Mexican Sage looking 'leggy'

aliciamarie(19)September 27, 2005

Hello, ...

My mexican sage is now two years old, and it is looking very leggy and woody. Given that it is the end of the summer, would it be ok to cut it back very aggressively? Would this encourage it to grow back "bushier" next spring? Is there another solution?

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CA Kate

I see that you are in CA 19. From Sunset I would gather that you're not a lot different from here, so I'll try to answer your question..... and I'm assuming you're meaning S. leucantha.

I leave the top growth on until it warms up in February/ March, then I prune it to the ground or the bottom set of new leaves. If I prune too soon the tender new growth will turn black. Then in the summer -- if they're looking too ratty -- I prune them back... usually late July /early August, then I get a nice Fall bloom.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 1:44PM
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Yup. In my Cali zone I shear to ground in early spring...and you're even warmer than me.
Early spring is also a good time to divide this plant. Division is easily done with a shovel. Any parts you divide off the mother plant usually grow on their own quite well.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 1:11PM
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same here, major cutback in early spring and digging out any parts that I want to get rid of or give away. But for now I just let it do its leggy thing until it overly flops and irritates me, then I just remove the floppy part.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 12:14PM
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