Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Perovskia atriplicifolia

Common Name
Russian Sage
CA Native
Plant Type
3' - 4' x 2'
Flower Color
Lavender Blue
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Summer
Finely Cut Gray-Green Leaves
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
  • Hummingbirds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Russian sage grows as a many-stemed  clump with 12 inch long lavender flower spikes. The foliage is finely cut gray-green leaves and adds to the airy effect of this plant.  When in full bloom, it creates a haze of misty lavender blue. This plant won the "1995 Perennial Plant of the Year."  Great companion plants include Coneflowers, Apricot Sunset Agastache, Black-Eyed Susans, Yellow Yarrow.

Plant in full sun and a well-drained site. It will tolerate poor soil, drought and a range of pH (including alkaline). In the spring, cut back to about 6" - 8" from the crown. Also benefits from deadheading to produce another flush of blooms in the fall. This plant is suitable for xeriscaping. Handling plants may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. Spreads by rhizomes so it can be invasive.

Attracts bees, bumblebees and hummingbirds.

No serious pest or disease problems.

Master Gardener Comments

I love this plant. It makes a wonderful backdrop for my other plants. It is very drought tolerant and hardy. The deer never touch it.


P. 'Login' - is a narrower, more upright plant than atriplicifolia

P.  'Filagran' - has delicate finely cut leaves

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