Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 14, 2013

From: McAllen, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pruning Lyreleaf Sage from McAllen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a few Lyre Leaf Sage last year and they bloomed beautifully. I let them seed out and had a number of new plants show up this year. I have never cut the flower/seed stalks back and now that it's getting to be that time of year for them to begin flowering again, I don't see anything that looks like a new flower is developing, just the the old dried and empty seed "pods". Will they flower on their own or do I need to cut back the old stalks in order to promote flowering?

ANSWER:

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is an evergreen perennial plant that makes a very good groundcover, so it's an excellent choice. It blooms from March to June. We ordinarily recommend that perennials be pruned some in the winter, but with an evergreen plant that grows so low it's hard to know when to do so. Even though this USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Lyreleaf sage as being native to Hidalgo County, we have read the growing conditions for it on the webpage, which you can read by clicking on the weblink, and we feel that you still have appropriate conditions for the plant. It can get by on low to medium amounts of moisture as well as sun, part shade or shade. The only possibility we can think of for it to not be blooming yet is that the plants that grew from last year's seeds are not the ones blooming. Perennials being grown from seed ordinarily do not bloom until their second season. Any time you see a spent seed pod or even just fading blooms, just snip it off,  as this will encourage further blooming. Also, even though they can tolerate shade, almost any blooming plant will bloom better in the sun. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

More Pruning Questions

Problem with crapemyrtle shoots in Victoria, TX
May 13, 2009 - I have a problem with crepe myrtle shoots coming up in my flowerbed. I had to remove a large crepe myrtle tree (18" diameter stump) and digging out the stump was not possible. I killed the stump wi...
view the full question and answer

What to do with bloom stalk on yucca
June 08, 2008 - Six years ago, I dug up two small narrow-leaf yuccas from a deer lease outside of Junction, Texas. I planted them in a raised bed in my yard and the smaller of the two survived and grew. To my surpris...
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
view the full question and answer

Removal of Carolina Jasmine in San Antonio
March 02, 2009 - We are attempting to permanently remove large old-growth Carolina Yellow Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens bushes from our property. The bushes are cut down. Any suggestions for stump/root removal (mec...
view the full question and answer

Shaping cenizo in Duncanville TX
October 02, 2009 - Our Silverado Sage, which we expected to be 4' to 5' high and wide based on the label when we purchased it about 10 years ago, is nearly 7' tall and very random in shape (not the evenly rounded sha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.