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How to Care for Russian Sage – Drought Tolerant Plant

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a perennial plant that does not require much care. They only need direct sun and well-drained soil. In this article, we will explain how to care for Russian Sage correctly.

It is a very hardy plant that is used a lot in the summer, for its good looks and for the undemanding it is. Although it grows slowly during the spring, it dazzles in midsummer, when the stems are covered in lavender-blue flowers that often remain until fall.

Russian Sage attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is also drought tolerant and best of all it is deer resistant.

Characteristics Russian Sage

Its scientific name is (Perovskia atriplicifolia). It is 2 ft (60 cm) to 4 ft (120 cm) tall and wide. It likes to be placed in full sun. Russian Sage blooms from early summer to fall.

It has lavender-blue to violet tubular flowers. Although the individual flowers are small, they are abundant and closely spaced, which intensifies their overall impact. The leaves are toxic if ingested.

How to Grow Russian Sage

When to Plant Russian Sage?

Pot-grown plants are best planted in late spring once the soil is warmer, which will encourage faster development. They can also be planted later in the summer as long as there is no longer a risk of frost. If you are growing a Russian sage plant from seed, start indoors in early spring and repot seedlings into the garden after the danger of frost has passed.

Here is a link where you should buy your Russian Sage seeds quality, to germinate properly in your garden or seedbed.

Park Seed Blue Steel Russian Sage Seeds, Pack of 10 Seeds
  • Finally, a dependable and beautiful Russian Sage from seed! Blue Steel is compact, fragrant, and floriferous -- just the accent you need for garden and container.
  • And if you sow these seeds early, it will even flower the first year! What a terrific alternative to pricey plants!
  • Blue Steel is a compact variety, so you can pop it into your favorite patio container and move it around the landscape to show it off all year.

Where to Plant Russian Sage?

A sunny spot with well-drained soil is all this plant asks for, making it ideal for hot, dry climates. Russian Sage tolerates alkaline soil conditions and is an excellent choice for coastal gardens. Avoid planting in shade or overly fertile soils, which can cause it to droop and inhibit flowering.

How to Care for Russian Sage

As we mentioned before, Russian Sage is not a very demanding plant, but it has its needs like any other plant. Here we explain how to care for Russian Sage.

how to care for russian sage


We should water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep root system. Once the plants are developed, they tolerate drought without problems and rarely need additional watering. The plant’s vigorous root system helps it withstand hot summers and dry periods.


Cut the stems of woody plants back to about 6” (15 cm) in early spring to make way for new growth. You can also do light pruning in early summer if you want to reduce the height and make plants look fuller. For winter interest, leave seeds and silver stems in place until spring.


It is not necessary to fertilize Russian Sage, but it never hurts to apply some compost in early spring.

Winter Care:

Rarely intimidated by harsh winters; but in colder areas, mulch plants with a layer of mulch for extra protection.

Diseases and Pests:

This naturally aromatic plant repels insects and diseases are virtually unknown. The biggest problem is root rot, which can be caused by poor drainage and prolonged exposure to wet soil, so good drainage is very important for Russian Sage care.

disease pests russian sage

Frequently Asked Questions About Russian Sage

Can Russian Sage Grow in Containers?

Russian Sage can be grown in containers without any problem, just make sure it has good drainage and a full sun location.

Can Russian Sage Grow in Shade?

Russian Sage needs full sun for optimal development, if grown in the shade it will grow slowly and, in some cases, may die.

When Does Russian Sage Bloom?

Russian Sage flowers from early summer until autumn when its leaves darken a little.

Where Is Russian Sage Native?

This plant is native to Central Asia, especially Tibet and surrounding areas.

We hope that this article on how to care for Russian Sage will be of great help to have this beautiful plant in your garden.

russian sage plant care

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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