Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Bloom Color: Blue-Violet
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall
Foliage: Silver/Gray Blue-Green Aromatic
Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings From softwood cuttings From semi-hardwood cuttings From hardwood cuttings
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
On Aug 25, 2011, marymary22 from Bothell, WA wrote:
I got a Russian Sage this spring from a online nursery, it died and I contacted the nursery I got it from and they sent me a new one. I wasn't sure how this one was going to take so I put it in a ceramic pot on my patio and let it grow. The garden I am going to put it in was not ready until now, I need to know if I can transplant it into that garden area this fall or if I need to winter it over in the pot and plant in the spring? I lost 8 lavender plants and 2 rosemarie plants last year due to a very cold winter, I don't want to lose this plant as I love it! Right now it is in full bloom on my patio, very beautiful!! Can I transplant it early fall? Here in the Northwest we usually have mild falls and winter doesn't start until December or January and this year our summer has been very mild. I built a garden just for this plant, it can take it over along with my white rock crest ground cover. Please help, I would really like to get it in the ground this fall but if I should wait till spring I can try to winter it over in the pot on my patio. Doesn't like the greenhouse or I would put it in there, to humid and damp for it!
On Mar 21, 2011, SerenaSYH from Overland Park-Kansas City, KS wrote:
I am absolutely crazy about Russian sage. For me in Kansas City, it bloomed in mid-July almost through the entire month of November until the first snows finally made it stop! I tried so hard to grow all kinds of honeybee-friendly perennials with absolutely no luck! I had all kinds of sage, lavender, catmint-nepata, verbena, agastache, bee balm, you name it, I tried to buy it.I spent tons of money and got sooo disappointed. I even have a Linden tree in my backyard and not a single honeybee would visit. Then in June 2010 I bought two Russian sage and as soon as the first blooms opened, it brought tons and tons of honeybees. I had just two plants and the honeybees would constantly swarm them! This Spring 2011, I have already started to dig up all of my non-herb perennials, and these will all be replaced by Russian sage. I also love the beautiful silvery branches and buds that it leaves in the winter. The winter branches remain lovely to look at until mid-February, when the plant starts to look spent. Mine is now growing new leaves (later March). It seems to be very mannerly and is a beautifully shaped shrub unlike my extremely messy lavender! but I will extend my growth-habit comments later when I've grown it for a few years. So far no spreading at all, seems to stay within the same cluster. For those of you who are very concerned about honeybee repopulation, you must absolutely get Russian sage. It has all the "hive" potential. Honeybees are crazy about this plant.
On Aug 24, 2010, Augustifolia from Frostburg, MD wrote:
My Perovskia has totally taken over the bed in which I planted it 18 years ago. I live in Zone 5 to 4 and get a lot of wind, snow, and really cold temperatures. Nothing seems to stop its progress. I have dug up one plant with much difficulty because the roots are very deep. A second plant close to the foundation is a little more controlled but is still suckering throughout the flower bed. The largest plant is impossible! I have cut the plant back within inches of the soil and it seems even happier and more invasive. It is planted in clay soil that receives only rain water and gets full sun the entire day. I discovered that the only way to remove the suckers is with a shovel and that I have to keep digging all the way back to the plant. I am tempted to totally remove the plant by using RoundUp, but, at this point, am wavering because of the beautiful sage/gray leaves and amazing light purple/lavendar flowers. Good luck!!!
I love this plant but have found I apparently have two different types. One has much prettier, heavier blooms than the other types. I have dug up runners to give to friends, but also propagated some by cuttings. In the middle of Kansas, it blooms from mid July to last of August.
On Jul 1, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
beautiful, hardy, nice smelling plant..ive had mine only 2 years and they would have been 2 or 3 times the size they are this year if I hadnt cut them back early this spring thinking i was helping them by cutting brittle dead stalks off..i didnt realize the brittle dead appering old stalks rejuvanate and send out new shoots the whole length up the old ones..so for the love of god!! pleaze!! nobody cut these back in the late fall, winter, or early spring!! just leave them alone and they will thrive!! give them fertilizer but keep your fingers off them..LOL..mike.
On Apr 6, 2010, flying_squirrel from Priest River, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:
I love this plant for it's beautiful and delicate look even though it is a tough plant for difficult conditions. I have it planted on a south facing slope where it thrives in the hot sun and dry clay soil. In the northern Idaho mountain valley here it survives the cold winters and the rather dry summers. Planted with other drought tolerant plants such as agastache, penstemon, kashmir sage and coreoposis, it provides a stunning display that requires little care. And the deer leave it alone(and that is a big plus). I have a few self seeded plants appear also which I appreciate.
