Q. What is Russian sage?
Russian sage (Perovskia sp. in the Lamiaceae family) is a deciduous sub-shrub, native to Asia. It is a sturdy plant characterized by its upright and shrub-like shape, slender stems, and finely cut silvery-gray leaves, which are aromatic and resistant to deer browsing. It is an easy plant to grow in a perennial border or xeriscape garden.
Russian sage is best planted where it will have room to grow to its mature size of 3-5 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide without being crowded. It needs lots of sun and average soil that drains well.
Russian sage's upright shape provides a presence through the winter months, standing through wind and weather. As spring approaches, the stems should be cut back to the base to encourage new growth. You can also wait until the buds begin to swell on the stems and then cut back to just about the lowest buds, to about six inches.
Propagation: Cuttings are best; division in spring, but not recommended.
Perovskia will sucker in loose, dry, sandy or gravelly soil once well established.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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