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The Russian sage is a distinctive flowering perennial growing with several upright branches from the base, reaching 3-4 ft. tall. Pale gray green leaves are finely divided and produce a soft color and texture value. Most leaves drop off during the winter. Small flowers are intense lavender-blue and produce a colorful display on branched stems during late spring and into summer.

Russian sage is native to harsh climate zones of central and western Asia. As a result, it is a hardy plant that tolerates conditions of heat and cold throughout the Inland Empire which makes it useful in colder areas of this region. It is a good foliage and flowering accent plant in perennial gardens where it does best in full sun and reduced amounts of summer moisture following its flowering cycle.

Water Needs

Russian sage easily grows in Inland Empire gardens in full sun and when sustained with periodic summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water and you should make irrigation adjustments based on field observations of growth and character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Open
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple, Lavender, Blue
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Cold hardy, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies


Remove dead flower stems if desired to extend bloom period (D). Cut nearly to the ground in early spring before new growth starts. It will grow back out quickly (5).



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