I just got my Russian Sage this spring! Prune your Russian sage plant in early spring before new growth emerges, about six weeks after the last predicted frost date for your region. The size of the Russian sage can grow up to 4 to 5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. This 'hard pruning' will make the plant more dense and increase flowering. Although some gardeners cut back their Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) plants in the fall, it is better to leave the plant over the winter and cut them back in the spring. Spring and summer care for Russian sage consists mainly of pruning. Wear gloves when moving, as the leaves may irritate skin. Pruning Russian Sage. So the dead twigs that are sticking out above the leaves in the spring will be there all summer if you don’t prune it. You can also subscribe without commenting. Pruning Russian sage is super easy! In mild climates, many sage varieties are evergreen, so they don't require heavy fall pruning. Plants shouldn't be pruned in the fall, since this could encourage early growth that is susceptible to frost damage. Russian sage is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. Yes, if you prune the tips, it will make your Russian sage branch out more. Like I mentioned above, you can’t kill Russian sage by over pruning it, so you really don’t have to be careful. The plant looks pretty uniform. My green thumb comes from my parents, and I've been gardening most of my life. Remove dead leaves from around the base of the plant in late fall. Pruning is an important part of Russian sage care, and it helps to keep your plants growing and looking their best. Choose a cool morning on an overcast day so the roots won't dry out quickly, and so the newly-divided plant will have time to establish in its new location. It spreads and reseeds so I am never without volunteers to … If you can't get to cutting back all the dying foliage in fall, at least make a point to remove any diseased parts of the plant. So, no matter which variety you have, you can follow these steps. Plus it holds snow. Plus there are three pruning techniques you can choose from. Nope, it should grow back just fine. Plus the form, texture, motion and bird-attracting features add interest to the winter landscape. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. But, the best time for pruning Russian sage is in the spring. So, I’ve included step-by-step instructions for how to cut back Russian sage using this method below…. ... Sterilize pruning shear blades by wiping them with a cloth that was dipped in rubbing alcohol, and prune all Russian sage stems to 6-inches tall in spring … All content found on this website is copyrighted materials and any form of reproduction is strictly prohibited. So it’s important to learn how to cut back Russian sage to keep it looking its best all summer long. 10 Plants for Year-round Containers. Your email address will not be published. Notice the Russian sage in the photo was cut back in fall. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1050.html. When To Prune Russian Sage. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to prune Russian sage plants. Read More... Hi Amy! Not much of an improvement. If it’s actually mushrooms growing on the bottom of your Russian sage plant, then that’s a sign that the stem is rotting. Trim off dead flower stalks and cut back any badly overgrown or damaged branches and stems. Be sure to watch my video that shows you the two best methods to prune Russian sage in spring. Trim your sage plants in the springtime instead, just as new leaves begin to emerge. If you prefer, you can prune your plant while it’s still dormant. You can give plants a hard prune at this point, cutting plants to 6 to 12 inches tall, if you don’t want to see stems all winter long. This bush produces panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer. The gardener ended up cutting off most of the dead material. Russian Sage Growing Tips . Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. The Only Shrubs You Need to Grow. How & When to Prune an Autumn Sage Plant. I find it easier to wait until the leaves have started growing before I prune mine so I know exactly where to cut. There are three techniques you can use for pruning Russian sage. You can use this technique every year to make pruning easier if you want, it won’t hurt the plant. Keep in mind it’s a “subshrub,” meaning the top half of each stem dies back each year, but the bottom part of each stem lives through the winter. If you’ve got floppy Russian sage, you may want to watch this video […] Continue Reading. Learn the two best techniques to cut back Russian sage in spring. Failure to prune will cause the plant to be leggy, droopy and less showy. Can you trim back Russian sage in the fall? In fact, you want to be aggressive with large shrubs. Did I do harm to them? Just came across your sight! Pruning will make way for tender new growth that will be vulnerable to the cold and may be damaged or killed. But don’t worry, these pruning tips work for all of them! USDA growing zones: 3 to 9 It sounds to me like your Russian sage isn’t getting enough water. ... here’s a post about fall versus spring pruning. Method 2: Prune it for shape – With this method, you can use hedge shears or an electric hedge trimmer to shape your Russian sage bush to a nice rounded form. Just be sure to wait until it is dormant, preferably after a frost. The Russian sage is a distant relative of the mint family but is not the same as the sage commonly used as a spice. That is usually towards the bottom of the stem, but it can be much farther up on some stems. Overgrown Russian sage can get straggly looking, but the plants can be revived with timely pruning and division. Should You Cut Back Russian Sage in Fall? Required fields are marked *. Early spring pruning is a good time to shape it if you want a nicely formed, rounded plant. You don’t have to be very careful here, if you cut too low on the plant, it’s not going to hurt it. By Catherine on October 18, 2015 in Fall Care, Pruning. ... Russian sage can be the poster child for floppy plants in rainy years. Something is mushroom shaped growth at the base of my Russian sage. The Russian sage in the front of the church is really tall and scraggly and looks terrible this time of the year. If you prefer, you can prune your plant while it’s still dormant. You can use any of the three methods every year for all the different Russian sage varieties. