“Cutting Back”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
Years ago, when I first started gardening, I had a hard time cutting back leggy plants. My mother would come to visit and say, “You need to cut back those _____.” Fill in impatiens, coleus, etc. I would answer that I didn’t feel confident enough to know how far to trim them back. She would lean over and just snap things off and say something like “See, just like that. It’s not like you’re doing something serious like brain surgery. It’s just a leggy plant.”
I still hesitate sometimes to wack things back, but I find that it is not so hard anymore, and it really helps keep certain plants in shape or allows them to bloom more. So, when Pam at Digging stated that she was trimming back her Mexican Bush Sage to make it more compact, I went to work on mine. After I trimmed them back, I decided to try and root some. So, I took six small cuttings, and, so far, they are surviving. No wilting even in the hot temps we have been having lately.
I am thinking about taking some cuttings from other fall blooming plants also. I definitely want to take cuttings of the wine sage since I only have one plant, and I want to ensure I always have plenty of that deep burgundy flowering sage. I also want to take cuttings of the regular pineapple sage and the “Golden Delicious” pineapple sage to have more of those, too.
Sometimes, I try and propagate plants just to see if I can do it. I have had a great deal of luck with dipping the cuttings in rooting hormone, and then making sure that the cuttings stay moist. If I am successful with this propagation, I’ll have several free plants for my garden and some to give away.