En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
3 ratings

Sunday - October 07, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?


Salvia greggii (autumn sage) is a plant native to North America, growing well in Texas and attracting hummingbirds and other flying pollinators. After the spring bloom, trim off 1/3 of the top and do so again in late summer. As weird a summer as we've had around here, we think you can count early October as late summer, and proceed as directed.

Salvia elegans (pineapple sage) is native to Mexico and Guatemala, so named because of the delicious scent of pineapple it gives off when the leaves are crushed. It is a semi-woody subshrub in USDA Zones 9-11, but here in Central Texas, it is considered an herbaceous perennial. That is, in Zones 8-9, Pineapple sage will die to the ground but resprout in spring. Cut back in late fall, and mulch for added winter protection.


Salvia greggii



More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Fertilizer producing leaves over flower production in Austin
June 27, 2010 - Can you please list which Central Texas perennials' will favor leaf growth over flower production when fertilized? I have many in the "Grown Green" booklet and need to know which flowering plants s...
view the full question and answer

Lilies not blooming from Austin
May 03, 2013 - Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
view the full question and answer

Soils for spiderwort from Round Rock TX
August 08, 2013 - We have spiderworts growing naturally in our backyard. We put a large circle around them them with limestone rock (as our beds have) to make their own bed as they clumped in one area. What kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Gardens from Charlotte, NC
July 30, 2013 - I want to plant a year-round picking garden for flowers to bring into my home. I want to look at landscape plans in lieu of throwing down wildflower seeds. Can you suggest a few websites for ideas?
view the full question and answer

Tall perennials for a sunny North Carolina border
March 26, 2012 - I need border plants for in front of a picket fence along front sidewalk. Space is only approx 1'6" wide and widening is not an option. So far I have daylilies, cannas, Mexican petunias, daisies, i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center