Native to the southwestern United States, autumn sage produces striking red, purple, orange or pink flowers and emits a fragrant minty smell. This perennial plant can grow up to three feet tall. Autumn sage can bloom from spring to fall and should be trimmed throughout the growing season to encourage branching and blossoming. It should be pruned drastically in late fall.
Inspect your autumn sage plant in early spring for dead or diseased branches. Clip away any that you find, using anvil pruners. Dead branches will feel light to the touch, and diseased branches will appear physically marred.
Disinfect your pruners by dipping them in a 1:10 solution of bleach to water to prevent spreading bacteria to other garden plants.
Allow your autumn sage to grow throughout the spring and early summer. If the plant is growing leggy and too tall, head it back by clipping off tall-growing branches with your pruners. If you're satisfied with the way your autumn sage is growing, leave it alone until late fall.
Cut back the autumn sage in late fall, leaving only two to three inches of growth. Remove and discard all cut growth.