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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.

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

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - February 05, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Maintenance of Bicolor Sage in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had quite a bit of Bicolor Sage planted when my yard was landscaped. I am now wondering on the proper plant maintenance. Do I prune back and if so, how much and when do I prune?

ANSWER:

We found information on two plants referred to as Bicolor Sage:  Salvia sinaloensis, perennial native to Mexico (Magnolia Gardens), and  Salvia microphylla, (also Magnolia Gardens) native to the Chiapas area of Mexico. Since neither is native to North America, they will not appear in our Native Plant Database. However, we can give you some practical advice from experience on caring for salvias.

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.

 

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