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

Pruning of native perennial blooming plants
March 22, 2008 - Hello - I am still a newbie at using Native Texas plants (but loving them!), and I need pruning assistance. When (and how much) do I prune: hot lips salvia, hummingbird bush (anisthcanthus wrightii...
view the full question and answer

Should I use wound paint when pruning my live oak tree?
February 04, 2010 - When trimming live oak branches, is it best to coat the wound on the tree? I have been doing this but have recently heard that it can actually be bad for the tree.
view the full question and answer

Eastern redcedar uprooted by snow in Arlington, TX
February 14, 2010 - During the recent snowstorm one of our juniperus virginiana fell over with the rootball looking intact and with a lot of soil all around it.Should we try to save it? It is approximately 20 feet tall ...
view the full question and answer

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

When Should I Prune Texas Sage?
July 07, 2016 - How and when do you prune Texas sage to encourage thicker foliage?
view the full question and answer

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