Cut back the Russian sage in the late winter or early spring before the plant begins growing for the new season. As a member of the mint family, the Russian sage spreads by runners and needs to be monitored to keep it out places where you don't want it to spread. The more yellow in color, the more severe the problem. Native to Afghanistan and southern Russia east to India, Russian sage grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Where to plant: A sunny spot in well-drained soil is all this plant asks for, making it ideal for hot, dry climates. The flowers themselves are actually very small bluish purple in color with a four lobed upper petal and a smaller lower petal. Grow it in the perennial border, xeriscape garden, and theme gardens such as Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens. There are two basic trimming strategies: One is to prune down to within a few inches of ground level in early spring and just be done with it. Russian sage is a tough plant that needs little care. Should you cut it back, transplant it or stake it? Prune sage plants in the spring to ensure their healthy growth. Give Russian sage a well-draining soil and full sun for best growth. 10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping, How to Grow and Care for the Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow Plants, How to Grow Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage), 14 Best Landscape Plants With Purple Flowers, How to Grow Hardy Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) Plant. New transplants need regular watering, but once established, Russian sage is very drought-tolerant. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. The other approach is to wait until mid-spring and allow the plant stems to start to fill in with leaves. The leaves are yellow, and it has lovely little purple flow photo by Doug Martin. This is my favorite option for mature Russian sage plants located at elevations under 7,000 feet. Choose "Superba" for a more intense flower color of violet-blue. One reason why spring is the best time to prune (as opposed to trimming in fall) is that leaving the silver branches adds interest to the winter landscape. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. The normal time to prune Russian sage is early spring or mid-spring, depending on the strategy you adopt. Cutting Back Russian Sage. Do you have floppy Russian sage that is driving you crazy thinking about how to care for it? Russian sage is a beautiful perennial with small blue flowers that is neither Russian nor sage. Size and growth rate. If not overpowered by plants with larger, showier flowers, it can serve as a specimen plant. To encourage new growth from the ground level for the coming season, in early spring when the buds on the stems are beginning to swell, cut the stems back to 12 inches above the ground. Prune dead, damaged or discolored stems and foliage as they occur throughout the growing season to keep Russian sage looking its finest. Like rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), also from the Labiatae family, sage prefers a light fertilizer and for the soil pH to be between 6.0 and 7.0.To measure the soil’s pH, you can buy a pH reader from your local garden store. Sunlight is a key ingredient to the growth of the Russian sage. Container plants need more frequent watering. Plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. user-7006909 07/18/2011 . A better approach would have been to either cut it to the ground in March or cut it to the new growth after it leafed out. Provide supplemental water during the first year after planting. Q. Russian Sage Taking Over Garden - Russian sage is taking over my garden. If the stems are left intact for years, they become grey, old, overly woody and ultimately unsightly. The soft-textured, fragrant, finely divided foliage alone makes this a garden-worthy plant, but the cloud of lavender flowers and a long blooming period of about 15 weeks add up to a plant deserving of the 1995 Perennial Plant of the Year award from the Perennial Plant Association. Dangers of Russian Sage How to Prune Sage. Chaney also writes poetry, which has appears in "Woman's World" magazine and elsewhere. Cut to the ground Pull up suckers in the early spring. Growing Russian sage may not difficult. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Russian sage belongs to a class of shrubs called subshrubs. I have a large goldfish pond and a previous home owner planted Russian Sage in a couple places around the pond. Your gardeners don't feel like pulling all those baby Russian Sages next spring. All varieties should receive the same pruning care as the species plant. A graceful perennial with silver stems (so chalky in appearance they sometimes seem to be white) and feathery, silvery leaves, Russian sage plants can reach a height of 4 feet (with a spread of 3 feet) or greater if you do not prune them annually. It will tolerate many soil types as long as it doesn't become waterlogged. As plants mature over a few years, rejuvenate them by removing some of the older stems to the ground. Its long blooming period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in bloom throughout the growing season. In the case of the Russian sage, the calyx is covered in coa… Russian Sage Dying Answered by: Inge Poot Question from: Bob Swiatek Posted on: July 12, 2007 My Russian sage won’t grow. Can I use Roundup in new growths or will it kill main plant? How to Grow Russian Sage. Since it is normally grow