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Invasive roots can be a problem for homeowners. They can lift up your sidewalks and patios, damage your plumbing, make planting a garden near-impossible, and can even disrupt your home’s foundation. So, are Texas sage roots considered invasive?
Texas sage roots aren’t considered invasive. They won’t damage patios, sidewalks, plumbing, or your home’s foundation. However, Texas sage roots can spread considerably and overwhelm other plants once established. The plant grows to 8×8 feet (2.5×2.5 m) and reproduces at a moderate speed.
This article will explore Texas sage roots as a potentially invasive plant. I’ll also include information about how to control and maintain it in your garden. Let’s dive right in!
How Invasive is Texas Sage?
Texas sage isn’t considered invasive, as invasive plants are typically non-native and cause harm by killing off other plants or animals in the ecosystem. However, this plant will slowly overwhelm nearby plants in your garden and potentially starve them of space, nutrients and sunlight.
As such, if you plant Texas sage in the ground, it’s important not to plant it too close to other, less robust plants to prevent it from eventually crowding them out (source).
Texas sage doesn’t grow incredibly fast, but it’s very hardy and tenacious. Once established, it will continue to grow steadily into large woody shrubs that make excellent hedges. If allowed to grow unimpeded, it can spread about 8 feet (2.5 m) wide.
However, it doesn’t reproduce by runners and is therefore unlikely to sprout offspring that invade other areas of your yard (source).
How To Control Texas Sage
Texas sage is native to North America and flourishes in desert climates (source). It has been very popular as a drought-tolerant landscaping choice in recent years because of its handsome silvery leaves and showy purple flowers.
However, if you want to prevent your Texas sage from growing into enormous shrubs that overshadow your home and garden, there are two pruning methods to control it:
Pruning Texas Sage
Yearly pruning is the best way to keep this shrub from reaching its full 8 x 8 foot (2.5 x 2.5 m) size. However, pruning incorrectly can eventually leave you with an unattractive result.
This is because Texas sage doesn’t like to be pruned out of its natural shape. When it’s used in landscaping, it’s often pruned into perfect spheres. However, doing this year after year will stunt its flower growth and even cause it to produce less foliage.
Selective pruning is the best choice for this plant. In short, you should allow the plant to keep its natural irregular shape but prune away branches that grow too large for your liking. Cut the branches about ¼ inch above the closest node (or bud) to do this pruning.
A node is a point from which new growth occurs. This can be a pre-existing branch split or just a little dormant bump on the branch.
The direction the node is facing will also dictate the direction of the new growth. If the node is facing downward, the new branch will grow downward. If the node is facing upward, the new branch will grow upward. Knowing this, you can cut according to the direction in which you want the new branches to grow.
Hard pruning is also an option, but it isn’t something Texas sage needs unless you want to stimulate new growth, which is rarely necessary for this plant.
However, hard pruning is the way to go if the plant has grown much too large and you want to cut it back significantly.
To hard prune your Texas sage, cut back about ⅓ of the older branches to just 6 inches (15 cm) above the ground, leaving ⅔ of the old branches intact. Depending on the plant size, these are the thickest, woodiest branches, so you’ll need some heavy-duty shears or a hand saw.
Be sure to sanitize your shears or hand saw before cutting to prevent cross-contamination of fungus and bacteria from other plants.
Once you’ve pruned ⅓ of the old growth, prune the rest of the branches to about 18-24 inches (46-61 cm) from the main trunk. You’ll be left with a stubby, leafless plant that will look unattractive for a few months until the new growth fills in.
Remember that this pruning method should only happen every 3-5 years at most.
Growing Texas Sage in Pots
Another effective way to control the growth of Texas sage is to grow it in pots. Potted Texas sage plants start out relatively small and grow a little slower, making them more manageable. This also allows you to relocate the plant quickly when it needs more space.
In pots, Texas sage typically grows 4-5 feet (1-1.5 m) tall and 5-6 feet (1.5-2 m) wide.
You can buy a young Texas sage at a nursery, but it’s relatively easy to propagate this plant from cuttings.
Simply take a 6-12 inch (15-30 cm) softwood cutting (new growth) from a mature plant. Root it in an 8-10 inch (20-25 cm) pot in fast-draining potting soil and give it 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. You’ll have a brand new, fully-rooted plant in about a month!
Here are the basic potted Texas sage requirements:
- Pot: 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) terracotta or ceramic with drainage holes.
- Soil: Average potting soil with added inorganic material (3 parts soil to 1 part inorganic material) for ideal drainage.
- Light: 4-6 Hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Water: Water only when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil feels dry.
- Fertilizer: Not needed, but a handful of compost once a month in the growing season will boost flower production.
Texas sage doesn’t have invasive roots and is safe to plant near your home and in your garden.
While it grows quite large and can overwhelm plants close to it, Texas sage is not technically an invasive species, and won’t reproduce quickly and invade other areas of your garden.
The best way to control Texas sage, so it doesn’t grow too big is to prune it selectively each year. You can hard prune it once every 3-5 years, but it isn’t necessary.
You can also grow Texas sage in pots to have better control over its growth.