We planted several Mexian sages (Salvia leucantha) 3-4 weeks ago. They had taken very well to our hot, dry weather (Sacramento, California - Zone 9) and being watered on a drip system. Here's a picture of one of them to show their former size/condition:


Unfortunately, this morning my 3 year-old son decided to stomp the ever-living daylights out of several of these, breaking off all or nearly all of the stems. Here are two pictures of stomped plants, with breakage locations and surviving shoots circled:

Some of the stomped plants have no surviving shoots; all that remains above ground is about two inches of woody growth.

Should I give up on these and replace them with new plants, or is there a chance they'll survive and recover? If they could recover, how long should I wait and what signs should I look for?

  • Are your sages ok now? – VividD May 22 '18 at 10:30
  • @VividD The plant pictured here did not recover. – Air May 22 '18 at 20:59
  • Sorry to hear that, but wee all know that is a part of gardening.. Better luck with other plants! – VividD May 23 '18 at 12:01

These things happen (in my case, my cats get excited and "boticidal").

They just might survive. I would leave any leaves that are still on the plants there, protect them from any further damage, water them just to give them one less thing to worry about, and wait. If they already are in partial shade, that is great. If possible, you could give them some shade using cardboard/umbrellas and that might reduce some stress. The weather has been average to mild in No. Cal and if things stay that way, there is hope for sure.

I would not however add fertilizer or plant food at this point, as it would just be toxic.

Wait for up to two weeks, and if by then all leaves are dead and absolutely no new shoots are visible, you could give up. Even then, you could pull them by the roots, add some dirt and give them water and shade and see. Plants, especially ones like the sages can be quite resilient.

  • 1
    Are you suggesting to increase the water they already get from the drip irrigation? – Air Aug 8 '16 at 15:23
  • Didn't see that, sorry. Then I'd just recommend misting to cool down the plants. It can get really hot around Sacramento. – Srihari Yamanoor Aug 8 '16 at 19:01
  • 1
    Oh yes, it certainly can. I'll give them some time, then, and check back in with the result. – Air Aug 9 '16 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.