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?


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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - March 01, 2013

From: Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Propagation of Texas sage from Bastrop, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Am I wasting my time trying to transplant texas sage runners? Any advice?


We are at something of a disadvantage here because you have used a common name for your plant that actually is used on two very different plants, both, however, native to Texas and Bastrop County. These are:

Salvia texana (Texas sage) - Perennial flowering plant, 1 to 1.5 ft, tall, tap root, blooms blue, purple, violet March to May,  native to Travis County and probably therefore to nearby Bastrop County.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo), also called Texas Sage, and frequently marketed by nurseries as Texas Sage. Shrub, 2 to 8 ft, tall, blooms white, pink, purple, violet January to December. Also native to Travis County.

Neither of these plants propagate themselves by runners. Here is an article from Arizona Master Gardeners Manual on Plant Propagation, illustrating the various ways to propagate different types of plants.  If you follow each of our plants links above to our webpage on those plants you will find a paragraph on propagation of each.

Salvia texana (Texas sage)


Propagation Material: Seeds
Maintenance: Trim back the old seed spikes after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)


Propagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Plant seeds in greenhouse immediately after summer collection or store over winter in a cool, dry place and plant outside in spring, after final frost. Cuttings should be semi-hardwood and of the current seasons growth.

If there are any other plants with that common name that propagate by runners, we don't know what they are.


From the Image Gallery

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
June 22, 2010 - I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
view the full question and answer

Picking flowers of bulbs from Cloverdale CA
April 22, 2014 - Will picking the flowers of native bulb plants, such as Trillium, Blue Dicks, Fawn Lilies, kill the plant or keep it from reproducing? I do not condone this action but know people who do it.
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
October 07, 2007 - I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?
view the full question and answer

Avoiding planting Indian Paintbrush in Hawaii because of invasiveness
March 01, 2007 - My daughter is living in Hilo, Hawaii. For her birthday, her boyfriend ordered her some Indian Paintbrush seeds. Trying to be sure she grows them correctly in a pot, she found instructions that say ...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for beneath a red oak in Lubbock TX
February 23, 2012 - What would you recommend to plant in a two tiered raised bed facing west, totally blocked from the east, thus receiving only the afternoon sun? A 21 year old red oak sits in the middle of the upper ra...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center