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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Texas Sage Outgrowing Its Space after Two Years

Q. We have three Texas Sage bushes that are about two years old and doing very well – so well in fact that they are outgrowing their area. I have seen these plants where they have been trimmed back and they look very good. Is it okay to do this without harming them, and if so, should I wait until they go dormant?

A. Regarding your Texas Sage, there are varieties that are smaller than others. Perhaps it might have been better to select one of the Texas Sage which are smaller to begin with so you wouldn't be faced with this so early in its life. 

Texas Sage or Texas Ranger can be pruned with a hedge shears but really should only be sheared this way if they are intended to be in a hedge. If you intend to use a hedge shears on these plants expect them last about five years before they get really woody at the base and don't have much foliage anymore. 
Larger Texas sage pruned with a hedge shears
This may not work for you if these plants are placed into a location where you need to keep them small. But the best way to pruned them is by removing two or three of the largest stems at the soil level. The idea is to continue to remove the oldest wood from the base of the plant every couple of years. 

This keeps the plant juvenile and doesn't interfere with its flowering. Hedge sharing is usually done when there has been new growth which results in removal of the flowers before you can enjoy them.

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