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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 - July 07, 2011

From: ROCKPORT, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm about ready to rip it out, any ideas? Thanks for your time.

ANSWER:

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), is native to Mexico and Central America, and therefore isn’t in our Native Plants Database which would include information on growing conditions. The link above indicates that the plant prefers full sun, and evenly moist, well drained soil. Sand is certainly well drained, but probably could stand some amending to improve moisture levels.
This link has a video about pruning that could help improve your plant's appearance.

Try to hold off on ripping it out until after it blooms in the late summer. This information from Floridata might give you some hope.

 

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