How to Prepare a Russian Sage for Spring


No matter what USDA hardiness zone you live in, that gardening bug will urge you to pull out work gloves and get into the dirt come spring. Just before spring arrives in its full-blown glory is the time to get your dormant Russian Sage prepped and ready to reach its full potential as a visual asset to your garden.

Step 1

Pull back any debris and matter that has gathered around the base of the Russian Sage over the dormant season. Use a gloved hand or a hand rake, but do not rake so hard as to sever any tender roots near the surface.

Step 2

Prune the Russian Sage using a process known as "rejuvenation" to accomplish best results in the coming growing season. Get pruning shears down to the base where older, woody stems emerge from the plant. Cut away this older growth and leave young new shoots; flowers and new sprouting forms best on these younger stems.

Step 3

Choose roots you may want to use for propagation. Gently dig into the root base and examine for a plump, healthy root. Select roots a bit smaller than the width of a drinking straw. Plant any new roots immediately into their new destination and keep moist to the touch.

Step 4

Clean up all cutting materials from the base of the plant and put in the compost pile or trash. Save any softwood stems or roots you may have selected for future propagation, and keep them moist until you finish this project.

Step 5

Backfill garden soil uniformly around the base of the plant where it emerges from ground. Mix about an inch of new organic matter and a scattering of timed-release pellet fertilizer in with the soil before backfilling to replenish nutrients for the new growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • It is best to perform rejuvination pruning in dormancy just before spring or at some juncture during winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Hand rake
  • Pruning shears
  • Organic matter
  • Timed-release fertilizer pellets


  • New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service: How to Prepare Russian Sage
  • The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants; Christopher Brickell and H. Marc Cathey, Editors-in-Chief; 2008

Who Can Help

  • U.S. National Arboretum: U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones Map
Keywords: pruning Russian Sage, growing Russian Sage, Russian Sage care, Perovskia care

About this Author

Sheri Lacker has more than 30 years' experience as a writer, photographer and multimedia artist. Her work has been used by Warner Brothers, Barbour/Langley and Casey Kasem Presents, among others. Her awards include the Theatre Excellence Scholarship and Guest-Artist-in-Res. Lacker studied journalism, Web design and historical research at the University of Memphis.