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Saturday - March 22, 2008

From: cedar hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pruning of native perennial blooming plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hello - I am still a newbie at using Native Texas plants (but loving them!), and I need pruning assistance. When (and how much) do I prune: hot lips salvia, hummingbird bush (anisthcanthus wrightii), and common yarrow? All of these appear dead (although possibly are still alive) in my yard. The hot lips do have some green to them, but not a great deal.


Welcome to Native Texas gardening! One of the first things you learn here is that you can't fight the way things grow in Texas. Far better to select plants that are native here and have adapted to our weather, soil, etc. We have an excellent set of "How-To Articles" that should help you start to learn your way around. Particularly, in reference to your question, read the article on Gardening Timeline. Each of the plants you've asked about has a webpage that you can click on the plant name to access, and find out more about its habits and needs. Most Texas perennial flowering plants need some cutting back when they have dropped their leaves. Many can actually be cut to the ground, as they are going to come back from the roots, but we like to leave a few 6-inch stalks standing up so we know that's a plant we planted, and not a weed that needs to be yanked. Always clean up around your plants, taking away dropped leaves and stems, to help prevent mildew, disease and insect damage.

Salvia coccinea (blood sage) This should be periodically trimmed and deadheaded to keep it bushy and in bloom.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) (also known as Hummingbird Bush). Cutting this plant back severely in winter will provide more blooms and encourage bushier form.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Salvia coccinea

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Achillea millefolium




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