Pruning Salvia leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage.

salvia leucantha flowersSalvia leucantha, better known as Mexican Bush Sage, is a great addition to any garden – it’s water wise needing only sporadic watering and it can even resist a drought. Remember, that because Salvia leucantha is drought-resistant it likes full sun and well drained soil, it tends to get lanky after too much watering.

Salvia leucantha grows into 1.5m-tall clumps with a spread of 80cm or more. This shrub has spikes of woolly, purple bracts and mauve-white flowers and blooms from late summer or autumn and into winter.

There are many different cultivars of Salvia leucantha; ‘Midnight’ has rich purple spires of velvet flowers on silvery stems above woolly leaves and new cultivars ‘Velour White’ and ‘Velour Pink’ have recently been released.

Late June is the time to prune.

It’s best to prune Mexican Bush Sage in June as this is when new growth appears. The shrub must be pruned hard when you see that the new ‘white’ shoots are about 10-15cm high.

The older woody branches should be cut to ground level, but the new growth that is emerging from the centre of the plant should be left, as this is what will continue to grow.

If you see that the new white shoots are not stiff enough to stand by themselves, then you’ve left your pruning a bit too late. The best solution is to lightly prune the shoots to encourage new growth.

A great tip to keep in mind is that when you prune, it’s easier to work from one side of the plant to the other, this is so you can reach right to the bottom on the stems.

Step-by-step guide.

Salvia leucantha

1. Salvia before pruning

Salvia leucantha

2. Old and new growth

Salvia leucantha
3. Correct height of new growth
Salvia leucantha
4. Prune from one side to the other
Salvia leucantha

5. Completed pruning

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