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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.

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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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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!

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Thursday - December 12, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Herbs/Forbs
Title: When should salvia greggii be pruned from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Should salvia greggii be pruned in fall/winter? I thought I read onsite that all woody perennials should be left untouched or pruned to 6 inches. Does this apply to salvia greggii?

ANSWER:

If you follow this plant link, Salvia greggii (Autumn sage), to our webpage on that plant, you will find this paragraph:

"Maintenance: Trim or pinch tips continuously for nonstop blooming. In early spring, you may wish to prune it a third to halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage and a shorter flowering plant. Pruning may delay flowering for several weeks, but it is important if you want to prevent leggy plants. On the other hand, if you want to encourage the plant to assume its maximum natural shape, however tall, only pick-prune."

This member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team has always recommended pruning perennials back in late Fall. We usually pruned back to about 6 inches tall, so you knew where the plant was and would not pull out the new growth down at the base when it appeared in Spring, thinking it was a weed. Any time we link you to a page in our Native Plant Database, we suggest you read the whole page to find out other useful facts about the culture of that plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

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