How to Grow White Sagebrush

Overview

Artemisia ludoviciana, or white sagebrush, is a perennial that is native all over North America--from Canada to Arkansas. It has a shorter life span than many other perennials. It adapts to many rainfall patterns and temperature ranges. The plant has white-gray foliage with yellow or white flowers and white seeds or fruits. The most active blooming period is the early spring to summer. The plant grows to be about 3 feet high.

Step 1

Buy white sagebrush from plant dealers, wholesalers and nurseries. It is readily available and can be propagated by seed, cuttings, container and sprigs.

Step 2

Prepare a planting area with soil, clay or sand. Soil is the preferred bed, as white sagebrush does very well in rough soil or dry, light soils. It even survives in areas with foot traffic.

Step 3

Test the pH level of the planting area with a kit purchased from a hardware store or nursery. The perennial prefers acidic soil with a pH of between 5.0 and 8.0. If it's not acidic enough, lower the pH by 1, by adding 1.2 ounces of ground rock sulfur per square yard. Mix it in thoroughly before planting. Adding composted leaves or wood chips will also lower the pH level.

Step 4

Dig holes with a shovel that are deep enough to allow the plant to sit with its rootball level with the ground (this varies depending on the size you plant you purchased). If it sits too low, there may be water buildup which causes root rot. Test it out by placing the pot in the hole as you dig to determine how much deeper or wider to make it.

Step 5

Space plants out about 15 to 18 inches from each other. The perennial does best in sun to partial shade.

Step 6

Water once the plant is in the ground. After that, water only during drought periods. Rainfall should provide adequate moisture as the white sagebrush only needs 10 to 60 inches of rain annually to survive.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil, clay or sand
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • pH kit
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Wood chips or composted leaves

References

  • Las Palities Nursery
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Dave's Garden
Keywords: white sagebrush, Artemisia ludoviciana, perennial

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.