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Perovskia (pehr-roff-skee-uh) Russian sage, Lamiaceae Family. Perovskia are deciduous herbs and sub shrubs from Asia. They have opposite leaves and small whorls of flowers. They need a sunny spot in well-drained, loamy soil.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (ay-trip-liss-ee-foh-lee-uh) is a three to four foot tall species, with grayish down on foliage and stems, giving the plant a silvery look. The resemblance to sage extends to the aromatic scent of the leaves. Spikes of silvery-blue flowers bloom from July to September.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Average to dry moisture levels are ideal, and few pests bother this plant. Russian sage is native to Afghanistan and Pakistan where it grows in gravelly or rocky sites.

Older stems are woody at the base, and younger stems are herbaceous and square in cross section. Flower stems sometimes falls over, especially if not situated in full sun. Perovskia will survive in partial shade but it will become leggy and probably need staking. If needed, plants can be pruned almost to the ground. Cut back to just above the lowest bud in early spring, before new growth, as best flowering occurs on new foliage. Start new plants from softwood tip cuttings in spring, or from semi-ripe cuttings with a heel in summer.

Attributes: Border plants, Cut flower or foliage, Dried flower or seed heads, Drought Tolerant, Fragrant (when crushed or bruised), Mass Planting, Salt Tolerant, Specimen or focal point. Attracts hummingbirds and Deer resistant. Russian Sage's best use may be mass plantings in the middle or rear of a flower garden to create a strong vertical background for large flowers or bold foliage.