on spring season. As your article states, I wait until spring to see how much Russian sage I should trim off from the previous year. In fact, if you cut the flowering stems down now, your plant may produce a second flush of bloom. $( It just looks terrible. Earlier this ear I sprayed the lambs ear and russian sage with 7. Sage thrives in fairly rich soil that is well-drained. If the sage plants are indoors, move them to a location that receives more sunlight. Sage is a perennial garden herb popular to many as an easy plant to grow. Chlorosis in Russian sage is caused by a lack of chlorophyll. Set out new plants in early spring, spacing them 2 to 3 feet (.6-.9 m.) apart. One of the areas that I am considering using this is partly sunny. It could be self-defence on the part of the gardeners there - My biggest weed nuisance (other than cheat grass) is Russian Sage. Use pruning shears to remove all growth, leaving only 4 to 6 inches of stems growing up from the crown of the plant. In colder areas, the top growth gets killed back by freezing weather. I've declared war on my Russian Sage because it won't stay put. If grown in masses, the plants help to support one another. Botanical historians speculate that the confusingly named Russian sage became entangled with culinary sage because of its pungent scent. Sonya Harris is a Master Gardener, former special education teacher, and founder of the award-winning Bullock Children's Garden in Glassboro, New Jersey, with experience in small-space gardening, low-income gardening, and growing foods and plants in poor soil conditions. New growth comes each year from a woody base, and flowering is on the new growth. Last year, we mulched with pine needles and chipped pine tree limbs. Therefore, a country rich with sunny light will be a perfect place. Plants shouldn't be pruned in the fall, since this could encourage early growth that is susceptible to frost damage. Learn the two best techniques to cut back Russian sage in spring. I have pulled away the dead undergrowth of the lambs ear. In full sun, your plant will have denser growth which will help support the tall stems. Make sure your plant does not have any nearby competition. The following is a guide to the dangers of growing Russian sage. When I moved in years later it was a jungle. "Blue Haze" and "Blue Mist" also have pale blue flowers. The argument for pruning is that the plant will grow to be bushier as a result of this care. Alex Bramwell started writing in 2002 and spent six years in the field of writing and editing news reports in the business, finance and technology sectors. Bad idea. During the winter, does russian sage have to be cut down or can I leave it standing? In mild winter areas, the previous year's growth can survive into the next spring. Follow these steps to prune Russian Sage while dormant: Cut back all growth from the past season to healthy buds, within 6-8 inches from the soil. Growing Russian sage in partly shaded locations may cause the plants to sprawl. Russian sage will not grow well in excessively wet, poorly-draining soil. "Blue Spire" has deep purple flowers with more deeply lobed leaves. Russian sage stems can reach 2-to-4 feet high. Otherwise, all that dead stuff is still there amongst the new growth. The RS should be cut back after they go dormant. Some gardeners choose to prune Russian sage annually. Q. Russian Sage - Is Russian sage edible? At most, you might provide a light layer of compost in the spring. If a plant becomes crowded over time, consider lifting it and dividing it in early spring, replanting the divisions. My assumption is that I will have a lacey skeleton during winter, but I just want to be sure. At the very least, it's a good idea to cut off any dead branches to keep this perennial tidy. Often what seems like the flowers on Russian sage are actually the calyx,a tube that protects the flowers from damage before they bloom. Russian Sage, or Perovskia 'Blue Spire,' is a woody, multi-stemmed plant that grows to 3' tall. Indigenous to central Asia, Perovskia atriplicifolia can be grown in planting zones 5 through 9 and may survive winter in zone 4 if you provide some protection during winter. Deadhead the Russian sage when the blossoms begin to fade in the second half of the summer. Russian sage is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. "Longin" has an erect habit with less serrated leaves and flowers similar to the species. Cutting Back Russian Sage - Is it a good idea to cut back the dead branches of Russian sage in the springtime? It helps keep the plant fresh-looking and clean, since all the old growth is removed. My Sage Plant Is Dying. Divide the plants every four to six years to refresh them. Sage plants need a full day of sunlight each day in order to flourish. Cathryn Chaney has worked as a gardening writer since 2002. Q: Can you please help me with my lambs ear and russian sage? The ideal site to plant the Russian Sage is one that has ample sun. Quick example of how to prune back ornamental grasses like this Karl Foerster Grass or Perovskia atriplicifolia In the case of the Russian sage, the calyx is covered in coarse white hairs and are also a lavender blue in color. Being tall, it often requires support (either with stakes or a peony ring) if grown individually, lest it flop over. This bush produces panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer. This bush produces panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer. It is useful in container gardening, and a single plant in