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Hot lips advice

Hi all, 

I have this hotlips in the garden. It's the first year in the ground after spending its first year potted. It's had a new lease of life following a trim about 2 months ago (to allow me to paint the fence). Do I need to cut this back for winter? Any advice greatly appreciated as I'm a total newbie.

Thank you :-) 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,521
    I would leave it until late Spring personally. They can be a bit tender so if you can leave as much top growth on as possible it offers some protection. 
    Welcome to the forum by the way  :)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,373
    I agree, leave it until spring. It will lose its leaves and there might be some dieback of the top growth, but it protects the lower part. In spring, cut it back to where you can see new growth, or lower if you like.
  • Thank you both @AnniD and @JennyJ

    Could I be quite harsh with the cutting back come the spring? 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,521
    You can cut them back quite hard, l tend to be more cautious and probably don't cut mine back hard enough, probably down to around a foot. Some people cut them right back to the ground. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 8,323
    I cut my back to just above the old wood - to the first green sprouts.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,373
    I do the same as @Fire , or sometimes further if it's been a mild winter and they're growing back from quite high up. You can cut right back close to the ground if you want to.
  • I also have one of these hot lips salvias and it is still flowering. I was waiting for the last flowers to drop before pruning it back as it is rather taking over in a smallish border but perhaps I should wait until spring? I have enjoyed it so much this summer, its first in my garden, and the scent is lovely. I wanted something to attract the bees and it does that exceedingly well!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,373
    Better to leave the pruning until spring, particularly if you live in a colder area. The old growth will help to protect the crown.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 8,323
    Mine is still going, despite recent frosts, offering good late nectar to the bumbles.
  • There's a Salvia Hotlips on the southbank near Waterloo by Thames which I noticed was in flower even in Jan and Feb earlier this year. Possibly helped by being in a sheltered spot close to river. I think it must be the only shrub I know that be in flower for 12 months of the year! 
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