When the summer heat is on, Russian sage can stand up and flourish under this situation. It also does well in dry conditions. Another reason Russian Sage is a great plant for the garden is that it is easy to grow and maintain. Plus, it is an excellent plant for attracting pollinators. It is a beautiful plant and brings a fragrance to your garden. If you live near the ocean, Russian sage is salt-tolerant and does well in poor soils. It is also a great selection for xeriscaping.
Russian sage is a member of the mint family. It is used as an ornamental plant because of its beautiful flowers, but it also has medicinal properties. The leaves are used for healing wounds, reducing inflammation and pain, improving blood circulation, and treating coughs. The leaves are also used for making tea or infusions that help with stomach problems like bloating or indigestion.
Russian sage is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean regions and Europe. It has a woody stem, and it can grow up to five feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. The leaves are gray-green in color like lavender and the flowers are also similar in color. The flowers grow on tall panicles giving the plant an airy feel.
The purple flowers bloom in late summer through fall. The blooms can last up to 15 weeks. This adaptable plant can be used in a mixed border, in a landscape, or try it in a container. Try growing it with coneflowers, kniphofia, or ornamental grass.
Planting And Caring For Russian Sage
Russian sage can be planted in spring (once the soil has warmed up) or late fall (6 weeks before your area's first frost). Do not plant it in the summer as it will distress the plant. The plant does not like high humidity and wet soil. It is hardy for zones 5-9. The plant is also deer and rabbit resistant.
Light: For best performance, full sun is recommended for the plant. Part sun conditions cause the plant to flop and become leggier.
Soil: The best soil for growing Russian sage is well-draining soil. It should have a slightly alkaline pH greater than 7. As previously mentioned, it does well in poor soil. If the soil is too rich, the plant will flop. If you are planting in a container, use a potting mix.
Spacing: Give the plant 24-inches between plants to allow for the wide growth of the plant.
Watering: In the first year regularly water your plant to encourage the root system. After the plant is established and the plant is drought tolerant, Russian sage favors medium to dry soil. Do not overwater the plant as it can cause root rot and other diseases.
Fertilizing: The plant needs little or no additional fertilizer.
Staking: If you have a larger variety of this plant it might flop. You can stalk the dropping branches if needed. You can also try planting it amount other plants for support.
Trimming & Pruning: Deadheading has no effect on the flowering of the plant. In the early spring, cut back the plant to 12-15 inches above the ground. In colder climates in the north, the plant could die back to the ground. The plant can benefit from being pruned in the fall after the first frost. After pruning mulch, it with straw for protection.
Dividing: Russian sage is not a plant to be divided. If you want to grow new plants, take a stem cutting from shoots in the spring.