Butterflies and bees love Russian sage, so plant it where they can be enjoyed. The sage referred to here, Tricolor sage (Salvia officinalis Tricolor), has the advantage of being highly ornamental to boot, as its leaves boast three colors. When you rub the leaves of Russian Sage, you also get a minty aroma. Dangers of Russian Sage Because this plant is not related to the edible sage varieties, it should not be used in cooking or eaten in any matter because of its poisonous leaves. It didn't grow much, and it does lean toward the sun, as killerdaisy said. Its two-lipped, tubular flowers appear in summer through fall. Vern Nelson | For The Oregonian/OregonLive. We planted Russian Sage last year. The crushed leaves smell great, and I was delighted when its bare winter sticks sprouted new growth this spring. If you are looking for an attractive easy-to-grow herb that deer dislike, look no further than Russian sage. It's not actually related to rosemary, but looks quite like it, and is native to southern Africa - hence why it's doing well in Australia. 7. Foliage & Branching Habits: Russian Sage is also in the mint family, just like Salvia. And it smelled nothing like the Russian sage plant that grew in my yard. This perennial has silvery-green leaves with a gently serrated edge. ... Meadow Sage – The earthy sage fragrance of this spring bloomer seems to please everybody’s sense of smell. All parts of the Russian sage plant are quite fragrant when rubbed or crushed. ( Log Out /  -- MJ. 'Pozo Blue' tolerates and even thrives in sand or clay, coastal, mountain or desert gardens. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Why? Although you can tackle planting Russian sage from early spring to six weeks before frost, the ideal time is in late spring. ( Log Out /  Change ), This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 11:47 am and tagged with, Europeans are better at it than the Americans, Directions to Whitestone Hill, North Dakota, Fresh Mojo: Life in Western North Dakota During an Oil Boom, Rhubarb & Venison: A North Dakota Food Blog, The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Russian sage. Some even uses the flowers in tea when experiencing stomach upset. Burning sage (also known as smudging) is an ancient spiritual ritual. -- Vern Nelson; thehungrygardener@yahoo.com. You can transplant them easily if there are roots attached. Catmint – Whether or not you like cats, ... To keep Russian sage in check pull up young runners in the spring. ‘Little Spire’ Russian sage is a smaller version, reaching a tidy 18 to 24 inches tall and wide. It is similar in resemblance, with square stems and opposite blue-green leaves. This hardy perennial will grow up to five feet tall, boasting fragrant and lovely lavender-blue flowers in the spring. Russian sage's uses are many, with the plants frequently found anchoring both border and wildlife gardens. Both Russian Sage and Lemon Verbena are known for cooking, but they have distinct smells that keep mosquitoes away. Russian sage can provide a pretty border to deter hungry deer from your veggies and plants. Featuring clouds of tiny light blue flowers on spikes and finely dissected, fragrant, gray-green leaves, Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) works well for perennial borders, mixed borders, wildlife gardens and other landscape areas. 'Pozo Blue' is a hybrid between Purple Sage and Cleveland Sage. Subscribe to OregonLive. 'Little Spire' grows to just 2 feet tall. That is also what I thought. Admired for its silvery gray, fragrant foliage as much as its lavender-purple flowers, Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) makes a bold statement in the garden. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Russian Sage Care Must-Knows A: Russian sage (Perovskia atiplicifolia) is not a true sage (Salvia). Try pink Malva, rosy Sedum spectabile, pale yellow daylilies, white phlox or yellow 'Moonbeam' coreopsis. It prefers light, somewhat dry soil. The most-used sage types have antimicrobial properties. I'll trim it to 6 inches, as sue1952 recommends and look forward to … The curious thing, in addition to the name confusion, is that America has other close relatives (members of the same genus, congeners) of the European sages and Europe has other congeners of the American sages. I use the sweet-tasting flowers whole in salads but mince the leaves, which are good but assertive. 'Blue Spire' has a 3-foot-tall, upright form with deeply lobed leaves and dark purple flowers. Both times it was a yucky smell. If you rub the leaves between your fingers they emanate a strong yet fantastic smell. Sage belong to the mint family, and they emit a menthol sensation that brings a cooling feeling as it travels down your nasal cavity. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Most sage plants grown for culinary purposes have a strong scent compared to ornamental or medicinal purposes. As the name suggests, it smells like garlic and, therefore, repels bugs as well. PRUNING: Pruning is important to maintain the best flowering. Dirty, dark, bitter. Russian sage has fragrant foliage and attracts hummingbirds, honey bees, and butterflies. Both Russian Sage and Lemon Verbena are known for cooking, but they have distinct smells that keep mosquitoes away. CAREFREE: Pests and disease have never visited my Russian sages. My Russian sages have done very well with mulches and no additional fertilizing. Smaller varieties, such as 'Little Spire,' are good as a border. 