Russian Sage

Find out more about this multi-stemmed lavender-blue sub-shrub.
russian_sage

russian_sage

Plant type: Woody, multi-stemmed sub-shrub

Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

This woody multi-stemmed sub-shrub is a low-maintenance plant. Silvery-green delicate foliage is complemented by striking lavender-blue flowers. Produces 12-inch spiky blooms from July through frost; when in full bloom, creates a misty-blue haze. Has an airy habit. Flowerheads and silvery stems have added winter interest. Performs well even in hot and humid climates. Plant size reaches four to five feet tall by three to four feet wide.

How to use it: Dramatic in masses or as a specimen plant. For use in a mixed perennial border in the middle to back of the border. Suitable for xeriscaping or for use in rock gardens. Good for dried flower arrangements. Used effectively in combination with whites, yellows and silver foliage plants, including lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina 'Helene Von Stein') or wormwood (Artemisia x 'Powis Castle').

Culture: Tolerant of poor soil, drought and a range of pH, this plant can grow in a variety of conditions. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun. You can plant from spring until one month before frost. Plant may flop to one side; staking may help but is not necessary. In spring, cut back to about six to eight inches from the soil surface. In warmer climates, Russian sage benefits by deadheading to produce another flush of blooms. In colder climates, allow flowers to remain for added winter interest. Primarily propagated through cuttings; can be divided but may be slow in recovering. No serious pest or disease problems.

Special notes: Valued for its blue flowers, silvery stems and foliage, winter interest and tolerance of a variety of conditions. Produces a slight fragrance. Deer resistant.

Selected cultivar

  • 'Blue Spires'. Cross between P. atriplicifolia and P. abrotanoides. Has silvery-green fine foliage with gorgeous blue flowers all summer long.

     

Next Up

'Endless Summer'

'Endless Summer' hydrangea blooms all summer long.

How to Grow Flowering Quince

These gorgeous flowering shrubs will brighten up any dreary winter yard.

Grow Guide: Why Won't My Azaleas Bloom?

Some reasons why your flowers may not be delivering this spring.

Using Purple in the Garden

Follow these keys to understanding the harmonious use of purple in the garden.

Pruning Russian Sage

Learn the how, when and why behind pruning Russian sage

Renovating a Flowering Shrub

To reduce shrubs' size and width and rejuvenate them, follow these pruning techniques.

Pale Purple Coneflower

Discover the fragrant side of coneflowers in this native bloomer.

Purple Coneflower

Learn why purple coneflower is beloved by gardeners—and deserves a place in your yard, too.

Enjoy a Parade of Roses

Today's roses can bring new life into a landscape or renew memories of yesteryear.

Planting and Growing Russian Sage

Learn how to plant Russian sage and use his drought-tolerant perennial.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.