How to Trim Russian Sage


Russian sage, also known as Perovskia atriplicifolia, is a perennial plant with silvery foliage and purple-to-blue flowers that bloom from July to September. It grows best in full sun with well-drained soil and reaches heights of about 3 feet. Russian sage is hardy through U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 9. It is extremely drought tolerant and grows poorly in wet soils, according to Russian sage is considered a form of shrub and needs to be pruned like one, according to Fine Gardening magazine online. Because it is a late-blooming herbaceous shrub, or "subshrub," Fine Gardening advises trimming Russian sage in the early spring before new growth appears.

Step 1

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased foliage from the Russian sage with the the pruners at the base of the plant. Most of the die back will be on the tips of the foliage. Scissors can be used to prune near the tips of the plant.

Step 2

Prune all of the Russian sage back to about 8 inches from the ground. This encourages new growth from healthy leaf nodes.

Step 3

Shape your Russian sage into the form you desire by cutting back any over-reaching foliage. This is only necessary if your Russian sage does not experience die-back in the winter.

Step 4

Deadhead the Russian sage in the fall after the flowers have faded. Leave any further trimming until the following spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cut Russian sage to the ground or it might cause the plant to die, according to Fine Gardening.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • By-pass pruners


  • University of Illinois Extension: Russian Sage
  • Fine Gardening magazine: Pruning Subshrubs
  • University of Arkansas Extension: Plant of the Week Russian Sage
Keywords: trim Russian sage, trimmng Russian sage, prune Russian sage

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.