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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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Sunday - April 14, 2013

From: McAllen, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pruning Lyreleaf Sage from McAllen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a few Lyre Leaf Sage last year and they bloomed beautifully. I let them seed out and had a number of new plants show up this year. I have never cut the flower/seed stalks back and now that it's getting to be that time of year for them to begin flowering again, I don't see anything that looks like a new flower is developing, just the the old dried and empty seed "pods". Will they flower on their own or do I need to cut back the old stalks in order to promote flowering?

ANSWER:

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is an evergreen perennial plant that makes a very good groundcover, so it's an excellent choice. It blooms from March to June. We ordinarily recommend that perennials be pruned some in the winter, but with an evergreen plant that grows so low it's hard to know when to do so. Even though this USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Lyreleaf sage as being native to Hidalgo County, we have read the growing conditions for it on the webpage, which you can read by clicking on the weblink, and we feel that you still have appropriate conditions for the plant. It can get by on low to medium amounts of moisture as well as sun, part shade or shade. The only possibility we can think of for it to not be blooming yet is that the plants that grew from last year's seeds are not the ones blooming. Perennials being grown from seed ordinarily do not bloom until their second season. Any time you see a spent seed pod or even just fading blooms, just snip it off,  as this will encourage further blooming. Also, even though they can tolerate shade, almost any blooming plant will bloom better in the sun. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

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