Site perennial flowering Russian sage in a sunny spot with well-draining soil for a hazy purple backdrop in a garden border.
Avoid soggy roots
Russian Sage: A Field Guide
With soft-purple spires that grow to a height of up to four feet under ideal conditions, perennial Russian sage creates a hazy, romantic backdrop in a flower border.
Native to southwestern Asia (but not, confusingly to Russia), Perovskia atriplicifolia has gray-green foliage similar to lavender’s and appreciates weekly watering to establish roots. At maturity, it will be a hardy companion in a low-water garden. Irish plantsman William Robinson was an early 20th-century champion of Russian sage, incorporating it in his iconoclastic “wild garden” borders at Gravetye Manor. The informal, naturalistic form and texture of shrubby Russian sage lends mixes well with other perennials, creating a backdrop for less bushy flowers such as scabiosas and coneflowers (Echinacea).
Some of our favorite Russian sage cultivars include ‘Peek-a-Boo’ (a dwarf variety for the front of the border, ‘Blue Mist’ with pale blue flowers, and ‘Little Spire’, a compact variety which flowers in mid to late summer.