The Texas Sage, also known as the ‘Texas Ranger,’ ‘Barometer Plant,’ ‘Cenizo,’ and ‘Purple Sage,’ has many cultivars of varying sizes. Some of the shrubs can grow up to 8 feet (2.4 m) tall and spread similarly in width. When planting a bunch of them together, it is very important to get the spacing right.
Plant Texas Sage 2 – 3 feet (0.6 – 0.9 m) apart so the shrub has room to grow. If you’re growing from seed, you may have to assume the spread and plant the seeds with a distance of about 7 feet (2.1 m) between them to ensure sufficient spacing.
Proper spacing between your Texas Sage plants will help them grow and flourish and, in turn, bloom aggressively, filling your lawn with color. These hardy plants don’t need a lot to be healthy. Read on to learn more about spacing them correctly and how to prune them to maintain their shape and growth.
The Perfect Spacing for Texas Sage
While you could plant your Texas Sage a few feet apart, determining the perfect spacing for your Texas Sage depends on several factors.
- Type of cultivar. The cultivar type will determine how big your shrub will grow and how much spread you can expect. The compact cultivar ‘Compact Texas Sage’ may only spread to about 5 feet (1.5 m), while cultivars with the word ‘open’ in their name tend to have a more open form. Predicting the approximate spread of the mature plant will help you space your shrubs in a way that doesn’t restrict their growth.
- Function. Texas Sage is a great way of adding color to your garden year-round. However, their evergreen nature means many people prefer to grow them as natural hedges. If you’re growing them just for their flowers, you could space them out a bit more to enable explosive growth. If you’re using the plant as a hedge, you’ll need the edges of the plants to touch each other.
- Location. Depending on the cultivar, you can plant your Texas Sage shrubs in pots and directly in the ground. You may not have to worry too much about space if you’re planting them in pots since you can move the pots to give your growing shrubs a bit more space. But if you’re planting them in the ground, you’ll want to be more generous about the spacing to have a little extra room, just in case.
How Wide Does Texas Sage Grow?
The spread of the texas sage varies between cultivars and the environmental conditions in which the shrub grows.
In the wild, larger Texas Sage shrubs can spread as wide as 7 feet (2.1 m) in particularly large specimens. In homes, the shrubs will typically grow to about 4 – 5 feet wide (1.2 – 1.5 m).
Issues With Making Hedges Too Dense
The Texas Sage or Texas Ranger is an excellent plant for hedges or landscaping because it needs such little care. This plant also weathers a wide range of temperatures and is drought, heat, and cold hardy.
However, the Texas Sage needs full direct sunlight and well-drained soil to thrive and bloom as intensely as it does in the wild.
Planting the shrubs too close together will interfere with the light, so the leaves will not receive enough. Poor spacing will also lead to waterlogging, as insufficient air circulation will limit the evaporation of excess moisture.
Pruning and Trimming Your Shrubs
Pruning and trimming are vital to keep your shrubs in good shape and enable them to grow and flower more. However, poorly planned pruning can do more harm than good, causing poor growth, plant dieback, and poor flowering (source).
Here are a few things you must remember when pruning your Texas Sage.
Purpose of Pruning
Always trim or prune your shrub only as necessary. You can determine this by focusing on why you’re pruning the shrub. Here are a few potential reasons to prune your shrubs and how you should go about it.
- Do you want to encourage denser growth? Then keep an eye on your plant and cut away the dead foliage and branches.
- Are you seeing leggy growth that you want to correct? You’ll have to carefully cut away the spindly branches and correct any deficiencies. Leggy growth usually indicates that the plant isn’t getting enough sun, so you may have to consider transplanting your shrub or moving its pot into the sun.
- Do you want to maintain the shrub’s shape? Use a light hand. While your shrub can likely grow back even after a heavy prune, its capacity to flower will be affected.
See our article Does Pruning Stimulate Growth? You Need To Understand This!
You can learn more about pruning your Texas Sage in this YouTube video by CentralTexasGardener.
Texas Sage: Speed of Growth
Before pruning your Texas Sage, you may want to factor in how long it will take to grow back.
Typically, the shrub is slow to reach full maturity — about two years. Post that time, most pruned shrubs will grow back relatively quickly. However, if your Texas Sage has suffered from a frost injury or a lack of sunlight, it may take up to a year to fully recover.
Always consider the health of your Sage before you prune, taking care not to take away too much foliage as this will affect its ability to photosynthesize.
Timing It Right
The best time to prune or trim your Texas Sage is toward the end of winter. Waiting till the end of winter allows you to remove dead foliage and stems in time for new growth in the spring.
Plants in non-native habitats may still be dormant at this time, so don’t cut indiscriminately. Wait to see if any more damaged foliage or stems emerge due to the thaw before trimming.
Plant your Texas Sage shrubs at least 3 feet (0.9 m) away from each other, though you may bring this down to 2 feet (0.6 m) if you’re planting a more compact cultivar in a hedge.
However, these plants need space around them to ensure natural growth and explosive flowering as in the wild. Pruning the Texas Sage should be done lightly and only when necessary to maintain its shape.