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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Need ground cover plants to grow in the shade a large oak in San Antonio, TX
March 09, 2015 - We have a large backyard in San Antonio covered with live oak and red oak. Since grass does not do well in this shade / bright shade area I would like to plant a low growing ground cover and then add...
view the full question and answer

Source for chile pequin plants in Austin
June 11, 2013 - Where can I buy chile pequin plants in Austin? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Shasta Daisies without Petals
August 21, 2014 - My shasta daisies do not have the white petals, only the yellow center is in bloom. There are no visible signs of insects. They get a good amount of sun - about 5 hours per day. What could be the prob...
view the full question and answer

Goldenrod not blooming in Lecanto FL
September 19, 2010 - My goldenrod(fireworks) grows only like a groundcover(3" tall) and does not flower. It is in full sun in my garden in Lecanto, Florida(zone 9A). What could be wrong? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Is horseherb toxic to chickens in Austin, TX?
November 05, 2012 - My yard is almost completely horseherb (straggler daisy, calyptocarpus vialis) and I am hoping you can tell me if this is safe for chickens to eat? As common as it is here, there is nothing I could fi...
view the full question and answer

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