Salvia Divinorum was used for centuries in the Southwest including Mexico and parts of the United States. It can cultivated well out of doors in some parts of American depending on the weather. As plant native to Mexico it can be grown well in some of the nearby states. Salvia-D can also be grown indoors if sufficient care is taken to ensure the environment is correct.
What is Sally-D?
With the nickname Sally-D and a legal status in many places this is becoming a popular recreational substance. Once known only to Mazatec Indians in Mexico and Texas it was used in rituals to heal the sick or contact the divine. During the period of time when Mexico was under Spanish rule the plant was linked with the Virgin Mary, and seen as a well to become closer to God. It’s believed that North American anthropologist brought the drug to public attention, and by the 1960’s it become a recreation drug in the U.S. Later this shrub spread to the U.K. and became popular there as well.
The Uprooted Cutting
It’s possible to cultivate the mint related shrub either from uprooted cuttings of the plant or from seeds. The seeds are light brown color, and like the herb itself give off a slightly bitter smell. The cutting for salvia is unusual in that this shrub has a hollow inner stem. When looked at from the bottom the view should show a circle within a square. Inside the circle is a cross. This is a way to tell the cutting is from the right plant. A cutting might drop its leaves, but leaves should be spade shaped and deep green. Leaves and shoots can appear throughout the cutting. The stem will become narrow toward the top of the plant.
After placing the cutting in water to generate root growth the next step is to plant the cutting in a soil pot. Keeping in mind this shrub can grow to four feet a sturdy, tall pot will be necessary as this species can cultivate quickly.
For those who live in the southwest part of the U.S. there’s no need to construct a humidity tent, as the environment will do this work for you. Unless someone living in this part of the country wants to cultivate the plants year round, or sees very cold, dry weather these shrubs should grow well. In other parts of the country a humidity tent will aid in growing these plants which have a hardy attitude when it comes to warm weather, but will have trouble with dry, extremely cold, or snowy weather.
It’s possible to go into a nursery and find tropical soil. If this is too expensive it’s possible to make soil more organic and having the slightly acidic, aerated environment silvia needs. In order to do this one needs to have access to compost, grass cuttings, coarse sand, and manure from cattle. Using this formula it’s possible to experiment and get the pH level correct at 6.1 to 6.6.
The Correct Temperature
The Sierra Mazateca will see the highest temperature at 78 F, and the lowest at 60 F. What makes this area feel warmer is the humid air. In constructing a humidity tent it’s recommended to take care to keep these temperatures correct. Too little and the plants will stop growing, and too much humid air and they will wilt. Freezing temps will kill this species quickly.
Care and Feeding
Plants of any kind need sunlight, water and food. In order to keep these shrubs going strong they will need the environment to be close to the one that’s natural to them as possible. Expert growers use misting rather than watering system since this is closer to the softer, gentler rain and dew patterns the salvia sees in nature. If a misting system is too expensive or hard to set up then most hardware or nurseries sell bottles with a fine misting spray setting. Misting also keeps the soil from eroding, and the soil from becoming too waterlogged.
In nature the silvia plant sees sunlight filter through a veil of deep forest trees and other taller bushes and shrubs. Salvia-D will appreciate filtered sunlight, but can grow in direct sunlight. Depending how much sunlight is common in the area where the plants are being grown the owner can experiment with various levels to see what the plants respond to best. Another solution is sodium lamps, but those using these should be aware the plants won’t flourish at the same rate as those getting real sunlight.
There’s no around it, while fertilizer smells awful, growing plants love it. They also need it. S. divinorum needs mineral rich soil that simulates the forest floor. A fertilizer intended for vegetables will work best.