Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
2 ratings

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

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

When should I remove the stakes from Oak trees planted last november in Kyle, TX?
August 18, 2010 - I live in Kyle TX. I have new construction of oak trees that are about 10 feet tall and are staked. How long should they stay staked? They were put in the ground about Thanksgiving 2009. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Winter wrappings for plants in Ellenton Florida
December 23, 2010 - Hi and thank you for your time, I do appreciate it. I have one question. I live in Florida and yes we do get frost and temps down to 28 degrees in the winter. last year I lost almost 50 plants tha...
view the full question and answer

How do I prepare blackfoot daisies for winter in Austin, TX
October 19, 2010 - I have blackfoot daisies in my garden that have bloomed all summer. They are cascading out of the bed onto my lawn/grass. They have been so beautiful that I hate to cut them back. How do I prepare t...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010 - When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
view the full question and answer

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