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees through links to Amazon.com. In areas with long growing seasons, pruning Russian sage immediately after flowering can promote a second flush of bloom. Leave upright stems standing through the winter. Russian sage does tend to spread more when you cut it down to the ground rather than just pruning the branches back to fresh growth. Had blooms. Asked May 21, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT. We prune butterfly bush, russian sage and caryopteris back to about 12" in late Winter/early Spring. I find it easier to wait until the leaves have started growing before I prune mine so I know exactly where to cut. Share this: Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Click to print (Opens in new window) Click to … Failure to prune will cause the plant to be leggy, droopy and less showy. I cut my Russian Sage down to nearly the ground in fall after a hard freeze. When new spring growth emerges, cut the old stems back to just above the lowest set of leaves. Ask an Expert is made up of groups and individual experts. Depending on your strategy of using it as a flower or a sub-shrub you should prune around early spring or mid-September, the extent of the pruning depending on your choice. Research has found letting these plants stand for winter increases their hardiness. I've learned I should have pruned the sage in winter as it went dormant. What should I do? You can start Russian sage from seed, but you will need to be patient. It is probably 2 ft tall only 2 branches – wondering if I should cut them both back so they will stool out? Prune the plant's stems back to anywhere from 4 to 6 inches from the ground. Russian sage stems are woody, and can be pretty thick in spots, so I recommend using pruning shears for the job. Can we prune it back this time of the year? That's if you can't stop yourself. I talk about when to employ each method, the time of year you can use either pruning technique, and the advantages of each. … I would try watering more often to see if it recovers. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a hardy, drought-resistant member of the mint family, though it grows with a slightly woody, shrub-like habit not unlike … When it comes to pruning plants, Russian sage is one of the easiest to do. "Spring bloomers can get a haircut right after they finish flowering. - YouTube Allow spent Russian sage plants to remain intact in autumn, and it will add interest to the winter landscape. Blue mist spirea also seems to break dormancy early (I can see leaves on the stems already) which makes … Any ideas? By Catherine on November 14, 2014 in Fall Care, Great Plants, Pruning, Winter Care. They have flowers on them as well. Carefully dig around roots, starting one foot away from the plant base. I also like to use precision pruning snips for smaller branches and tips if I’m working around tender new leaves. There are, however, still many Russian sage uses. And unless you are in an area where they remain somewhat evergreen, fall pruning will save you a messy cleanup in the spring. Do this just as the lower leaf buds are beginning to open, but before new growth … But only use this method in very early spring while the plant is still dormant, and before the leaves have started growing. However, once established, Russian sage is a tough plant that will live in your garden for many years. Whatever garden pruning tools you use, just be sure they are always cleaned and sharpened before you start cutting. I moved in here last year and did not know how to take care of the plants. You can cut it back all the way down to the ground, prune it for shape, or wait for new growth before pruning it (which is the method I like to use, see the step-by-step instructions below). Many times the dead branches will break off easily, so you can just snap them off at the base if that’s easier. Is it too late? Although many of us have been taught to leave Russian sage standing and prune it in spring, I’ve also had perfect results pruning it in fall, when I cut down my spent perennials. When they’re small, the new leaves are very delicate and can break off easily, so be careful. It’s also important to know that Russian sage won’t grow back at the tips of the plant after the winter, and the branches die back towards the bottom of the plant. But, the best time for pruning Russian sage is in the spring. I have a Russian sage about 3 or 4 feet tall. There you have it! Instead, prune in the dead of winter or in early spring, he suggests. Answer: It’s typical for Russian Sage, as well as many types of ornamental grasses to turn brown and die back from cold temperatures. Thank you! Wait until late winter or early spring to cut back Russian sage, butterfly bush and pest-free perennials. Quite helpful! Thanks for any help you can give me. Now that it’s October, some plants have lost their luster. I’m a passionate gardener who loves growing everything from vegetables, herbs, and flowers to succulents, tropicals, and houseplants - you name, I've grown it! ... Pruning Plum … Though the leaves of the Russian sage plant are slightly toxic