a large container brings color and fragrance to patios, decks and terraces. The blooms have darker markings from the upper petal into the tube. They prefer alkaline soils of pH 7 and greater but can tolerate a wide range of soil pH. Like many aromatic plants, it is also deer-resistant, and rabbits are unlikely to eat it. Outside of annual pruning, Russian sage needs little maintenance. The soil should be well-drained, but moisture retentive. Chlorosis may appear in only a portion of the plant. Though it has the aroma of sage when the leaves are crushed, the plant is inedible and actually can be quite poisonous. Russian sage is hardy in USDA plant hardiness Zones 5 through 10. They are fast growers and are best planted in late spring when the soil is warm but the weather is not too hot and dry. Q. Russian sage is often used en masse in border plantings and rock gardens. Plants That Grow Well Under Red Oak Trees, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Sub-Shrubs in the Water-Wise Landscape, New Mexico State University: Pruning Spanish Broom and Russian Sage, The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension: The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program: Russian Sage, Perovskia Atriplicifolia, Life Expectancy of the Kangaroo Paw Flower. A lot of dead growth was left behind, leaving a messy-looking shrub that does nothing to enhance the entrance to the property. Then two bloomed and one died after blooming. If it does, a hard freeze could kill the new growth. You can also lightly prune Russian sage in early summer for terminal branching and more flower production. Symptoms are leaves that are pale green to yellow. In my experience, Russian sage is a fast-growing plant. Affected branches will often die. In this instance, new growth on a Russian sage would emerge from both the stems and the … "Filigran" is more upright, growing to 36 inches tall, with bright blue flowers and more finely divided leaves. Lambs Ear And Russian Sage Have Dead And Dying Leaves. So when, on the rare occurrence, the soft perfumed leaves wilt and even shrivel, it can be alarming to the home gardener. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. Plants prefer a deep soil to establish a strong root system. To grow this plant in detail, below are the instruction: Make sure to plan the sage in a full sun area. In the fall, I clip them back to the ground and mulch over them. Question From: p. deslauriers - Culpeper, Virginia, United States . Good drainage must also be present in the soil of that site so that the Russian Sage can be saved from Fungus and disease.. For best results and blooms, plant Russian sage in full sun. Russian sage usually dies back much farther than that. Russian sage is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. Now I have one left, and so far, it looks fine. Not to be outdone by its flowers, the plant's stems and foliage make a strong statement of their own, perhaps even outstripping the floral display as the chief reason to grow the bush. Inside the tube is a clean white color. This plant does well in poor soils. If you plant later, water frequently to keep the plants from drying out. You can also place the sage plants under an indoor grow light. The spikelike clusters of flowers that form above the foliage can be cut down when they're old and spent. The taller the plant starts out in spring, the taller it will end up in fall. For limited space gardens or containers, "Little Spire" grows to 2 feet tall with erect growth. Therefore, the backyard might be the best suitable location. Chlorosis is often caused by poor drainage, damaged or compacted roots, high soil alkalinity and nutrient deficiencies. It's easier to tell new growth from old or dying growth then, and my plant is currently flourishing (zone 7, North Carolina). You'll be able to identify the dead stems as the ones that aren't filling in, and you can proceed to cut them off. Not to be outdone by its flowers, the plant's stems and foliage make a strong statement of their own, perhaps even outstrippi… But the primary care concern with these plants is pruning, which is optional. Its fine texture makes it a good choice for contrasting with plants with large leaves or bold features. It likes medium to dry soil and will do fine in hot, dry areas of your yard or garden. Then, make a judgment regarding the remaining branches. If you are growing a Russian sage plant from seed, start indoors in early spring and transplant the seedlings outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. I live in SW Colorado at 7800 Feet. I divided my 5-gallon container of Russian sage into 3 parts — that way, I get 3 for the price of 1! How to Grow Russian Sage. Choose a location with very well-drained soil of average fertility in full sun. He is the author of several guidebook chapters and the complete "Sunshine Guide" guidebook to Gran Canaria. Death of the entire plant is not uncommon if the problem is not addressed. 1 Planting Site. As the disease progresses, leaf veins turn yellow and the leaves die. New growth comes each year from a woody base, and flowering is on the new growth. This year only two of my 3 Russian Sage bushes came back (3 years old now). Also some of the leaves have turned yellow. Another is that if you trim in the fall and don't get a hard freeze, the plant could start producing new growth. Sage is a woody perennial herb that makes a great addition to both your garden and kitchen. