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I have an old woody sage plant (I think it's sage) in my herb garden. It's probably several years old and no longer looks in great shape. Also, I have allowed the grass and weeds to smother its base.

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If I pruned it back and weeded it, would it come back good as new? Or is it best to start again?

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You can cut it back in stages, removing a third of the plant each year for three years. It takes time, but the results are normally satisfactory. Cut the old woody stems to 3 or 4 inches from the ground and cut out the dead stems each time you cut back. It would help the plant to keep other plants from growing around the base.

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  • Agree. As scruffy as that sage looks, it's probably quite healthy! – Lisa Dec 20 '11 at 3:47

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