Question of the Week – Number Two: November 24, 2020
“I have Texas sage bushes that are 6 to 7 feet tall. I’d like to reduce their height by 2 to 3 feet. When and how can I do that?”
That’s doable, and late winter (late January into early February) would be the best time, just before the plants start making any new growth for the spring.
You can remove up to one-third from most shrubs’ height and width, but you need to do it with hand shears, and not with a power hedge trimmer. Texas sage (ceniza) plants just don’t look right when they’re cut into square or round shapes. Fact is, it will weaken the plants so much that they will gradually thin out and die.
Carefully sculpt your plants to retain their natural growth forms. Hand shears and loppers work best. Remove one branch at a time. Conceal all the cuts by leaving twigs and branches in place to cover the places you’ve made the trims.
Follow it up with an application of an all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer (without any kind of weedkiller added) in late March, as spring growth begins.