High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

perennial

Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia

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Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) at Moana Nursery

Russian Sage in bloom

Russian Sage in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) at Moana Nursery

Russian Sage flowers

Russian Sage flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 feet

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spacing:  30 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3

Description:

1995 Perennial Plant of the Year. Vigorous, woody, drought tolerant perennial with spikes of smoky, lavender blue flowers. Grey green leaves are fragrant when rubbed. Cut back hard in late winter.

Ornamental Features

Russian Sage features delicate spikes of lavender flowers rising above the foliage from early summer to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive fragrant narrow leaves emerge silver in spring, turning grayish green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Russian Sage is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Russian Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Russian Sage will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 30 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.