How to Prune Asters, Salvia & Other Flowering Plants


Asters are fall blooming perennials that are native to North America and Europe, according to Dr. Leonard Perry of the University of Vermont. Salvia, also known as sage, is a perennial with a high drought tolerance that is native to Mexico and South America, according to Nature Hills Nursery. Like all perennial flowers in a garden, asters, salvia and other flowering plants need to be pruned to maintain their heath. In some cases, pruning perennials even causes them to rebloom.

Step 1

Deadhead the spent blooms of any perennials as they occur. This will allow the plant to flower again and keep it from self-seeding. Deadhead salvia in the late spring and asters in the fall. Cut back the spent flower stalk to just above leaves.

Step 2

Cut back salvia and other spring blooming perennials by half in the early summer.

Step 3

Cut back asters and any stalky fall blooming perennials by half in the early summer. They will have time to regrow for flowering in the fall.

Step 4

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased foliage from flowering plants as they occur.

Step 5

Cut back asters, salvia and other flowering perennials to the ground after their foliage dies back in the late fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not dead head flowers if you want them to self-seed.


  • University of Vermont: GROWING FALL ASTERS
  • Nature Hills: Salvia Plants
  • White Flower Farm: Deadheading, Pinching, and Pruning
  • Tulsa Master Gardener: PRUNING GUIDE
  • Miller Nursery: Plant Care Database

Who Can Help

Keywords: pruning asters, pruning salvia, pruning perennials

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.