and me. But if you don't live in hippy-country, have no plans of visiting Mexico, can't wait a year for me to overcharge you for one of mine, you can always order through the mail. I recommend doing a search on the net for ``Salvia Divinorum'' and ``Shipping and Handling.'' This will likely bring you to the home page of someone who sells by mail. Now, as with any plant you order through the mail, it is going to come to you looking like crap. Order it two day or even same day mail. Yeah, I know I'm too lazy to do the research myself and find out where you can get the buggers through the mail. Deal with it. I'm about to tell you the important stuff anyway.
So you have a clone, right? Good. You're going to want to get a fairly large plastic pot to start it in and a monster clay pot to put it in later. You'll also need either 1. Compost from a compost pile you have been piling up ever since you moved into your current residence (you moron! you didn't make a compost heap???) 2. Black Magic potting soil (this stuff is good for all of kinds of herbs).
Put some big rocks at the very bottom of your plastic pot. Now fill it about a quarter way up with gravel. Good drainage is key for growing s. divinorum. Fill it the rest of the way up with compost. Dig a broad hole so the roots lay diagonally as you very very carefully transplant it without breaking any of it.
Now, if you do happen to bust your young clone, which is damn easy, you will want to refer to propagation.
OK, pot with good drainage, s. divinorum snug and sound in the pot. Now you have to find someplace to keep it. Indoors is OK as long as you keep it outside during the day. It is essential that you toughen it up. If you try to grow it indoors continually and then set it outside to get some real growth going, it will shrivel up and die as soon as it any kind of weather, insects, etc. decide to mess with it. On the other hand, if you leave it outdoors constantly when it is very young, it will also shrivel up and remain dormant for several months but not die. You don't want either of these things to happen to your magical plant, so you are better off taking my advice and lugging the thing back and forth between outdoors in the day and indoors at night. Oh, and be sure not to put it in direct sun. You will kill it in one day doing that. Put it in a spot where at noon none of the leaves look as if they are catching direct sun. Like, say, under a tree. If you can't provide this... build a little mesh deal or something but keep the leaves out of direct sunlight.
Fertilization is important. What you want is fish emulsion. OK, on those packages of fish emulsion is recommends so much to this many gallons of water or whatever... as a rule of thumb I use ten times the amount of water you're supposed to for the given amount of emulsion with in a big plastic tub. Even what most plants consider diluted fish emulsion solution will severely stunt salvia divinorum. So don't do this. Dilute the hell out of it. I had to learn this the hard way. It likes to be fed at least once a week. I do it twice a week. Fill one of those big spray bottles three times (or fill a normal one ten times) with your super-dilute fish emulsion and spray the entire contents onto it's leaves leaving it sopping wet and youstinking. This makes it grow like hell. You can do this year round, it doesn't care. All those people who tell you not to fertilize your plants in the winter because they aren't getting enough sun to support the leaves they already have... ignore them, they know nothing about s. divinorum. s. div does the majority of it's growth in the winter. It flowers in fall, not spring, vegetates in the winter, goes dormant in the summer.
Watering is also important. Water the bastards until the pot is overflowing and you think you over-watered it. OK, now wait a few minutes and give it some more. It loves water. If you happen to mess up your plant by over-watering it, you were probably shooting it with a hose nozzle or something because if you just dump a steady stream of water right onto the base you can't go wrong. I know you're thinking all this water will erode the dirt. So what. Throw some more dirt on. Personally, I use a ring drip system left on 12 hours a day. This leaves it in a constant state of water yet it still manages to drain enough so that the roots don't rot. BTW, root rot is impossible to cure, so an ounce of prevention...
Alright, so you took my advice, right? You have a nice shady spot for your plant and you are watering and feeding. After a year, you are shocked to see that all those three inch branches have grown to seven feet, the main stalk being over ten feet tall, flowers everywhere, big leaves... but your branches keep falling off.
What to do?
This also applies if you messed up your original clone during transplant.
Rootone works fine with s. divinorum. Just chop the end of the stem diagonally with a razor and dip it an inch into the rootone. Now stick it into the soil. Don't water it as much as your main plant. Your leaves shrivel up. Your stem turns brown. It looks dead.
But the apical meristem is dormant, not destroyed, your cambium is doing great, soon it will differentiating (ha! your primary phloem translocates more nutrients than the primary and secondary phloem and xylem of all your other plants combined!) and the salvia spreads roots all over the pot. A few months later you have a 3 foot tall salvia plant.
Smallest piece I've used for this is four inches and largest two feet, but just about anything will work.
When you harvest the leaves, take them off carefully and at random. Don't upset the physical balance of the plant, it will tip over. Never harvest more than one quarter of the total leaves.
One final piece of advice, if you leave your s. divinorum for Christmas, put it inside. Don't be a dumb-ass like me and have a gray mass of shit to look at when you get back. Of course, that's not the only thing that froze in my sorcerer's garden. The real loss would make a hippie cry.
If you have any questions about other psychotropic dicots, monocots, fungi, or cacti, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. The exception is cannabis, don't ask me, I'm not going to help you grow something so silly.
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