Scientific Name: Salvia yangii, formerly Perovskia atriplicifolia
Common Name: Russian Sage
Common Species/Varieties: Blue Spires, Blue Mist
Common Colors: Sage green foliage and lavender purple flower
Plant Type: Shrub
Annual or Perennial: Perennial
Hardiness Zone: 5-10 USDA
Self-Seeding: Not typically
Bloom Season: Spring through Fall
Grows Best In: Full Sun
Fun Fact: Perovskia means wisdom and knowledge.
Russian Sage is one of the best plants for a “plant it and forget it” approach. It needs to be watered moderately when first planted, but it can be almost completely ignored one its roots have grown deep into the earth. It needs a very well-draining soil, and is an excellent xeriscape plant. It’s important to trim away the previous season’s dead plant matter once new growth starts to come in. It can also be cut down to about a foot high in the winter to make Spring pruning easier.
Russian Sage is a big showy performer in the Summer and Fall. Its light purple flowers, which are tiny and grow all along the top two thirds of the plant, create an almost hazy smoke-like effect when viewed from afar. They’re a great plant for large spaces that need filling, especially in very sunny hot spaces that other plants might wilt in. They can grow to be up to five feet tall! They’re also a very responsible plant as they require almost no water, and the bees absolutely love the little purple flowers. Attracting bees and other pollinators to your yard can help your garden blossom and grow bigger and better. The foliage of the plant deserves a mention as well – it’s lovely and smells similar to artemisia or sage. It’s even deer resistant! Russian Sage represents power, success, and a strong character.