On Oct 16, 2009, purplesun from Krapets Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:
This is a fantastic plant. It produces small, intensely blue flowers that combine to produce an effect of a delicate, translucent sky-blue mass. Everyone keeps asking what it is, and bees can't seem to get enough of it.
It smells of camphor when bruised and sends root suckers that can be given away to eager friends. Truly a wonderful shrub. It loves dry heat and intense sunshine and doesn't mind alkaline soils.
I live near Phoenix, Az and visited SLC, Utah this summer and b ecome completely enthralled w/the Russian Sage. I've checked several ordering sites that show Zone 9 for growing. Unfortunately I've lost other plants that just don't seem to take our intense summer heat. Does anyone know if it will grow here in Phoenix? Please help!!!!!
On May 13, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:
i love this plant in other people's gardens. I have about 6 of them, but am frustrated that none look all that great. They just haven't grown much. Some were planted in full sun, very poor sandy soil, 4 years ago. Others in part sun, good soil, 2 years ago. I've tried various amounts of water and neglect.
On Apr 15, 2009, zak1962 from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
I have five (5) of these in front of the retaining wall that holds up my city yard. (See picture to the right) They flower continuously from late June through the end of the season.
They do have a tendency to fall into my sidewalk mid-season... I like to think of it as dog control, as most dog walkers switch to the other side of the street because of this and the bees, which are inevitably attracted to this plant.
Last year I had a lot of volunteer seedlings come up. I waited until they got about 8 inches high and then dug several up to share with friends and family. The rest I disposed of. Today I noticed it coming up everywhere in the area... around the existing plants, in the cracks of the sidewalk and in the Ajuga bed that is my tree lawn across the sidewalk. The seedlings do come up easily, thus a small price to pay for one of my favorite plants.
I have had this plant at the top of my herb garden for 8 years. It stands about 5' tall & 6' across and is in constant bloom from late spring through frost. It's the tallest plant in the garden but also has no problem with draping beautifully down the wall. The crown has gotten wider over the years but I have never had a problem with it invading into its neighbors' territory nor with shoots or seedlings in the yard. Mine is not very easy to propagate by softwood cuttings, maybe 4 in 20 take root each year, but each one is a treasure as all of my friends & family want a scion. New spring branchlets tend to propagate best.
I love this plant that is beginning its third year in my garden. Gave it a hard pruning in early spring and now on May 13 there are many flower buds forming. I can't believe how long and abundantly blooming this pretty plant is.
On Sep 1, 2007, thesagewizard from Tipton, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I love this plant. It's now 5 yrs old and doing wonderfully. Winters here can get to -30F a few days every year but R.Sage has come back bigger each summer. It blooms here from late July to hard frost. I'll be trying to separate some offshoots next spring, or seed. Whichever works best.
On Aug 24, 2007, queenofthegarde from Whittier, CA wrote:
This plant is lovely! I have had it at the foot of a pink-white bi-color crape myrtle and they look beautiful together. I have not found it to be invasive after 4 years. Perhaps conditions aren't ideal for its spreading. Unlike others, I have not noticed hummers near it. It grows and blooms with almost no water. Its soil is particularly sandy, an unusual soil type in my yard. I am going to try my hand at progating it!
On Jun 4, 2007, akcrafter from Philadelphia, PA wrote:
My Russian sage tumbles over the edge of a stone fence in a sunny spot in front of a dogwood tree. I pruned it heavily last fall as it was about six feet around and 3-4 feet tall. It is larger than ever and seems to have creeped under the concrete steps and on into another bed of ferns and ivy that is actually pretty shady. Lovely look and the smell of the crushed leaves is great. I am planting more in a sunny area with broom, spirea, lavender, yarrow and soon to be some heather and tall grasses. I never thought of the sunflowers, but have plenty of sun on a sloping edge of the garden, so they might be a nice complement.
On Feb 18, 2007, Bellisgirl from Spokane, WA wrote:
Ive had this plant for over five years now and really love it. I have mine in the back of the border and it makes a wonderful backdrop for my other plants. Pretty lavender colored flowers. Very drought tolerant and hardy. Mine is in partial sun, and is about 3-and a half feet tall and wide. It would probably get even larger if it were in full sun. Have had several volunteers come up from it. Would definitely recommend this plant!
On Jun 16, 2006, amg52amg from Davenport, IA wrote:
My single Russian sage has been a highlight in one of my garden areas near the road for over 5 years. Last fall, a few babies popped up near it, and this spring, I have lots to move around and share! A striking display can be seen at the Kirkwood Equestrian Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where multiple sages have been given room to grow without competition, surrounded by dark mulch, and lovely in all 4 seasons.
