How do you prune scarlet sage?

Answered by Tom Adger

Pruning scarlet sage, also known as salvia, is a relatively simple task that can help promote healthy growth and maintain the appearance of your plants. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prune scarlet sage:

1. Timing: The best time to prune scarlet sage is after the last frost of the season. This is usually in early spring when the weather starts to warm up. Pruning at this time allows the plant to recover and regrow before the active growing season begins.

2. Tools: To prune scarlet sage, you’ll need a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors. Make sure the blades are clean and sterile to prevent the spread of diseases.

3. Cutting back: Start by cutting the stems of the scarlet sage all the way down to the base. You can be quite aggressive with the pruning, as scarlet sage is a fast-growing plant and will quickly recover. Cutting back the stems to the base helps stimulate new growth and keeps the plant looking tidy.

4. Removing dead or damaged growth: While pruning, keep an eye out for any dead or damaged stems or leaves. These should be removed to improve the overall health and appearance of the plant. Cut them off at the base, just like the healthy stems.

5. Frequency: Scarlet sage is a vigorous grower, so you’ll typically only need to prune it once or twice a year. However, you can also prune selectively throughout the growing season if you notice any overgrown or unruly stems.

6. Disposal: After pruning, you’ll be left with a pile of cut stems. These can be added to your compost pile or disposed of in your green waste bin. Avoid leaving the cut stems on the ground, as they may take root and create new plants.

7. Maintenance: After pruning, it’s important to continue providing the scarlet sage with proper care. This includes regular watering, fertilizing, and removing any weeds that may compete with the plant for nutrients.

Personal experience: I have pruned scarlet sage in my own garden for several years now, and it has always responded well to the process. I typically prune mine in early spring, right after the last frost. The plants bounce back quickly, and by summer, they are full and blooming with vibrant red flowers. Pruning has helped me keep the plants in shape and prevent them from becoming too leggy or overcrowded. It’s a simple task that has made a noticeable difference in the overall health and appearance of my scarlet sage plants.

Pruning scarlet sage involves cutting the stems down to the base after the last frost of the season. This promotes new growth and helps maintain the plant’s shape. With the right timing and technique, you can enjoy healthy, vibrant scarlet sage plants in your garden.