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Best Time to Cut Back Russian Sage

Is it best to cut Russian sage back in fall or spring?

Wait until late winter or early spring to cut back Russian sage, butterfly bush and pest-free perennials. Research has found letting these plants stand for winter increases their hardiness. Plus the form, texture, motion and bird-attracting features add interest to the winter landscape. Cut your Russian sage back to about 4 inches above the ground. If your plants tend to flop during the summer you can cut them a second time. Prune the plants back halfway once they reach 12 inches. Those considering adding Russian sage to their gardens may want to try Little Spires, a shorter (four foot tall) cultivar that is less prone to flopping.


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NARI Milwaukee
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Oct. 26

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Nov. 2
Webinar: Boosting the Beauty of
and Propagating Houseplants

June 3 – 11, 2023
“Castles & Gardens” Adventure in Ireland with Melinda Myers
Includes the Bloom Festival in Dublin!

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