How to Prune Russian Sage

Russian sage is a beautiful and easy-to-grow perennial that provides color and interest in the garden from late spring to early fall. Follow these simple tips on how to prune Russian sage and keep it looking its best.

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Why Prune?

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a woody-based perennial that is known for its silvery-green foliage and lavender-blue flowers. It is a tough plant that is tolerant of poor soil and drought, but it benefits from annual pruning to maintain its shape and size. Pruning also encourages new growth and more flowers.

To encourage growth

Pruning is done to encouraged growth in a plant. If you prune a plant, you are essentially giving it a haircut. This encourages the plant to put out new growth, which is often more vigorous than the previous growth. Pruning also helps to keep a plant tidy and can even help to prolong its life by removing old and dying growth.

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a woody perennial that is native to the steppes of central Asia. It has been grown in Europe since the early 1800s and was introduced into the United States in 1873. This plant is known for its beauty and its ability to thrive in difficult growing conditions.

PRUNING RUSSIAN SAGE

Pruning Russian sage is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. However, pruning can be done at any time of year if necessary. Simply cut back the stems of the plant by one-third to one-half their length. This will encourage new growth and help to keep the plant tidy.

To promote flowering

Pruning helps to keep the plant tidy, promote bushy growth, and encourage more flowers. Russian sage blooms on new wood, so pruning in late winter or early spring helps to stimulate growth and flower production.

To control the size and shape of the plant

Pruning is done to control the size and shape of the plant, as well as to encourage more blooms. It is best to prune Russian sage in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. To encourage more blooms, cut back one-third of the plant each year. For a more compact plant, prune up to one-half of the plant.

When to Prune

The best time to prune Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Prune stems back by one-third to one-half their length. If stems are leggy, cut them back to 6 to 12 inches above the ground.

Late winter or early spring

Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. You can prune up to one-third of the plant without damaging it. Start by removing any dead, diseased or damaged stems, then thin out the plant by removing some of the oldest stems at the base of the plant.

After the plant has flowered

After the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) blooms in late summer, the plant may appear ragged and unkempt. You may be tempted to shear off all the spent flowers, or even chop the whole plant back by half. However, pruning at the wrong time or in the wrong way can damage or even kill your sage. The experts at the University of California Cooperative Extension recommend waiting until after the last bloom before you prune.

Pruning at the wrong time of year can also stimulate new growth that won’t have time to harden off before winter, leading to dieback. If you must prune while the plant is still in bloom, do it gently and avoid cutting back into woody stems.

How to Prune

You should prune your Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Cut back the tips of the stems by about one-third to one-half their length. This will help to encourage new growth and prevent the plant from getting too leggy.

Cut back the stems by one-third to one-half their length

Once the blooms have faded, cut back the stems by one-third to one-half their length. This will encourage the plant to produce new growth, which will bloom the following year. It is best to prune in early summer so that the plant has time to produce new growth before winter.

Cut back any stems that are crossing or rubbing against each other

Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. You can also do it in the summer after the first flush of bloom, but this will sacrifice some blooms. To prune, simply cut back any stems that are crossing or rubbing against each other. This will help to promote air circulation and prevent disease problems. You can also remove any dead, diseased, or damaged stems at this time.

Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged stems

Spring is the best time to prune Russian sage. You can cut back the plant almost to the ground, as it rebounds quickly. Cut back any dead, diseased, or damaged stems first. Then shape the plant by pruning away any wayward stems. You can also cut back Russian sage to reduce its size or to keep it from becoming leggy.

Tips for Success

Pruning Russian sage is important to maintaining the plant’s shape and preventing it from becoming leggy. The best time to prune Russian sage is in late spring or early summer after the plant has finished blooming. Follow these tips for successful pruning of your Russian sage.

Use sharp, clean pruning shears

Before you prune your Russian sage, disinfect your pruning shears by soaking them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. This will help prevent the spread of disease.

When you’re ready to prune, start by cutting off any dead or dying stems. Then, cut back the remaining stems by about one-third to encourage new growth. Be sure to make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, just above a set of leaves.

It’s important not to over-prune your Russian sage. If you cut back too much, it could damage the plant or encourage excessive growth that will need to be trimmed again next season.

Make sure the plant is well-watered before you prune it

Before you prune your Russian sage, make sure to give the plant a good watering. This will help the plant recover from the pruning and produce new growth.

When pruning, cut the stems back to about 6 inches (15 cm) from the ground. If necessary, you can also thin out the plant by removing some of the older stems.

After pruning, keep an eye on the plant and water it regularly. With proper care, your Russian sage should recover quickly and produce new growth.

Prune Russian sage in a well-ventilated area

Because this plant contains a volatile oil which can irritate the skin, it is best to prune Russian sage in a well-ventilated area. If you are sensitive to the oil, you may want to wear gloves when pruning.

Pruning should be done in early spring, before new growth begins. Any time after that will result in pruning wounds that won’t heal until the following spring.

To encourage new growth and bushiness, cut back one-third of the plant’s height. This can be done all at once or over a period of several weeks. Be sure to make clean cuts just above a leaf node (the point where leaves are attached to the stem).

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