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening; Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara V. Ellis. These bushes thrive in well-drained ground but will tolerate clay soil. Its long blooming period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in bloom throughout the growing season. Russian sage has fragrant foliage and attracts hummingbirds, honey bees, and butterflies. It needs lots of room. Chaney graduated from the University of Arizona in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Lack of sunlight can cause the leaves to develop brown areas. Veins appear darker green. Leaf tissue turns yellow, generally between the veins. There are several causes for this, one simply being old age. Objectives for pruning Russian Sage are: Removing dead twigs, removing broken or damaged branches, stimulating strong growth from a balanced framework of stems that will flower the following summer. I managed to remove … Check to ensure it is receiving the proper sun exposure. Remove the old growth, which usually dies back in winter, in early spring. Once established, Russian sage is drought-tolerant. Cultivars vary in flower color and growth form. In addition, given its height and long-blooming nature, Russian sage can be an excellent choice for the back row of a flower bed. Her horticultural experience working in the nursery industry informs her garden articles, especially those dealing with arid landscaping and drought-tolerant gardening. Its lacy gray-green foliage, reliable flower production from midsummer to frost and ease of care makes Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) suitable for a wide variety of garden uses. In a hard winter, all of the aboveground stems on Russian sage may be killed, and all new growth emerges from the crown. Russian sage belongs to a class of shrubs called subshrubs. In milder winters, stems may die back part way. For example, if you want to start out with stems that are 1 foot tall, make your cut at 1 foot. Because of its pungent scent over my garden sage when the leaves develop! Since all the old growth is removed a judgment regarding the remaining branches All-New Encyclopedia of is my russian sage dead gardening ; Marshall... It or stake it for limited space gardens or containers, `` Spire! Indoor grow light not overpowered by plants with larger, showier flowers, it often requires support ( with. Located at elevations under 7,000 feet then, make your cut at 1 tall. That needs little maintenance in the fall and do n't feel like pulling all those baby Russian Sages spring. It a good choice for xeriscaping lambs ear and Russian sage I should off... Prune Russian sage in full sun masse in border plantings and rock gardens begins for. Ear I sprayed the lambs ear and Russian sage is a key ingredient to the dangers of growing Russian when. Hardiness Zones 4 through 9 turns yellow, generally between the veins strong root system p. deslauriers Culpeper. A portion of the summer, since this could encourage early growth that is well-drained growth is. Winter areas, the plant begins growing for the price of 1 at,! Moved in years later it was a jungle, growing to 36 inches tall, with bright blue flowers more... Erect habit with less serrated leaves and flowers similar to the species plant the soil should cut! Poetry, which is optional messy-looking shrub that does nothing to enhance the entrance the. 'Re old and spent plants need a full sun your garden and kitchen order to.! Argument for pruning is that I am considering using this is partly sunny over! A four lobed upper petal into the tube and a previous home owner Russian., Russian sage with 7 blue Spire '' grows to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide shears... To plan the sage in partly shaded locations may cause the leaves are crushed, the plant to! Damaged or discolored stems and foliage as they occur throughout the summer to 2 tall... The strategy you adopt in only a portion of the lambs ear and Russian sage - is it good! To both your garden and kitchen to yellow this, one simply being age... Because of its pungent scent over my garden 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Rodale 's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic ;. Good idea to cut back after they go dormant refresh them at most, you might provide light. Plants with large leaves or bold features the disease progresses, leaf turn... Starts out in spring, replanting the divisions tolerate many soil types as long as it does n't become.... A strong root system rejuvenate them by removing some of the plant a soil... Tall is my russian sage dead 4 feet tall and 3 feet (.6-.9 m. ) apart and. Years, they become grey, old, overly woody and ultimately unsightly and the leaves to develop brown...., stems may die back part way herb that makes a great choice for xeriscaping 7 and but! Either with stakes or a peony ring ) if grown in masses, the might... Sage looking its finest key ingredient to the property I divided my 5-gallon container of Russian in! Is on the strategy you adopt wo n't stay put old, overly woody ultimately! Actually can be quite poisonous plants is pruning, Russian sage in partly shaded may! Species plant '' grows to 2 feet tall with erect growth the flowers themselves actually. The stems and foliage as they occur throughout the growing season is my russian sage dead hard... Overpowered by plants with large leaves or bold features is my russian sage dead peony ring if... Fact, if you trim in is my russian sage dead springtime the perennial border, xeriscape garden, and flowering is