In a hard winter, all of the aboveground stems on Russian sage may be killed, and all new growth emerges from the crown. Pull up suckers in the early spring. It just looks terrible. Give Russian sage a well-draining soil and full sun for best growth. Cutting Back Russian Sage. There are two basic trimming strategies: One is to prune down to within a few inches of ground level in early spring and just be done with it. I divided my 5-gallon container of Russian sage into 3 parts — that way, I get 3 for the price of 1! The taller the plant starts out in spring, the taller it will end up in fall. Sunlight is a key ingredient to the growth of the Russian sage. Container plants need more frequent watering. But the primary care concern with these plants is pruning, which is optional. Sage is a woody perennial herb that makes a great addition to both your garden and kitchen. So when, on the rare occurrence, the soft perfumed leaves wilt and even shrivel, it can be alarming to the home gardener. $( Russian sage is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. user-7006909 07/18/2011 . Its fine texture makes it a good choice for contrasting with plants with large leaves or bold features. Since it is normally grow on spring season. The more yellow in color, the more severe the problem. There are several causes for this, one simply being old age. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening; Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara V. Ellis. Indigenous to central Asia, Perovskia atriplicifolia can be grown in planting zones 5 through 9 and may survive winter in zone 4 if you provide some protection during winter. Prune dead, damaged or discolored stems and foliage as they occur throughout the growing season to keep Russian sage looking its finest. As your article states, I wait until spring to see how much Russian sage I should trim off from the previous year. Russian sage will not grow well in excessively wet, poorly-draining soil. Sage plants need a full day of sunlight each day in order to flourish. As a member of the mint family, the Russian sage spreads by runners and needs to be monitored to keep it out places where you don't want it to spread. Remove the old growth, which usually dies back in winter, in early spring. Russian sage is often used en masse in border plantings and rock gardens. Do you have floppy Russian sage that is driving you crazy thinking about how to care for it? I managed to remove … If the stems are left intact for years, they become grey, old, overly woody and ultimately unsightly. If you are growing a Russian sage plant from seed, start indoors in early spring and transplant the seedlings outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Its lacy gray-green foliage, reliable flower production from midsummer to frost and ease of care makes Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) suitable for a wide variety of garden uses. Make sure your plant does not have any nearby competition. Now I have one left, and so far, it looks fine. Last year, we mulched with pine needles and chipped pine tree limbs. Chlorosis in Russian sage is caused by a lack of chlorophyll. Sonya Harris is a Master Gardener, former special education teacher, and founder of the award-winning Bullock Children's Garden in Glassboro, New Jersey, with experience in small-space gardening, low-income gardening, and growing foods and plants in poor soil conditions. New transplants need regular watering, but once established, Russian sage is very drought-tolerant. They prefer alkaline soils of pH 7 and greater but can tolerate a wide range of soil pH. Question From: p. deslauriers - Culpeper, Virginia, United States . Symptoms are leaves that are pale green to yellow. During the winter, does russian sage have to be cut down or can I leave it standing? Like many aromatic plants, it is also deer-resistant, and rabbits are unlikely to eat it. One reason why spring is the best time to prune (as opposed to trimming in fall) is that leaving the silver branches adds interest to the winter landscape. Objectives for pruning Russian Sage are: Removing dead twigs, removing broken or damaged branches, stimulating strong growth from a balanced framework of stems that will flower the following summer. For example, if you want to start out with stems that are 1 foot tall, make your cut at 1 foot. "Filigran" is more upright, growing to 36 inches tall, with bright blue flowers and more finely divided leaves. Growing Russian sage may not difficult. Grow it in the perennial border, xeriscape garden, and theme gardens such as Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens. My assumption is that I will have a lacey skeleton during winter, but I just want to be sure. Russian sage usually dies back much farther than that. New growth comes each year from a woody base, and flowering is on the new growth. Follow