late July through August
3 to 5 ft.
3 to 5 ft.
USDA zones 5-9
hardy to 8,000 ft.
Russian sage is a low-water shrub grown for its blue-purple flower spikes that appear in late July. The flowers appear on branched stems at the tips of each branch. Its branches grow in an upright manner, forming a rounded, open shrub.
The highly aromatic leaves are gray-green and covered by a soft, downy fuzz. Russian sage is a very resilient, easy to grow plant. It also attracts honey bees.
This was one of the first plants placed in the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden. The flowers are very attractive and add late summer color to the landscape. It combines with ornamental grasses and flowers very well.
Although it grows from a central crown for the first few years, Russian sage will form a large colony over time through underground stems. If this is not desired, it can be root pruned with a shovel.
Russian sage is not that attractive in the winter, so put it next to other plants that have more winter interest.
Prune out any winter-killed branches as needed. Depending on the severity of the winter, the branches may die back over halfway, even to ground level. Russian sage will spread by seed and underground stems, forming a large colony over time. Remove spent flowers stalks to prevent spreading by seed.