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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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Friday - May 13, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Deceptively deciduous, Cedar sage in Austin Texas.
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

Is Cedar sage deciduous or evergreen? Your database doesn't say. Thanks, and I always enjoy my visit to the Wildflower Center.

ANSWER:

Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage) is deciduous. However as you well know, in Texas, plant behavior can be all about the weather. Cedar sage grows best in the shade of  Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper). The sage likes the tiny fallen needles more than fallen leaves and in this protection, in mild winters, you might have the foliage stick around until spring. Cedar sage is also a great self seeder. In the right conditions, again depending on temperature range and water availability, you might see young Cedar sage cropping up at funny times, fooling you into thinking that your original plant looks particularly perky. 

 

In a formal garden situation, as soon as you hear of a freeze coming your direction; water the Cedar sage and trim it back to two nodes or two or three inches high. Give it a little bit of mulch, not too much for again, in the wild it doesn't like to be buried. If you have a mild winter don't bother cutting it back again if new growth pops up after your first trim. You might get lucky and have Cedar sage cheering you up all winter.

 


Salvia roemeriana


Salvia roemeriana

 

 

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