Russian Sage has been a garden staple for years, and for good reason. Give it sharp soil and full sun and it will perform without fail. It’s a magnet for bees and its generous blooming period makes it the perfect perennial to fill in the gaps in a continuously blooming garden.
It’s long-lived, can, and should, be cut back to keep it in check and responds well to pruning during the growing season. Is this perhaps the perfect plant? Well, almost. It can be large and unruly- a great attribute in a more free-flowing garden design, but in tighter spots or in a more formal setting its exuberance makes it a bit daunting to work with.
But all is not lost. Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’ is the the slender, upright, tidy Russian Sage many garden designs have been longing for.
We incorporated several in our Ault Park Focal Garden and a few have been installed in a nearby park by our horticulturalist.
What we’ve learned: The more sun the better. Part sun can greatly impede the plant’s performance as will compact, clay-heavy soil. Sources say it will tolerate clay, but we have found it does better in soil amended for sharper draining. In full sun, it’s more tolerant of our clay conditions.
Just the facts
Perfect for our ares- prefers USDA zones 5-9, full sun, dry to medium soil, well draining soil in full sun (don’t skimp on the sun!) More demure at 1.5 – 2 feet tall and wide. Blooms June to frost. Deer and rabbit tolerant.