Content Detail

Russian-sage is a semi-hardy sub-shrub or perennial grown for its handsome gray-green foliage and beautiful late season lavender-blue flower spikes. Cut to the ground each spring to promote new growth.

  • Family (English) Mint
  • Family (botanic) Lamiaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial, Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches), Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Medium plant (12-24 inches), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early summer, late summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue, Fragrant, Purple
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Narrow, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to China and Afghanistan to Tibet

Attracts birds & Butterflies: 

Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the late season blooms.

Bark color and texture: 

Thin stems are numerous, aromatic and gray-white.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Opposite, strongly dissected gray-white leaves are fragrant.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Many small, 2-lipped, lavender-blue flowers branch and rise above the foliage.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The oval nutlet is dark brown.

Plant care:

A fine textured, perennial or sub-shrub (woody base) that dies back to the ground in winter. Best planted in full sun and well-drained soils, it does not tolerate wet soils. Prune to the ground each spring (May)  to promote new growth and better flowers. Avoid over fertilized soil that can make 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

No serious problems.  Deer and rabbit resistant.

Blue Spire (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’):

Airy spikes of lavender-blue flowers, compact habit reaching 2 to 3 feet high.

Little Spire (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’):

Blue flower spikes on semi-dwarf habit, reaching 18 to 24 inches high.

Peek-a-Blue™ (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Peek-a-Blue’):

Lavender-blue flowers, lacy, finely-dissected silvery-green leaves, reaching 24 inches high.

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