How to Deadhead Mexican Bush Sage or Salvia leucantha (Video Tutorial)

by Genevieve on September 1, 2009

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I shot this video in December, when this Salvia was at the end of its blooming season and just starting to think about going dormant, but the advice for how to deadhead and prune it is still great for summer.

Right now, many of the Mexican Bush Sages in the gardens that I maintain are just starting to need deadheading or trimming back out of pathways and other plants.

If you need to trim your Salvia to make it smaller, the most important thing to remember is only trim it back as far as it has leaves – unless you’re removing stems altogether by cutting them out at the base, in which case just don’t leave any big bare spots.

The next thing to remember is that if you’re trying to trim it back out of a pathway or another plant, don’t just trim it on the one side that is overflowing – trim the entire bush if you’re going to trim one part, as otherwise the lack of tumbling blossoms on the trimmed side looks very obvious from afar.

If you enjoyed learning how to prune your Mexican Bush Sage, you might also like to learn how to prune Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and other Hardy Cranesbills, Alstroemeria, and Scotch Heather.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Daffodil Planter September 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm

A great video! Head over to my blog to see what I said about your other videos, and find directions there for the “seven” meme–I just tagged you.
.-= Daffodil Planter´s last blog ..Seven favorite gardens =-.


Tim March 9, 2010 at 10:44 am

Very good tutorial thank you!


Penelope April 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you so much for the great tips! You have a fabulous gift for teaching. I inherited a small but bountiful mexican sage in our ‘chakra’ (garden/farm plot) where we live in the Sacred Valley of Peru, and after one year of tender loving care, it has now gotten to the point where it needs thinning. YES, the hummingbirds love it! *110 species of them… or at least several of those… I love the plant, smells fabulous, and would like to propagate it elsewhere… any tips in that regard? (most plants here in the Valley will root easily with a cutting stuck in the ground in the shade… but the mexican sage has not fared well with that treatment.). Consider us as Zone 10 – 10,000 feet, a distinct rainy season ( mid Nov-end March) and sunny but cold (no frost) from April to August, then sunny and warmer through October (no rain)…. thanks so much for your great video and willingness to share!
Penelope in Peru


Genevieve April 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hi Penelope, Thank you so much for your warm message. I usually divide Salvia leucantha to propagate it – just dig up the whole plant, hack it into chunks that contain both root and shoot, and replant all the pieces. Works great and you can make many from one. All best to you, Gen


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