How to Prune a Sage Bush

Updated February 21, 2017

Among sage plants (Salvia species), you find annuals and perennials. Regardless of how long the plant lives, both groups have sages that are mostly fragrant, drought tolerant, and hold their flowers for an extended period. The plants also grow quickly, especially annual varieties, some of which reach a full height of 5 feet in only one season. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. Sage requires pruning for rejuvenation, tidiness and repeat blooming.

Prune sage flower stalks bearing faded blossoms back to the base to encourage continuous blooming.

Remove dead and old woody stems after perennial sages begin to grow again in early spring.

Trim individual sage stems above a leaf node to shape the plant the way you want it to look. New growth starts from the node below the cut.

Cut an entire perennial sage to the ground when it is mostly thick woody stems with little new growth. Hard pruning done in early spring or after blooming rejuvenates the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
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About the Author

Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.