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How to Grow & Propagate Russian Sage

If you are looking for an easy-care, showy perennial that thrives in even the poorest of soil, look no further than the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia). This woody shrub-like plant is a member of the mint family. Tiny, violet-blue flowers cover silvery branches that create an airy look in the garden. Russian sage can grow from 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 and grows best in full sun. It's also easy to propagate Russian sage so you can plant it elsewhere in your garden.

Planting and Care

Select a site with full sun for the Russian sage.

Dig a hole to accommodate your Russian sage and place it in the hole, making sure to spread the roots out a bit. Backfill with soil, compact it and water thoroughly.

Space plants at least 3 feet apart if you are planting in groups.

Cut back the stems to about 12 inches in the fall or early spring to encourage a bushier appearance.

Water Russian sage during times of extreme heat or drought. While it's a drought-tolerant plant, it may need supplemental water.

Propagating Russian Sage

Take cuttings in early summer for propagation by cutting a stem about 4 to 6 inches long, right below a leaf node. Remove leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the cutting.

Dip your cutting into rooting hormone at the cut end. Place the stem into a pot filled with potting soil and compact the soil gently. Water well.

Cover the pot with a plastic bag to retain moisture. To keep the plastic away from the cutting, place sticks into the soil. Place the pot in a sunny location.

Water regularly, but don't let the soil become waterlogged. Move plants into the garden after a few weeks, when new roots have formed.


Russian sage is not picky about soil conditions and does not need fertilizer.

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