On Sep 21, 2004, Lavenderlady from Buhl, ID wrote:
We have a lavender farm here in Idaho. Zone 5-6. I wanted something that would prolong the purple color in my fields and around a canal. Well, I sure got it. I love this plant. I cannot wait for it to naturalize itself throughout the area. I have had lots of people comment on it as we also put a row (hedge like) up into the lavender field. It was flanked with a row of teddy bear sunflowers. BEAUTIFUL color. I had a lady use the teddy bear sunflowers and Russian Sage in buckets for a wedding.
I will prune to 6 inches in spring as recommended and will either try to take seeds to scatter or cuttings to sell as many of my customers want this along with snow in the summer that I planted and of course the teddy bear sunflower seeds.
I am still unsure of the propagation methods but will give it a try. I do propagate my own lavender so this cannot be too far of a stretch. I will even try to dry some sage and add it to the dried lavender to create "smudge sticks" to burn. This should be intresting. Thanks Peggy
On Aug 16, 2004, santafe_julie from Santa Fe, NM wrote:
I moved into a house 2 years ago that had 7 of these growing. They are quite beautiful and bloom mid-June through Sept. in Santa Fe. The humming birds and bees love them. I don't water them much, the only real care is pruning them in early spring. My only problem with them is they are somewhat invasive. I have dozens - maybe hundreds of new plants coming up up to 25 feet away for the original plants (starting from seeds) and they also grow from shoots underground. If you plant one, make sure you account for weeding time!
On Aug 4, 2004, saya from Heerlen Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:
I've collected seeds in 2003. Just put your hand around a dried flowerstalk and rip the seeds of. They look a little wooly and at first sight you think they cannot be seeds. But they are ! They were easy to sow. I've followed the instructions from Tom Clothier's site: " Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), if no germ. in 3-4 wks, move to -4 to +4ºC (24-39ºF) for 2-4 wks ". I've planted the seedlings already out in the garden where they grow quick.
I love its scent and silvery/blue transparent look when they are mature.
On Aug 3, 2004, earlene11 from Mount Vision, NY wrote:
I have grown Russian Sage in my zone 4-5 garden near Cooperstown, New York for about ten years. My one plant has survived winters where temperatures dropped to -30 for two or three nights in a row for several of these years. The winter of 2003-04 was one of those. I noticed this spring that half the plant finally suffered winterkill. This fall I will see if I can divide it because it's been such a good old soldier, I really can't bear to just let it go. I'll report back what I find when I dig it up. I'll start cuttings outdoors and indoors this fall as well, with and without hormone powder, by way of experiment. I wish this plant would have seeded itself in, but oh, well. I've bought four new Russian Sage babies so next fall I should have the beginnings of a drift. It blooms late July and through most of August for me, starting about the same time as the giant white Casa Blanca lily, white echinaesia, yellow Tickseed coreopsis and blue milk thistle. My severely cut back Highbush Cranberry bushes also displays tons of red edible berries and provide lots of gorgeous background foliage for these late bloomers (I have kind of an herbal garden.) Plants that bloom in my garden following this are Sedum Autumn Joy, and autumn chrysanthemums all colors.
On May 8, 2004, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Pleasing appearance and scent endears Russian Sage to me, but ability to take heat and drought makes it easy. Have shared many little sages that have come from stem cuttings and have also moved some to other areas where its attractive silvery foliage draws the eye.
On Apr 15, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
We planted Russian Sage last year. It didn't grow much, and it does lean toward the sun, as killerdaisy said. The crushed leaves smell great, and I was delighted when its bare winter sticks sprouted new growth this spring. I'll trim it to 6 inches, as sue1952 recommends and look forward to more growth.
In SE Michigan - This plant is great for sunny spots and very drought tolerant. Be sure to prune down to 6" in very early spring. I especially like to break off the branches in the dead of winter and take in the smell of sage from summer.
On Apr 1, 2004, docaly from Albuquerque, NM wrote:
Perovskia is one of my all-time favorites because of its whispy form, glorious scent and ease of growth in mixed environments.
I have grown it in zone 7, New Mexico in extremely dry soil with intense summer sun and cool to cold winters, and am currently growing it in zone 9b in higher humidity and warm winters. I like to use this in my clients' yards because it's a great filler, a wonderful backdrop or spectacular specimen. I planted it in January with a few flowers and it's quickly bringing forth more profuse color along with some height and breadth to the plant's form.
So pleasing to the senses and extremely easy to grow. It also makes wonderful dried flowers! A staple in drought-tolerant landscapes!
