lavender and russian sage

tomuchwork101March 26, 2007

should lavender or russian sage be cut back in spring

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I have both and cut each back in the spring. I always wait to see new growth before I cut back. My russian sage grows about 4' after I cut it back. I have lavender agustifolia and it grows about 12-15". Marg

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 11:32AM
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thorngrower sw. ont. z5

the books say to cut them back..some years i just cut back to live growth..last year i cut my r.sage to the ground, it got around 3-4 ft. love that stuff..May nights another purlpe spikie plant blooms earlier very hardy here, veronica another good one two kinds 1-2 ft various colours. taller 3ft as well..

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:11PM
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thanks for the help

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Hi - I'm in the midwest region (browsing to find out about some other perennials) I grow both R sage and Lavender, dearly love 'em! I was just out these past unseasonably warm sunny Spring days, for annual garden clean-up. I cut back both R sage to 6in (1 is a dwarf variety) & just trimmed Lavenders to shape, even if they don't keep the good shape, eventually.

My ? to marric - 2 of my several Lavenders are quite aged ladies but still send up gloriously sweet scented blooms - I recently read that they peak only in the 1st few years and should consider replacing after 5th year ... is this just a myth?

I planted side by side in 1991, my first 2 in remembrance of my mom & dad when I first created a 4-leafclover shaped herb patch. My dad's Yardley-aftershave lotion is a wonderful memory as far back in my childhood. Those first 2 Lavandulas are getting a bit scraggly looking but are still quite productive. I might worry about cutting them back to the ground as you did.

Appreciate your thoughts & experience.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Good morning Ditas. I've never heard that but it wouldn't hurt to start a few from cuttings. I've never started any cuttings before but others here have and I'm sure could tell you how. Mine is about 5 years old and going strong. Maybe because I cut it back each spring? When I cut mine back, I cut them to about 2" once I see some new bottom growth and they quickly come up again. Hope this helps. Marg

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 8:26AM
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Thank you for your prompt reply Marg. I might dare cutting back a bit more - perhaps to the length of the sagey-winter-green stems, before turning Spring green which they now seem to be doing. I've done a few stem-cutting in the past on other perennials but have not tried on Lavandulas. I guess I'm just trying to preserve the original ones, for the sentimental reasons.

Again many thanks and HAPPY SPRING & Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Lavender is supposed to be cut back 1/3-1/2 in the spring. The woody stem will send out side shoots and you don't have to wait so long for a full plant. I have in the past cut them right back to new growth and the plant still thrives, I think you could get away with either way. The articles I've read say to cut back only 1/3-1/2. Janet

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Hi Janet - Thank you for your added support! I was out in my little piece of oasis with the sights & sounds of SPRING ... digging, prunning, moving a few perennials around ... never mind this AM's backache! So I did prune my pair of Lavenders (I dearly call Ma & Pa) I have 2 others - a 6y/o and a yearling, that I will cut back in just a few minutes. Again thanks!

Do any of you know of a Spanish Lavender - a friend (from an Internet support group) planted in memory of my angel grand daughter. It just came to mind as we are talking of Lavenders.

In my piece of Oasis, all around my house, I planted small flowering perennials & herbs to remember little angels of grandmas in my support group - I have created several island patches - that was in 2001. I have since just planted a small bush each year since ... this year I'm thinking of Hydrangea-Angel's Blush ... last year's was H. Little Lambs.

I thought I'd share ... thanks for reading.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 1:45PM
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You are welcome Ditas, I did take some cuttings in the fall and I asked about propagating them and I was told good luck, not possible. Well I put them in water to root, not my usual prop. method, one of the three rooted, I potted it up and it is growing like mad. So softwood cuttings are possible, if I do more I think I would use rooting hormone #1 for stronger root system. Some in water and some in soil with rooting hormone and you should be sure to have success. Janet

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:05AM
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Wow thats great Janet, I should try my luck at stem cutting again - haven't done any in a while. I assume you brought your babes in, over Winter?

I can also try setting a pot of soil close by and pin down a stem in to it ... might work too - won hurt to try!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:56PM
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Yes my little lavender babies are inside, and florishing. I might try that stem rooting also, good idea, nothing ventured nothing gained. Janet

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:08AM
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Hello Lavender & Russian Sage lovers - I thought I'd bring this thread back up to update on the result of the stem-propagation by pinning a stem on the ground & covering with a brick over ... the stem has rooted! I added more soil under the brick & decided to leave them be for another Winter - 'will separate them from mother plants in the Spring to a sunnier site!

I thought you may like to know!

Â;) Ditas

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 4:31PM
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My Russian Sage is about 6 years old. This year I noticed about 8 'babies' growing under the parent plant. I'll have to divide them in the spring. I have another one in the holding bed that isn't quite as old and it hasn't had any 'babies' yet. I think I'll take the 'babies' and make a hedge out of them. What do you think? Marg

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Hi Marg - Isn't it great?! My Russian Sage is 7y/o & 2 years ago dug up a baby for a friend, last year another sprouted & this year is a full size - I'll dig up come Spring for my dau-in-law.

