Can I prune Hot Lips now?

seachelleleeJune 3, 2012


I have a Hot Lips salvia in a planter on my deck, and it did great this spring with tons of blooms, but now it is getting leggy and hanging over the edge of the planter into the walkway on the deck. The stems are probably about 2.5' right now. Can I prune these back so they are not so unsightly? If so, how much can I safely take off? We are on the verge of 90 degree weather right now - not sure if this makes a difference on pruning or not. Thanks for any help you can give!

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I just went out to my planter and found a half buried tag, and realized that what I have is NOT Hot Lips, but Navajo Red! Sometimes the flowers come with a mix of whitish-pink on them, so I think that's why I thought it was Hot Lips. Most of the flowers have been bright red, though. Sorry for this big faux pas - I am obviously new to salvias and don't know much about them. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 12:51PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

There is no problem with pruning this sage now, as long as you don't remove more than 2/3 of the active foliage.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Thanks for the reply! I noticed that most of the stems have a single flower on the end of them, and it looks like there may be more coming (dark sheaths on the ends of the stems). If I trim these back, obviously I will lose these flowers, but will it encourage even more blooming later?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:29PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

As fast as this plant grows, application of some humus and fertilizer will help blooming in the summer.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Regardless of what you have thought you might enjoy shots of my salvia microphylla hot lips. This is the third year for this plant and the best year in my zone 6 heat mid 90s this week. Its pretty easy to see I have bi-color, red and white all on this plant at the same time. And for hummingbird fans they hit my hot lips daily as you might imagine.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 2:26PM
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