Perovskia (Russian Sage) – Complete Guide 2024

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One of the best ways to get the most out of your garden is to grow plants you can use for different purposes, like herbs.

There are hundreds of useful herbs you can try growing, but perovskia or Russian sage is among the most popular.

Perovskia is a woody-based perennial plant that has aromatic gray-green leaves and beautiful lavender-blue flowers. As a medicinal herb, it is believed to soothe stomach aches and clear clogged sinuses.

What Is Perovskia?

Russian sage plants are woody shrubs with multiple stems that grow up to three to four feet high.

As they bloom in late July, tiny flowers will cover the entire plant, giving your garden a splash of purple-blue hue.

If you wish to grow some, you’ll be thrilled to know that it performs best in full sun and requires little to no maintenance.

It will thrive in different soil conditions, is drought tolerant, and can survive diseases and pests.

Previously known as Perovskia atriplicifolia, it now goes by Salvia yangii and has since been part of the mint family.

When crushed, its leaves emit a sage-like aroma with a touch of lavender.

On the other hand, the beautiful flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and are often dried for use in crafts.

What Is Perovskia or Russian Sage Good For?

A cousin to the common sage, perovskia also has plenty of uses where aromatherapy and traditional medicine are concerned.

Some even use the flowers and leaves to garnish salads or add flavor to cocktails.

Here are the most common health benefits you will get from using Russian sage:

1. For Fever Relief

The aromatic scent of Russian sage has a soothing effect that makes it ideal for use in cold compresses.

To help lower temperature, prepare Russian sage tea and leave it to cool down.

Then, soak a clean cloth in it, wring it out, and place it on your forehead.

2. For Cold Symptoms

Aside from fever relief, you can also use Russian sage leaves to unclog blocked nasal passages.

To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil and put a handful of the plant’s aromatic leaves in.

Then, grab a towel to cover your head as you lean over the pot and inhale the steam.           

Immediately, you will feel your sinuses clearing up.

3. For Indigestion

For years, perovskia has been used to offer relief from indigestion and other stomach issues.

Simply steep the leaves for 15 to 30 minutes, and drink the tea either cold or hot.

Russian sage tea also has a calming effect that will help put a stop to nausea.

4. For Massage

You can extract the oils from your Russian sage plants and use that for massage.

Doing so helps promote better circulation, relieving you of stress and muscle pains.

How To Grow Perovskia

Since being tagged as Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association in 1995, several perovskia cultivars have become available.

These include Longin, Filagran, Blue Haze, Blue Spire, and Little Spire.

Before you can start growing perovskia, you must first figure out which cultivar you want.

Their sizes differ once they mature, but they basically have similar growing requirements.

Step 1: Germinate the seeds.

The seeds would need to be constantly warm and moist for them to sprout into healthy seedlings.

At this time, you will have to be extra patient, as germination can take up to four months.

Carefully schedule the time when you’ll start the seeds so that they are ready once the growing season comes.

Step 2: Plant during the growing season.

The best time to plant Russian sage seedlings is in late spring, when the soil is just the right temperature.

Make sure you pick a spot that receives full sun, as the plants will most likely flop over and stretch otherwise.

Step 3: Use well-draining soil.

You can expect Russian sage plants to thrive in Hardiness Zones 4 to 9, but make sure you don’t plant them in poorly drained soils.

Also, give the plants about 12 to 18 inches of space in between to promote better air circulation.

Step 4: Water regularly until they establish healthy roots.

As the young plants try to adjust to their new home, they will need a lot of support in the form of regular watering.

The goal is to never allow the root ball to dry out, so you might want to check regularly.

Caring Tips for Perovskia

As mentioned, Perovskia atriplicifolia or Russian sage is a perennial plant.

While this means it is a long-lasting plant, expect it to also take its time before reaching full maturity.

It is easy to grow, but you might have to wait two to three years before it gets fully established.

By that time, though, it would be drought tolerant and will regrow every spring.

Once your plants have become established, the only car they will ever need is annual pruning.

You can do this every spring or fall, depending on your preference.

However, the majority of gardeners prefer pruning them down in early spring or mid-spring.

In doing so, you will end up with the plant’s silvery stems that’ll look perfect for your winter landscape.

What Can I Plant With Perovskia?

Russian sage has a longer bloom time than most other flowering plants, making it a home gardener’s favorite.

Plus, because it grows tall, it is perfect for rock gardens, border plantings, and as a back row for flower beds.

You can also use its finer, more delicate texture to contrast large-leaved plants and add interest to your landscape.

Its lavender-blue flowers will complement brighter-colored blooms, too, such as yellow and pink perennials.

Plant Russian sage alongside echinaceas, eryngiums, and rudbeckias.


Perovskia is a summer-blooming perennial that flowers until early fall.

Its beautiful blue flowers make it a welcome addition to any flower garden.

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, however, it also gives off a calming aroma similar to sage and lavender.

If you ask us, those are more than enough reasons to start growing this plant.

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