When would be a good time to trim this plant back and can I trim it to about 2 feet tall?
I would wait until winter. You can trim it way down and make it ugly as hell. It will recover and look fine after a few weeks of spring growth.
That is sort of what I thought but I thought I would consult the experts. Thanks.
I would definitely wait until it's not as pretty as it is now. :-))
My neighbor has a landscaping crew that cut back these gorgeous bushes just before they blushed. Damn. They are so ugly now with bare spots and dead twigs showing through.
It is pretty now. I didn't think it bloomed ever and then it rained and it was full of blooms.
As GermanStar says, wait until December or January and then trim it to whatever size you want. Any trimming now will eliminate the blossums.
Here in Camp Verde mine goes dormant in the winter and loses all its leaves, that's when I trim and shape. They do have a tendency to get leggie.
What kind of plant is it?
That's a Texas Sage
Isn't it best to wait until there is no chance of frost to cut it back? I trimmed mine all the way back in March and they came back just fine.
They are not frost sensitive so the timing is not that critical. March is about the latest that you would want to do a major cutback.
Just saw this thread and I too had the same question. We have about ten of these bushes, somewhat overgrown on our property (last owner let them go a bit). I asked a landscaping guy and he said after the last frost (mid-Feb) but I think we'll do it earlier given the notion that they are not susceptible to frost.
Frost susceptibility isn't really the point. The point is that cutting these things back the way they usually should be cut back (i.e. severely) oft leaves them rather unsightly. By waiting until after the last frost, you minimize the time they remain unsightly. If that isn't a concern, have at it!
This post was edited by GermanStar on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 20:24
Keep in mind that severely cutting them back (aka renewal, rejuvenative pruning) can only be done once every 4 -5 years because its so stressful on the plant.
After renewal pruning follow 'natural' or 'selective' pruning practices to keep them looking good. Also watch the water. Texas Sage (Leucophyllum) can survive on minimal water and too much makes them grow like crazy.
^ Guy down the street from me does it annually, to no ill effect so far -- not that I disagree with your assessment.
Newbie question, sorry: Can silver cassia also be cut back like the Texas Sage? We just recently bought our house and the previous owner had overwatered the plants and had them pruned in such rounded shapes that the plants are over grown and have bare patches of growth or sticks for their interiors. We'd like to cut everything back (several Texas Sages and Silver Cassias) then begin again with more natural pruning techniques. Thanks for the help!