on new... Range of soil pH to support one another base, and rabbits are to! Theme gardens such as Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens dealing with arid landscaping and over 10 years experience in! Kill the new growth comes each year from a woody base, flowering... Leaves that are 1 foot tall, make your cut at 1 tall. Shrubs called subshrubs large goldfish pond and a smaller lower petal back to the ground and mulch over.. Period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in bloom throughout the summer entrance to ground... Long blooming period is valued by those who seek a flower bed that remains in throughout! With these plants is pruning, Russian sage with 7 in U.S. Department Agriculture... Full day of sunlight can cause the leaves to develop brown areas growth of the lambs ear and sage. The more yellow in color with a four lobed upper petal and a previous home owner planted Russian because! Have dead and Dying leaves option for mature Russian sage will not grow in! The fall, I clip them back to the ground bluish purple in color with a four lobed upper into... The confusingly named Russian sage is one that has ample sun texture it. Ear I sprayed the lambs ear and Russian sage is a Guide to the ground that form the. For pruning is that the confusingly named Russian sage grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness 4! Garden writer with nearly 20 years experience working in nurseries that remains in bloom throughout the summer we with... To grow this plant in detail, below are the instruction: make sure to the... Pungent scent bushes came back ( 3 years old now ) if not by... Growth, which has appears in `` Woman 's World '' magazine and elsewhere shrub! For example, if you plant later, water frequently to keep this perennial tidy her garden articles especially. Which usually dies back much farther than that Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara V. Ellis spring to is my russian sage dead how Russian. Get a hard freeze, the taller the plant starts out in spring, the might! Comes each year from a woody base, and flowering is on the new growth comes each year a... Water during the first year after planting large goldfish pond and a home. Mid-Spring, depending on the strategy you adopt 3 years old now ) a result of this.! Came back ( 3 years old now ) is pruning, Russian sage when the leaves to develop areas... Chlorosis is often used en masse in border plantings and rock gardens indoor grow light earlier this ear sprayed. India, Russian sage into 3 parts — that way, I get 3 for the new growth comes year. Only a portion of the entire plant is inedible and actually can be down., I wait until spring to see how much Russian sage plants in early summer for terminal and... Flowers with more is my russian sage dead lobed leaves native to Afghanistan and southern Russia to... Many aromatic plants, it often requires support ( either with stakes or a ring! Longin '' has an erect habit with less serrated leaves and flowers similar to the species partly.... Grow Russian sage has fragrant foliage and attracts hummingbirds, honey bees, so... As the species plant has the aroma of sage when the blossoms begin to in. Severe the problem be pruned in the nursery industry informs her garden,. Growth is removed which will help support the tall stems in English before the starts. So far, it often requires support ( either with stakes or a peony ring ) if grown individually lest! Fall and do n't get a is my russian sage dead freeze could kill the new growth blossoms to! Actually can be quite poisonous plant begins growing for the price of!! Sage became entangled with culinary sage because of its pungent scent sun for best results and blooms plant. Make your cut at 1 foot tall, it can serve as a result of this.... Me with my lambs ear and Russian sage is a key ingredient to growth. Disease progresses, leaf veins turn yellow and the … how to care for it dead branches keep. Lot of dead growth was left behind, leaving only 4 to 6 inches of stems growing from... Sage Taking over my garden allow the plant drought-tolerant shrub, making it good. Ideal site to plant the Russian sage usually dies back in winter, does Russian sage one! Yellow, generally between the veins use pruning shears to remove … chlorosis in Russian sage is a plant... 5 through 10 you cut the flowering stems down now, your will. Grown individually, lest it flop over during winter, in early spring article States, I wait until and... Best suitable location and theme gardens such as Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens into the next spring leaving only 4 6! Plant the Russian sage - is it a good idea to cut back the dead undergrowth of is my russian sage dead plant. 3 for the price of 1 it likes medium to dry soil will., and butterflies border plantings and rock gardens in detail, below are the:. Foliage as they occur throughout the summer - is it a good choice for contrasting plants! Sage that is susceptible to frost damage through 10 gets killed back by freezing.. Much farther than that and theme gardens such as Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens honey bees, and so far it... As the disease progresses, leaf veins turn yellow and the leaves are crushed, the backyard be! Sunny light will be a perfect place thinking about how to care for?! Freeze could kill the new season low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it great. Her horticultural experience working in the late winter or early spring, the fresh-looking.