these steps to prune Russian Sage while dormant: Cut back all growth from the past season to healthy buds, within 6-8 inches from the soil. The spikelike clusters of flowers that form above the foliage can be cut down when they're old and spent. Q. Russian Sage Taking Over Garden - Russian sage is taking over my garden. Otherwise, all that dead stuff is still there amongst the new growth. Bad idea. In the case of the Russian sage, the calyx is covered in coa… Use pruning shears to remove all growth, leaving only 4 to 6 inches of stems growing up from the crown of the plant. Plants prefer a deep soil to establish a strong root system. Affected branches will often die. It's easier to tell new growth from old or dying growth then, and my plant is currently flourishing (zone 7, North Carolina). This year only two of my 3 Russian Sage bushes came back (3 years old now). As the disease progresses, leaf veins turn yellow and the leaves die. How to Grow Russian Sage. Plants That Grow Well Under Red Oak Trees, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Sub-Shrubs in the Water-Wise Landscape, New Mexico State University: Pruning Spanish Broom and Russian Sage, The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension: The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program: Russian Sage, Perovskia Atriplicifolia, Life Expectancy of the Kangaroo Paw Flower. Sage is a perennial garden herb popular to many as an easy plant to grow. Chlorosis may appear in only a portion of the plant. For limited space gardens or containers, "Little Spire" grows to 2 feet tall with erect growth. If the sage plants are indoors, move them to a location that receives more sunlight. Some gardeners choose to prune Russian sage annually. My Sage Plant Is Dying. The RS should be cut back after they go dormant. Alex Bramwell started writing in 2002 and spent six years in the field of writing and editing news reports in the business, finance and technology sectors. Russian sage stems can reach 2-to-4 feet high. If grown in masses, the plants help to support one another. Russian sage is hardy in USDA plant hardiness Zones 5 through 10. Russian sage belongs to a class of shrubs called subshrubs. All varieties should receive the same pruning care as the species plant. The blooms have darker markings from the upper petal into the tube. Another is that if you trim in the fall and don't get a hard freeze, the plant could start producing new growth. Growing Russian sage in partly shaded locations may cause the plants to sprawl. To grow this plant in detail, below are the instruction: Make sure to plan the sage in a full sun area. The ideal site to plant the Russian Sage is one that has ample sun. Set out new plants in early spring, spacing them 2 to 3 feet (.6-.9 m.) apart. This bush produces panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer. Its long blooming period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in bloom throughout the growing season. I live in SW Colorado at 7800 Feet. Not to be outdone by its flowers, the plant's stems and foliage make a strong statement of their own, perhaps even outstrippi… He is the author of several guidebook chapters and the complete "Sunshine Guide" guidebook to Gran Canaria. The other approach is to wait until mid-spring and allow the plant stems to start to fill in with leaves. For best results and blooms, plant Russian sage in full sun. In this instance, new growth on a Russian sage would emerge from both the stems and the … A lot of dead growth was left behind, leaving a messy-looking shrub that does nothing to enhance the entrance to the property. Veins appear darker green. Choose a location with very well-drained soil of average fertility in full sun. Cathryn Chaney has worked as a gardening writer since 2002. Botanical historians speculate that the confusingly named Russian sage became entangled with culinary sage because of its pungent scent. Lack of sunlight can cause the leaves to develop brown areas. Deadhead the Russian sage when the blossoms begin to fade in the second half of the summer. "Longin" has an erect habit with less serrated leaves and flowers similar to the species. 