Betsy’s Favorite Perennials: Russian Sage is High on the List

Can you imagine working with your favorite plants all day long, for pay?  Yeah, me neither.  But Betsy Winters, Homestead’s perennials manager and buyer, does exactly that.  So of course we all want her to pick her absolute faves, right?  I asked for five and got seven – really, how could she limit it to seven?  So let’s start a seven-part series here on the blog, shall we?  Beginning with a BIG fave of mine, too.

Russian sage with tall and short rudbeckias along a city street

Its official Latin name is Perovskia and this beauty was chosen as Perennial of the Year in 1995.  As good as it looks here, it’s really dramatic in large clumps. They’re also great with purple coneflowers, daylilies and ornamental grasses.  They come to us from Afghanistan and Pakistan. (What, not Russia?  I know, but that’s what the sources tell us.)

Details

  • Grows to 3-5 feet.
  • Likes full sun and good drainage.
  • Take a year or more to establish.

Care

  • Prune in early spring by cutting stems to 6 inches or so from the ground.
  • Drought-tolerant.
  • It’s recommended that they be pinched or cut back by one-half when they reach 1 foot to produce more branches and general bushiness, but I haven’t tried this myself yet.
  • No need to divide them and they probably wouldn’t like it, anyway.

Text and photo by Susan Harris.

Comments are closed.