Botanical Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
Common Name: Russian Sage  
Plant photo of: Perovskia atriplicifolia
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Water Saving Tip:

Replace turf with groundcovers, trees, and shrubs. If you have areas where no one uses the grass, patches that do not grow well, or a turf area too small to water without runoff, consider replacing the turf with water-efficient landscaping.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Shrub, Perennial


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Grey Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season








Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH



Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch


Accenting Features

Fragrance, Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest



Location Uses

Background, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Foundation, Walls / Fences


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Mass Planting


Attracts Wildlife

Hummingbirds, Butterflies

Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Susan Frommer/ Sanchez
  • Description

  • Notes

Russian sage may be the ubiquitous low-water garden plant. With its grey green, aromatic foliage, and azure blue spires, it provides a long-lasting show in hot, dry gardens. It grows to 3 to 5 feet tall, and nearly as wide. It is a woody perennial and forms a very hard trunk over time. It is both airy and substantial, and partners well with herbaceous perennials, woody shrubs, or ornamental grasses. It also would grow well against a south or west facing wall or fence.
Grow in full sun and well drained soil. Tolerates a wide range of soils including loamy-clays, poor soils, and sandy soils. Tolerates a lot of heat, including reflective heat. Over-watering will cause the plant to grow larger than is typical, to be a bit floppy, and to spread, sometimes with reckless abandon. Cut back hard in late winter to early spring (see Guides).