Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Stands up to cold, heat, drought, salt spray, and even poor soil

Russian sage (a member of the genus Perovskia) is a popular landscape plant grown for its fetching foliage as well as its floriferous flowers. The bushy, mounding plant typically grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet, with a similar width, depending on cultivar, and creates a billowing purple haze in the garden with its long, slender, and silvery stems lined with whorls of tiny lavender-blue flowers. The flowers bloom throughout summer, often until first frost in fall, and beckon to butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds. The aromatic gray-green leaves release a pungent scent when crushed and keep deer and pests at bay.

Russian sage resembles lavender but thrives in most climates, including cold areas where lavender is unreliable. An easy-care, low-maintenance plant, it grows best in full sun and in dry to medium moist soil. With low water requirements and poor-soil tolerance, Russian sage is a great choice for xeriscapes, water-wise gardens, or any hot, dry trouble spots. It’s tough enough to line a hot asphalt driveway or to be used as a street planting. And along the coast, this perennial stands up to salt spray. Wherever it's located, from a solitary planting to a mass display, Russian sage is a dependable, long-lived, beautiful choice that will grace the garden for years and years to come.