Sunday, August 10th, 2008...12:00 am

Perovskia Atriplicifolia aka Russian Sage

TheGardenLady first fell in love with Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian Sage, during a summer visit to Chicago when she saw clouds of a lavender mist that billowed in the breeze. Perovskia is such a great specimen plant and when planted in mass makes such a lovely airy floral scene, that TheGardenLady knew she had to have the plant in her garden.

Perovskia is a very easy plant to grow in zones 4-9. TheGardenLady loves easy to grow plants with long – flowering seasons and Perovskia, besides being easy to grow, also has a long season of bloom – from July to October. The plant forms a bushy clump of lacy, fragrant, grayish leaves with spikes of rich lavender -blue flowers that become increasingly brilliant as they open. Perovskia loves hot, sunny sites and can tolerate drought. It is native to the high deserts of Afghanistan but was named by a Russian botanist after B. A. Perovski, a Turkestani governor of one of the Russian provinces. And the plant is not a sage (Salvia) but was probably given its common name from the sage aroma given off when the leaves are crushed. 

Perovskia can grow in any well-drained loamy, sandy or clay soils, even in nutritionally poor soil as well as all soil ph levels and tolerates maritime exposure.

Perovskia is attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds  and bees but deer don’t like it.

Perovskia is virtually maintenance free. Prune it in the spring to no lower than 6 inches before new growth starts. Periodic pruning until mid-summer will produce better growth and a stronger bloom but is not necessary.  In warmer regions, deadheading MAY result in a second blooming period. Otherwise, leave the flower stems for winter interest. The flowers make excellent cut or dried flower arrangements.

TheGardenLady chose to buy Perovskia x ‘Little Spire’ which rarely exceeds two feet tall and falls over only when trampled by your dog instead of the taller Perovskia which grows to 4ft and tends to flop. Perovskia x Little Spire is the work of a Dutch breeder who is responsible for this excellent, compact, long-blooming,  low-maintenance plant.

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1 Comment

  • Thank you for your identification of this plant. I recently purchased a home w/many mystery plants growing in the yard. I suspected this particular plant was a type of lavender and thankfully your site identified it for me.
    I love the smell it gives out and it really adds something special to my yard.
    Thank you, Beverly

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