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
4 ratings

Sunday - October 07, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?

ANSWER:

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) is a plant native to North America, growing well in Texas and attracting hummingbirds and other flying pollinators. After the spring bloom, trim off 1/3 of the top and do so again in late summer. As weird a summer as we've had around here, we think you can count early October as late summer, and proceed as directed.

Salvia elegans (pineapple sage) is native to Mexico and Guatemala, so named because of the delicious scent of pineapple it gives off when the leaves are crushed. It is a semi-woody subshrub in USDA Zones 9-11, but here in Central Texas, it is considered an herbaceous perennial. That is, in Zones 8-9, Pineapple sage will die to the ground but resprout in spring. Cut back in late fall, and mulch for added winter protection.

 


Salvia greggii

 

 

More Pruning Questions

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

Trimming inland sea oats from Waco TX
January 30, 2013 - Re: Inland Sea Oats and trimming back in early spring "It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette." ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Trimming native salvias in January
January 17, 2008 - I have heard you can trim Hot Lips, Raspberry and other salvias back severely in January, to about six inches from the ground. Is this correct?
view the full question and answer

Care for cultivar of native Bignonia capreolata
February 05, 2008 - I planted Dragon Lady Cross Vines at the end of the fall last year. When would be the best time to trim them. I live in the Dallas area. They look kind of beat up right now and I thought if I trimmed...
view the full question and answer

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