On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Creates a sagelike scent when leaves are crushed. Tends to lean towards sun. Take cuttings in summer; no division necessary.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (4 reports) Union Grove, Alabama Dewey-humboldt, Arizona Flagstaff, Arizona Green Valley, Arizona Bigelow, Arkansas Bakersfield, California Bucks Lake, California Clayton, California Fairfield, California Hanford, California Jacumba, California Laguna West-lakeside, California Martinez, California Menifee, California Merced, California Palm Springs, California Perris, California Stockton, California Edgewater, Colorado Sheridan, Colorado Thornton, Colorado Todd Creek, Colorado Broad Brook, Connecticut Monroe, Connecticut Old Lyme, Connecticut Alford, Florida Boyette, Florida Deltona, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida North Port, Florida Pensacola, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Summerfield, Florida Wauchula, Florida Athens, Georgia Cordele, Georgia Boise City, Idaho Priest River, Idaho Cherry Valley, Illinois Downers Grove, Illinois Lake In The Hills, Illinois Mapleton, Illinois Marquette Heights, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Niles, Illinois North Aurora, Illinois Oak Lawn, Illinois Round Lake, Illinois Connersville, Indiana Evansville, Indiana Fishers, Indiana Logansport, Indiana Oak Park, Indiana Bloomfield, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Iowa Davenport, Iowa Des Moines, Iowa Indianola, Iowa Tipton, Iowa Woden, Iowa Barnard, Kansas Olathe, Kansas Overland Park, Kansas Ewing, Kentucky Hanson, Kentucky Hebron, Kentucky Salvisa, Kentucky Bossier City, Louisiana Greenwell Springs, Louisiana Hammond, Louisiana North Vacherie, Louisiana Auburn, Maine Bowerbank, Maine Litchfield, Maine Portland, Maine Brookeville, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Easton, Maryland Forest Heights, Maryland Frostburg, Maryland Harwood, Maryland Mount Airy, Maryland Towson, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Belmont, Massachusetts Billerica, Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Cochituate, Massachusetts Dracut, Massachusetts Franklin, Massachusetts Northfield, Massachusetts Saugus, Massachusetts Uxbridge, Massachusetts Ann Arbor, Michigan (2 reports) Commerce Township, Michigan Ferndale, Michigan Mason, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Redford, Michigan Traverse City, Michigan Webberville, Michigan Baxter, Minnesota Hopkins, Minnesota Morris, Minnesota St Paul, Minnesota Florence, Mississippi Innsbrook, Missouri Foster, Nebraska Plattsmouth, Nebraska Pinardville, New Hampshire Clearbrook Park, New Jersey Hamilton, New Jersey Lake Mohawk, New Jersey Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 reports) Elephant Butte, New Mexico Mesilla Park, New Mexico Ojo Amarillo, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico , New York Berkshire, New York Binghamton, New York East Rochester, New York Himrod, New York Jefferson, New York Jordan, New York Mechanicstown, New York Middle Grove, New York Mount Vision, New York Red Oaks Mill, New York Southold, New York Yonkers, New York Candler, North Carolina Concord, North Carolina Cornelius, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Julian, North Carolina Maggie Valley, North Carolina Myrtle Grove, North Carolina (2 reports) Winston-salem, North Carolina Ashville, Ohio Columbus, Ohio Mogadore, Ohio Newark, Ohio Riverside, Ohio Uniontown, Ohio Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Baker City, Oregon Chiloquin, Oregon Dayton, Oregon Deschutes River Woods, Oregon Halfway, Oregon Rockcreek, Oregon Salem, Oregon (2 reports) Brookhaven, Pennsylvania East Norriton, Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Mifflintown, Pennsylvania Milford, Pennsylvania Mountain Top, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Schwenksville, Pennsylvania Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania Willow Grove, Pennsylvania North Augusta, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Knoxville, Tennessee Lenoir City, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Abilene, Texas Austin, Texas (2 reports) Belton, Texas Canyon Lake, Texas Desoto, Texas Doyle, Texas Everman, Texas Grand Prairie, Texas Houston, Texas Hurst, Texas Irving, Texas Lubbock, Texas New Braunfels, Texas San Antonio, Texas (3 reports) Sunset Valley, Texas Terrell, Texas Tyler, Texas Castle Valley, Utah Elwood, Utah Farmington, Utah Herriman, Utah Magna, Utah Essex Junction, Vermont Lake Monticello, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Mc Lean, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Birch Bay, Washington Bothell, Washington East Port Orchard, Washington Gig Harbor, Washington Kalama, Washington Lake Goodwin, Washington Olympia, Washington Port Angeles, Washington Port Townsend, Washington Seattle, Washington (2 reports) Spokane, Washington Town And Country, Washington Brookhaven, West Virginia Cross Lanes, West Virginia Pea Ridge, West Virginia Ripley, West Virginia Birchwood, Wisconsin Menasha, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin West Allis, Wisconsin Cody, Wyoming Riverton, Wyoming