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Salvia 'Joy' pruning advice

I have a Salvia 'Joy' which is about 3 or 4 years old, it's not huge but is a little leggy.  What's the best way to prune it and when should I do it?  It is currently in flower.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,162
    I would wait until next Spring (late Spring) before doing any hard pruning. You can tidy it up a bit if you're worried about it  getting battered by the wind, but if it's sheltered l would leave it be.
    You could try taking cuttings as insurance  :)
  • Thanks - when you say hard pruning, how hard?  
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,708
    depends how big they are, but you can gather the whole lot up, pony style style and give it a chop as low as you like. What you've left in your fist after the chop will spring back into life. 
    A photo would help.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,162
    edited September 2019
    I usually cut mine down to around 6 to 9 inches , you can see the new shoots appearing around that level. I would stress not to cut them back too soon, if we get a few of those warm Spring days in mid March they may well start to shoot. It's very tempting then to cut them back, but a cold snap won't do them any good.
    As Hostafan says, if you have a photo that might help  :)
    Edited to add, it's not too late to take cuttings as insurance. 
  • I've taken two photos.  It's not easy to see because, after a foot op, I haven't been able to get out to tidy the garden much.  You can see that it has quite a bit of woody stem at the base (1st picture).  It is such a pretty little flower, I want to get it right.  I am very successful in the garden usually but I've never grown Salvias.  I'll have to look for a non flowering shoot.  The internet says put cuttings in water or plant up - which method do you find works the best? Many thanks.

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,115
    That looks like one of mine, "Dyson's Joy". If it's the same one, I find it has a rather more straggly habit than some of the other shrubby salvias.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,162
    It is very pretty,  but as you say, very woody at the base.
    Personally,  l take my cuttings and put them in pots of multi purpose compost mixed with some vermiculite to give good drainage. You can use hormone rooting powder, but l don't find it necessary . The theory is that you use a non flowering shoot, but with salvias that can prove difficult, if not impossible, so l just cut the flower shoot off.
    I overwinter them in a cold frame, and if it gets really cold l put a bit of fleece over them. Alternatively you can keep them on a windowsill indoors. Keep them on the dry side, and remove any dead leaves as they may turn mouldy and that could spread to others. I check them over at least every 2 weeks, ideally once a week.
    I have never tried the cuttings in water treatment with salvias, but l can't see any reason why it wouldn't be successful and l'm sure others on the forum have done it.
    With regard to your original plant, come Spring l would personally reduce it by about two thirds. It is difficult to tell from your photos,  but the branch on the left hand side in the first photo looks dead to me. The only way you will know for sure is when you cut it back in Spring - if the middle is green, it's still alive.
    Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask , l'm sure others will also advise.  Hope the foot is recovering well  :)
  • The Bird LadyThe Bird Lady Posts: 188
    edited September 2019
    Thanks very much for the information, I'll have a go at getting a cutting or two.  I agree, that branch does look dead but it is still alive I'm glad to say. Yes, foot is improving daily, thank you (bunion op).
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