blue flowered Russian sage creates a dazzling
partnership with this Meiwa kumquat.
of rare icy blue flowers partnered with the soft gray
foliage make the Russian Sage a winner from zones 5-9,
meaning much of the country can relish in its beauty.
Winner it is, too, as 20 years ago it was selected as
the Perennial Plant of the Year.
been growing it ever since that year, and I have grown
to love it more with each passing season. Not only do I
treasure every aspect of its texture and habit, but it
is also tough-as-nails, and the roving deer population
will pretty much leave it alone.
being called Russian sage, it is not really a sage like
the host of salvias we grow and call sages. Donít get
me wrong, it is closely related. The Russian sage is
known botanically as Perovskia atriplicifolia. If you
learn to say that and tell your friends, they are sure
to be impressed. Perhaps even more so if you tell them
your Russian sage is not really a sage and itís not
really from Russia. It is, in fact, from Pakistan and
will grow like a native at your house.
the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah we
grow it in the full scorching hot sun. It thrives in our
Mediterranean Garden, where it also gets only the
natural rainfall. You might wonder why I am I writing
about it in November, and the answer is that it is still
sizzling as it has been since late spring.
happiness with the Russian sage and its longevity in
your garden will depend largely on winter drainage. Does
your soil drain freely thereby preventing any tendencies
to sit with wet feet? If you canít answer
"yes," then you need to plant on raised beds
or improve the drainage with soil amendments.
a site with full sun and good drainage, and you will
likely treasure the plant. Set out nursery grown
transplants 24 inches apart and at the same depth they
were growing in the container. Be sure to add a good
layer of mulch. Despite being drought tolerant and super
tough, the plants will need watering to get them
sage should be cut back in late winter or early spring
to stimulate growth and blooms for the long growing
season ahead. After cutting back, it is not a bad idea
to side dress with a light application of a little
slow-release fertilizer. A little light pruning if
needed will keep them going through fall.
the years I have loved partnering them with gloriosa
daises, lantanas and even salvias. Try growing the
Russian sage with the new Amistad salvia, and youíll
find out what a wonderful color combination you have
created with the blue and purple. I love the Russian
sage with all colors of fall mums. There is not a single
color of mum that wonít look good grown as a
our Mediterranean Garden it was fruit, however, that
helped create the Kodak moment of texture and color
companionship. Take, for example, the small rounded
orange Meiwa kumquats, Fortunella crassifolia. A kumquat
tree with its glossy green foliage loaded with bright
orange fruit is enough to bring out the cameras by
itself. But what if it were surrounded by the blue
flowers of the Russian sage? The answer is, you get a
everyone can grow kumquats, but most likely you can grow
the Russian sage and create your own stunning