How to Trim a Sage Bush


Both ornamental sage bushes and the culinary herb sage are popular garden additions, with each holding sunny spots in home gardens. Ornamental sage bushes often grow in warm and dry climates because these shrubs have a high tolerance for drought conditions while managing to stay bright and attractive in a dry landscape. When you grow a sage bush, give it regular trims to keep it healthy and evenly shaped.

Step 1

Examine the sage bush in early spring while the shrub is still dormant. Look for dead stems or damaged stems and cut these back just above the crown of the shrub. Find any stems that are crossing or rubbing on each other and remove these back to the point where they connect with the next-largest stem. Thin out congested areas of stems to increase air circulation into the center of the shrub.

Step 2

Remove spent blossoms promptly as they fade on the stems. Removing these blossoms will not only enhance the appearance of the bush, but it will also encourage the shrub to continue blooming or put forth a second bloom. Cut the blossoms off immediately beneath the blossoms with the pruning shears to remove them.

Step 3

Shape the sage bush when blooming finishes for the season. Remove up to 1/3 of the terminal bud (the top growth) on the stems. Cut these stems back to approximately 1/4 inch above a bud at a 45-degree angle. This trimming will help create a sage bush that is the shape and size you desire. Perform this shape trimming only after the shrub finishes flowering or you may remove future blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Basket (to collect the stems and branches you remove)


  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Shrubs
  • University of California: Ornamental Sage
Keywords: ornamental sage, sage bushes, regular trims

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.