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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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Tuesday - February 23, 2010

From: Birmingham, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?

ANSWER:

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) is endemic to Texas, and not shown in our Native Plant Database as growing in Alabama, so we're not sure how well it will do there.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The native habitat of this plant is well-drained, rocky slopes, usually limestone, sand and loams in central, south and west Texas. It is evergreen to semi-evergreen, and blooms white, red, pink, orange or purple from March to November. If you have obtained some and wish to give it a try in Alabama, it does require full sun, which we consider to be 6 or more hours of sun a day. 

We have always recommended cutting salvias back to about 6 in. after the first freeze; however, since this is a mounding, semi-evergreen shrub, such severe pruning is probably not necessary, but certainly some clean-up and removing dead foliage is appropriate for now.

 

From the Image Gallery


Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

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