How to Grow a Russian Sage Plant


Russian sage is a perennial shrub-like plant that is cold-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. From summer into fall, Russian sage produces small, lavender-colored blooms on thin limbs. Drought tolerant, Russian sage can grow 3 to 5 feet tall and may spread when seeds are carried on the wind. A single Russian sage may go unnoticed in the landscape, but three or more Russian sage planted together will provide a more significant view in the garden.

Step 1

Select a sunny, well-drained location. With the proper location, Russian sage can spread on its own over the years if there are no plants close by in competition for water and soil nutrients. If planting more than one Russian sage, allow 18 to 24 inches between plantings. Russian sage can be planted anytime from spring into early fall, with spring the optimal time so the plant has all summer to set roots.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the diameter of a container of Russian sage. The depth of the hole should match the height of the root ball, which is from the bottom of the container to the top of the soil in the pot. If planting in clay soil, use the tip of a spade to rough up the sides and bottom of the hole for easier root penetration.

Step 3

Remove the Russian sage from the container. Use your fingers to loosen the roots from the bottom and lower sides of the root ball.

Step 4

Place the root ball in the center of the hole. The top of the soil of the root ball should be level with the surrounding soil. Add or remove soil from the bottom of the hole if necessary.

Step 5

Backfill the hole with soil and water around the root ball, which will settle the soil. Add more soil if necessary.

Step 6

Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch, such as wood chips, if desired. Mulch can help retain moisture and block weed growth.

Step 7

Water the plants. Keep the soil moist, which may mean watering every seven to 10 days if there is no rainfall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Russian sage has the potential of becoming invasive.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Mulch


  • FloriData: Perovskia Atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
  • Cornell University: Planting Options
Keywords: Russian sage plant, drought tolerant plants, grow Russian sage

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.