En EspaÑol

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?

Share

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
1 rating

Thursday - January 27, 2005

From: Cibolo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Late winter pruning of native Texas Sage
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have several Texas Sage bushes that have started to get very woody and have growth only on the top. This seems to have led to a definite listing to one side. Should I trim these to the ground or tear them up? They have managed to lean over and kill all the smaller bushes around them. When should I do what ever I should do? We live in the San Antonio area.

ANSWER:

Texas sage, or cenizo, (Leucophyllum frutescens) tends to get leggy in cultivation, especially if it is growing in the shade. The most likely reason it is leaning is that it is growing towards the direction of the most sunlight. Late winter is the best time to prune it and it sounds as if it would benefit from a severe cutback. Even with an extreme pruning it will probably survive and sprout again and you can then tip prune to keep its shape and size in check. Also, it should be watered only sparingly and it should not be fertilized. Should it not survive the severe pruning, you might consider replacing it with one of the dwarf varieties, such as 'Silverado'(tm).

You can read about the Texas sage in the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center web page. Select "Growing Conditions" from the menu at the top of that page to read more about maintaining your Texas sage.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012 - I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
view the full question and answer

Will cochineal insects washed from cactus plants harm adjacent Oleander?
June 11, 2015 - Will mealybugs (cochineal insects) power washed off prickly pear cactus harm adjacent oleander plants if the white fluff gets on the oleander? My neighbor asked me to power wash my prickly pears and t...
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off a hibiscus twice a year in Woodland Hills CA
October 09, 2009 - I have 8 hibiscus bushes and only 1 of them loses its leaves twice a year. Why?
view the full question and answer

Book on blueberry bushes in Tennessee
February 18, 2009 - I'm looking for a book titled "Planting blueberry bushes in Tennessee" by an author I can't remember the name of. Have you heard of this book an do you know where one could find a copy? The autho...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen — or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees — could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center