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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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Thursday - July 07, 2016

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: When Should I Prune Texas Sage?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

How and when do you prune Texas sage to encourage thicker foliage?

ANSWER:

Sorry for the delay in replying to your question.

Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus have answered a similar question about pruning Texas sage in another Mr. Smarty Plants question from a Texas gardener. Here's their reply, Texas sage, or cenizo, (Leucophyllum frutescens) tends to get leggy in cultivation, especially if it is growing in the shade. The most likely reason it is leaning is that it is growing towards the direction of the most sunlight. Late winter is the best time to prune it and it sounds as if it would benefit from a severe cutback. Even with an extreme pruning it will probably survive and sprout again and you can then tip prune to keep its shape and size in check. Also, it should be watered only sparingly and it should not be fertilized. Should it not survive the severe pruning, you might consider replacing it with one of the dwarf varieties, such as 'Silverado'.


You can read about the Texas sage in the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center web page. Select "Growing Conditions" from the menu at the top of that page to read more about maintaining your Texas sage.

 

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