and you should not eat them, the plant's flowers are edible and have a peppery flavor. I pulled it out last year and it seemed to kill half the plant….it is bigger now and the plant seems to have shrunk. This will rejuvenate the plant so it will grow fuller and bushier. How To Prune Chives & Deadhead The Flowers, How To Prune Tomatoes For Maximum Production, Lasagna Gardening 101: How To Make A Lasagna Garden, 7 Easy DIY Potting Soil Recipes To Mix Your Own, How To Make Potting Soil For Indoor Plants, Terms Of Use, Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. Step 2: Cut right above the new leaves – Using pruning shears or precision pruning snips, cut back the old stem right above the spot where the new foliage is growing. Hummm, I’m not sure what that could be. Russian Sage should be pruned in the early spring (about April). Russian Sage should be pruned in the early spring (about April). Shade Perennials for Weed Suppression. But they are very hardy, and cutting them down to the ground shouldn’t hurt them. Live wood can be easily mistaken for dead wood if pruned too early. Plants you should prune in the fall: Now (November) through December is the perfect time to cut back grasses such as Russian Sage, Catmint, Black-Eyed Susan, Lavender, Butterfly Bush, Itea, and Hibiscus. If any of the branches are sticking out a lot higher than others, then you can cut them back to the same length so the plant is shapely. Autumn sage (Salvia greggii), a native flowering shrub, comes from the warmer climates of the Southwest. Is it best to cut Russian sage back in fall or spring? If your Russian sage leaves have already started growing, then use methods 2 or 3 instead, and wait until next spring to cut it all the way back. Germination can take up to four months. Pruning Hydrangeas. Also, when will it be beautiful and full again? When using this method, cut large plants back to about a foot high. Share your tips for pruning Russian sage in the comments section below. I live in east Tn and Russian Sage is the gift that keeps on giving as far as I am concerned. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about over doing it, you can’t kill a Russian sage shrub by over-pruning. It may also protect the plant in a particularly hard winter as it holds the snow in place and gives insulation. If you’re growing Russian sage plant (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in your garden, then you know how bad they can look after the winter. All those dead branches leave your plant looking ugly and half dead. Last fall, Bought and planted a few Denim & Lace variety. Some Hydrangeas such as PeeGee and Annabell can also be trimmed now, but others, such as Mophead, Lacecap and any Hydrangea … This provides winter interest in your garden. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The new growth will appear at the base of the clump, as the days get longer and warmer. Option one for bold people But don’t worry, if you accidentally knock off a few, it’s really not a big deal. I live and garden in Minneapolis, MN (zone 4b). The trimming strategies are twofold. Russian Sage, considered a summer-blooming, woody, subshrub perennial is a great addition to the home landscape and was named the 1995 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association! It is not advisable to prune sage during the fall or winter. September. This can make the whole process a little confusing. Step 3: Remove any dead branches – If you find dead branches that don’t have any new leaves on them, you can cut those down to the ground. Getting a Its long blooming period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in bloom throughout the growing season. Or you can alternate these methods from year to year as you need to in order to keep your plant growing nice, and keep it shapely. If you have a large shrub, you can use hedge shears or an electric hedge trimmer to make pruning easier. ... Gardeners in all climates should prune Russian sage plants back to about 6-8 inches in the spring. Smoke bush (Cotinus) is generally pruned only to remove winter-killed wood. I’d prune it off at the ground with a pair of hand shears or an electric trimmer. You will have beautiful growths in the fall. This 'hard pruning' will make the plant more dense and increase flowering. Keep this in mind when pruning back your sage and remember not to clip off too much. Would it harm the plant to prune now in spring, or should I let it go and wait until this winter? The ideal time as to when to prune the sage depends on how you want to use the plant. pruning Russian sage. The best time to prune subshrubs that bloom in spring and early summer is when leaf buds emerge in spring. Method 1: Cut it down to the ground – If your Russian sage is really woody and hasn’t been pruned before, then you might want to try cutting it all the way down to the ground. How do you cut back Russian sage? Bev. My tallest, about 2-1/2 ft, with about six stalks. If the plant begins to spread open or sprawl in late spring or summer, shear off the top one-third of the stems to encourage upright growth. Try to make the cut as close to the leaves as you can, any part of the dead branch that is sticking out will be there all summer. You can prune out the dead growth any time, you won’t harm the plant. Or you can leave them longer if you don’t care about the shape of the plant. If you don’t prune Russian sage, the plant will become very overgrown and woody, which doesn’t look very nice. Suddenly it appears to be drying up a d dying 🙁 I’m in zone 9b, warm and dry. Trim these plants to about 4-6 inches above the ground. Although you may be tempted to prune earlier, it is best to wait until you see a little green before removing the dead tips of branches and old flowers.
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