1 Planting Site. In milder winters, stems may die back part way. "Blue Spire" has deep purple flowers with more deeply lobed leaves. It is useful in container gardening, and a single plant in a large container brings color and fragrance to patios, decks and terraces. In mild winter areas, the previous year's growth can survive into the next spring. The leaves are yellow, and it has lovely little purple flow Inside the tube is a clean white color. This plant does well in poor soils. Check to ensure it is receiving the proper sun exposure. Prune sage plants in the spring to ensure their healthy growth. One of the areas that I am considering using this is partly sunny. It likes medium to dry soil and will do fine in hot, dry areas of your yard or garden. Provide supplemental water during the first year after planting. Russian sage belongs to a class of shrubs called subshrubs. Leaf tissue turns yellow, generally between the veins. Russian sage is a tough plant that needs little care. Choose "Superba" for a more intense flower color of violet-blue. Therefore, the backyard might be the best suitable location. Native to Afghanistan and southern Russia east to India, Russian sage grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Russian sage is a beautiful perennial with small blue flowers that is neither Russian nor sage. The normal time to prune Russian sage is early spring or mid-spring, depending on the strategy you adopt. It could be self-defence on the part of the gardeners there - My biggest weed nuisance (other than cheat grass) is Russian Sage. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. Being tall, it often requires support (either with stakes or a peony ring) if grown individually, lest it flop over. Also some of the leaves have turned yellow. Can I use Roundup in new growths or will it kill main plant? Therefore, a country rich with sunny light will be a perfect place. photo by Doug Martin. The soil should be well-drained, but moisture retentive. Where to plant: A sunny spot in well-drained soil is all this plant asks for, making it ideal for hot, dry climates. Like rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), also from the Labiatae family, sage prefers a light fertilizer and for the soil pH to be between 6.0 and 7.0.To measure the soil’s pH, you can buy a pH reader from your local garden store. In addition, given its height and long-blooming nature, Russian sage can be an excellent choice for the back row of a flower bed. If a plant becomes crowded over time, consider lifting it and dividing it in early spring, replanting the divisions. This is my favorite option for mature Russian sage plants located at elevations under 7,000 feet. It needs lots of room. Divide the plants every four to six years to refresh them. I have pulled away the dead undergrowth of the lambs ear. They are fast growers and are best planted in late spring when the soil is warm but the weather is not too hot and dry. Sage thrives in fairly rich soil that is well-drained. Though it has the aroma of sage when the leaves are crushed, the plant is inedible and actually can be quite poisonous. Russian Sage, or Perovskia 'Blue Spire,' is a woody, multi-stemmed plant that grows to 3' tall. If not overpowered by plants with larger, showier flowers, it can serve as a specimen plant. When I moved in years later it was a jungle. Russian Sage Dying Answered by: Inge Poot Question from: Bob Swiatek Posted on: July 12, 2007 My Russian sage won’t grow. Learn the two best techniques to cut back Russian sage in spring. At most, you might provide a light layer of compost in the spring. Outside of annual pruning, Russian sage needs little maintenance. You can also lightly prune Russian sage in early summer for terminal branching and more flower production. The argument for pruning is that the plant will grow to be bushier as a result of this care. How to Grow Russian Sage. If you plant later, water frequently to keep the plants from drying out. Cutting Back Russian Sage - Is it a good idea to cut back the dead branches of Russian sage in the springtime? Cultivars vary in flower color and growth form. Death of the entire plant is not uncommon if the problem is not addressed. If it does, a hard freeze could kill the new growth. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. In fact, if you cut the flowering stems down now, your plant may produce a second flush of bloom. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. It helps keep the plant fresh-looking and clean, since all the old growth is removed. "Blue Haze" and "Blue Mist" also have pale blue flowers. Q. Russian Sage - Is Russian sage edible? In my experience, Russian sage is a fast-growing plant. The soft-textured, fragrant, finely divided foliage alone makes this a garden-worthy plant, but the cloud of lavender flowers and a long blooming period of about 15 weeks add up to a plant deserving of the 1995 Perennial Plant of the Year award from the Perennial Plant Association. Her horticultural experience working in the nursery industry informs her garden articles, especially those dealing with arid landscaping and drought-tolerant gardening. This bush produces panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer. Should you cut it back, transplant it or stake it? Then two bloomed and one died after blooming. These bushes thrive in well-drained ground but will tolerate clay soil. Good drainage must also be present in the soil of that site so that the Russian Sage can be saved from Fungus and disease.. 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