'Longin' grows stiffly upright, for more formal applications. The leaves and flowers can be steeped to make tea. Russian sage has household uses, as well, and is often used in dried flower arrangements and when making fragrant potpourris. Then I looked at what the Russian sage looked like yesterday evening (August 2013). The straight species grows 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. That pungent sage-like smell makes them a good deer resistant perennial. When the runner is well-rooted, cut it loose from the mother plant and transplant to a new location. No need to deadhead, plant continue to blooms. The abundant, spiky clusters of flowers bloom from late spring until autumn, almost completely obscuring the leaves. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Q: I am growing Russian sage and I wonder if it can be eaten. Citrus notes are most often top notes. Dark blue flowers cover its foot-tall stalks. IN THE LANDSCAPE: Russian sage ranges from 2 to 5 feet tall and wide depending upon the cultivar and the care it receives. Then I looked at what the Russian sage looked like yesterday evening (August 2013). The honey bees stay busy with all the blooms. Russian sage loves lots of sun and once established is very drought tolerant. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. That’s why what you smell can trigger memories and elicit feelings, both negative and positive. Sage belongs to the same family as rosemary, mint, and basil, but it has a particularly pungent earthiness with some astringency and a spicy, resinous character a bit like the smell of eucalyptus and pine (and some say similar to weed).It has some measure of inherent sweetness, but put too much in your food and it’ll overpower everything with an unpleasant bitterness. It doesn't smell so much like sage as it does pine. However, they can be dried and used in potpourris. Russian sage is easy to grow in average, well drained soil. ‘Blue Spire’ Russian sage tends to grow more upright than the species with stems that reach 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. When it was mid-Spring, just before the weather stopped dropping below 32 F at night, the sturdy Russian sage pushed up out of the soil. It is a late blooming plant that attracts hummingbirds. (To me, burning White Sage just smells like burning White Sage—but the similarity is something to keep in mind if you’re going to use it in public.) Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. PLANTING: Plant in full sun. It can get quite tall (8 – 6 feet or 2 – 2.5 m.). IN THE KITCHEN: The flowers and foliage make good bouquets and can perfume the entire house with their clean, herbal scent. Sometimes we gotta stop and smell the Russian sage — it appears the Europeans are better at it than the Americans. The scent of Russian sage is quite strong, with an almost disinfectant-like quality to it. Please support high-quality local journalism. Part shade will produce leggy plants with less bloom. Expect bloom from early summer to fall. The plant does sprawl a bit, so it can be used atop a wall to spill over. Like many aromatic plants, it is also deer-resistant, and rabbits are unlikely to eat it. As is the case with many aromatic plants, russian sage is deer and rabbit resistant. Grape scented sage doesn’t smell like grapes, but rather more like freesia. At this point, soil is warm and plants should start growing quickly. The smell of White Sage is so strong that just rubbing its fuzzy leaves between your fingers is enough to release the scent. Although the leaves may smell like those of culinary garden sage (Salvia officinalis), Russian sage is technically not a sage. Sometimes we gotta stop and smell the Russian sage — it appears the Europeans are better at it than the Americans. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. I prefer to use potted, named cultivars or transplanted runners with roots. • Small potted plants may take longer to settle in, so buy big. The plant also has a reputation for being of little interest to deer. After regular watering for the first year, it is very drought tolerant. Prune the plant to 10 inches high each year about March 10 to keep it vigorous. I've smelled clary sage only twice, from different sources. Depending on the location of the plant, where the foliage is borne, and the variety, the leaf edges may have a serrated or wavy edge. That is also what I thought. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a stunner in my garden. 'Pozo' grows to about 4 feet. • Plant at the same depth it was in the pot. Its fine texture makes it a good choice for contrasting with plants with large leaves or bold features. high, and 5 feet wide and has the flowers and fragrance of Musk sage but is hardy to 0 F. like Purple Sage. The best blooms emerge from the new growth. Russian sage is particularly effective in the middle or back of a bed or as a mass planting. It also has proven to be VERY drought tolerant. Longin Russian Sage From a distance, viewers may think Russian sage is a lavendula species because of its gray-green foliage and lavender haze of flowers. Bundles of sage and Palo Santo packaged as “smudging kits” are available for sale at yoga studio gift shops, popular retailers like Madewell and Urban Outfitters, and even behemoths like Walmart. All rights reserved (About Us). 'Blue Haze' has pale blue flowers and nearly uncut leaves. With pinks, yellows and whites in tea when experiencing stomach upset silvery-green leaves with a bit of a bite! 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