Russian Sage

Russian Sage is a lovely light blue to lavender coloured blooming perennial. In my former country garden it grew to about 3 feet in height and a single plant spread to about 5 feet in width. It loved full sun, and it was outside of my watering area – that is it was happy to be neglected at the back of my garden.

Petrovskia atriplicifolia is called Russian Sage, but is not a true Sage plant – although it is a Salvia family member. Confusing? It is to me, but it doesn’t matter. It has a similar spiky flower to the sage and salvia in my garden, but it has a dryer, woodier look to it in my eyes.

I loved Russian Sage at the back of my flower garden, as it had a different texture from my shorter pink traditional flowers in the front – roses, peonies and perennial geranium. It was not visible from far away though, as my garden was a few hundred feet from the road, it’s frothy modest silvery green foliage and lavender flowers did not stand out. They were surprising then when viewed from close up next to the pink flowers in front.

Russian Sage tends to lie down and spread looking for sun if it is in too much shade. I divide Russian Sage into smaller pieces in the spring to widen the display in my garden. I have just purchased a new plant and will put it in now. It can be cut down to an inch from the ground in the fall, once it has done blooming, and some mulch or gravel can be applied to protect the plants in the fall if you have a cold winter coming like I do.

The Russian Sage image above is a planting that I have been driving by since the spring in an industrial area. It looks like a lavender hedge, but it’s not. It has bloomed with little maintenance from June to September. Not visible in the picture is an underplanting of long blooming yellow Stella D’Oro Daylilies. Their contrasting lower yellow flowers made a simple and beautiful low maintenace display.

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