A hedge would be wonderful ... I can just imagine, how lovely & fragrant! Â;)

Last year I mentioned a 2nd R Sage, planted in '06, that was supposed to be a dwarf variety (max'ed at 18-20" for 2 years) ... this 3rd season, grew just as tall as the regular ... I'm a bit disappointed. Would you happen to know how I could keep it the dwarf size as in the past 2 years?

Thanks in advance! Â;)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:40PM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

My R.Sage is 3 summers old. This summer, I noticed sprouts coming up all over the garden, some even 15' away from the old R.Sage. So I did a little investigative digging and find an umbilical root coming from mama R.Sage. I gave it a good chop with the shovel 2' away from the baby, dug up the baby, and transplanted it, and mama and baby are doing fine!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 2:28PM
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Ditas: My guess is that your plant was accidentally mislabeled at the nursery. I really don't know how to make it shorter except by pruning it. I have some lambs ears that gets about 8". When it reseeded where I didn't want it, I just pulled them out and tossed them over the fence into a grassy area that was dense shade. It is growing there and only gets about 2" tall. Maybe you could try replanting it in a more shady area? I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try! Even if it doesn't work, you will have an excuse to go buy another plant! Marg

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 9:46AM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Ditas: Like you, my father wore Yardley's lavender after-shave. Thanks for the memory!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:42PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I have some of my father's Yardley's aftershave. He passed away in 1989. I use a little dab every once in a while when I am feeling sentimental. And then there was also Yardley's Brilliantine. I have his also. Ah, memories.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 8:25PM
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I have 2 plants purchased 3 years ago which were labeled as Russian Sage, one was to have lavender blooms and one white. One bloomed immediately with very scented lavender spikes however, the second one didn't bloom until this year. The blooms are identical lavender on both plants. Someone questioned me whether they could be lavender plants rather than sage. I have looked at pictures on the internet and can't tell for sure, however they do resemble the lavender. I understand they resemble each other. How can I be for sure?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 3:32PM
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beverly1952: Russian sage smells strongly of sage.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Hi Lavender & R Sage friends - I thought to bring this thread back up, with hopes to visit with you once more ... regarding our experiences with these 2 of my favorites!

The ground-layering method, of rooting, did work wonderfully & now, I have 4 new & growing well, independent, little shrubs of Lavender in other beds I have!!!

Re: Little Spire (R Sage) suffered a bit, from the very severe, past Winter we had, as well as the very soggy first 2 weeks of Jun, followed by sunny/hot/oppressively,steamy last 2 wks!!! Â:( Both Li'l Spire & Reg R Sage showed up, a wee bit late, but finally now, beautiful once more, with these, unusually cooler Jul & Aug.

I wonder how all yours are? Oh, I've been pulling so many young shoots of both Li'l Spire & R Sage around their respective sites ... growing a few in pots as well!

Hello shapiro & jroot - sorry for not having responded, to your posts (forgot to bookmark this thread) - it is so good to know, that this lovely scent of Yardley Lavender, from our youths, bring wonderful memories. I still purchase Lavender soap, to this day, just to bury among the linens & bath towels (a long ago, habit) ... collect spikes of Lavender blossoms, as well, to dry & hang in closets etc!!!

Hope to read from you! TIA

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 10:53PM
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I had wonderful blooms this spring on my 2-year old lavender. I would like to know if I cut off the spent blooms spikes now (June) if I will get more blooms in the fall. Now that they are done blooming, they aren't very attractive (brown blooms).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 8:19AM
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you could get new blooms but it won't be as spectacular as the first blooms.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:33PM
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Hello My name is Vannessa and I had been researching R.Sage and different Lavenders. I want to plant them in my yard. I find R.sage all over town in yards and the side of the road.
It goes away during the winter and comes back full bloom in the spring to is July now and I am wondering if it is too late to plant? Also, is the russian sage similar or different to lavender? there are many honey bees all over the R.sage! I haven't seen any lavender around here although I have read that it will grow well here.
I have read that English and French Lavenders will grow well here. Any advise is greatly appreciated! You have a wonderful site here. Thank you! V

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 1:52PM
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Hi Vanessa, best wait till summer is over to plant. There are lots of difference between a russian sage and lavenders. They aren't related to each other. Russian sage isn't even a sage. lavenders are shorter than the russian sages.

You can grow munstead, angustafolia, grosso, and french lavenders in your zone.

In spring, well after the last freezing, prune the plants (the lavenders to a rounded shape and the russian sage to about a foot from below) This keeps the shape.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Does anyone have any lavendar hearty in zone 5 they would be willing to send me? I will send you a prepaid postage label to put on the box (in the US). I have been trying to grow that and rosemary but, I haven't had any success yet. Any additional help you could provide on ideal growing conditions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:09PM
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