How To Plant Russian Sage Seeds

In USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) grows as a perennial with woody stems. This plant develops spikes of lavender-blue flowers that are 3 to 4 feet tall and form clusters that are 3 to 4 feet broad. Over inch-long, gray-green leaves, the blooms tower. Once the roots have taken, this drought-tolerant plant is easy to care for. The germination rate of Russian sage seeds varies.

To stop moisture from gathering around the Russian sage seeds, put them in a resealable plastic bag. For 30 to 42 days, place the seeds in the refrigerator. Cold treatment promotes faster germination and increases the rate at which the seeds sprout.

Commercial seed beginning soil mix should be poured into a plastic seed tray with a cover. Till the water pools on the earth’s surface, mist the soil with water from a spray bottle. Spray the soil one again after letting the water run away.

The seeds should be evenly dispersed throughout the soil’s surface. To ensure that the seeds have adequate soil contact, lightly press them into the ground. To maintain a high level of moisture surrounding the seeds, place the plastic cover on top of the tray.

Place the seed tray in a cool, shaded spot away from the sun. Every so often, check the soil for moisture, and spray it with water if it starts to dry out. The germination time for your Russian sage seeds should be between 30 and 120 days. Although keeping temperatures should be between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, seeds will still sprout in a variety of outdoor temperatures.

When the seeds begin to sprout, take off the plastic covering. Carefully scoop the seedlings out of the tray once they are big enough to handle. Plant the seedlings in separate plant pots with potting soil in them. To transfer the seedlings of Russian sage outdoors in full sun, wait until the weather warms up in late spring or early summer.

Can you cultivate Russian sage from seeds?

Russian sage can be started from seed, but it will take some time. Up to four months are required for germination. You must maintain a constant moisture and temperature for the seeds throughout the interim. It may take a few years for them to become big enough to start blossoming after they do germinate. However, it is a choice and a practical method for obtaining lots of affordable plants.

Typically, Russian sage is grown from seed in containers. Anytime during the growing season is suitable for planting them. Give each plant at least 2 to 3 feet of space if you are planting multiples. They’ll quickly occupy the area.

Growing these plants is really simple. They can withstand dryness, bad soil, and a broad variety of pH. Russian sage can withstand severe drought, but fresh transplants still require regular watering.

I have Russian sage seeds; when should I plant them?

Either early spring or late fall are suitable times to plant Russian sage. To encourage proper drainage and guarantee a successful overwinter, choose a sunny location for your plants with soil that is on the grittier side (sandier loam).

Light: Russian sage should be grown in full sunlight. The plant will flop over and get leggier in partial sunlight.

Russian sage is a great choice for rocky, less fertile, poorer soils. It thrives in alkaline environments (pH > 7) but is intolerant to soggy, acidic soils.

Russian sage should be planted 24 inches apart to allow for the ultimate spread of the plant.

Slow-growing and unable to spread, Russian sage develops a woody stem structure at the base of the plant. It can produce offsets (‘mini’ plants with incomplete root systems’) at the base once it reaches maturity.

Russian sage should be planted in the early spring or early fall to give its roots time to grow over the off-season.

How are Russian sage seeds preserved?

Harvest seeds: Sage seed collection is surprisingly easy! Along the stem of the sage, the seeds develop into bell-shaped flowers. They are pretty noticeable in the plant and are of a decent size. Cut the flower stalk once the seeds turn dark and the blooms start to turn brown, then store it upside-down in a paper bag. The ripening seeds will drop to the bag’s base as it is being carried.

Is it simple to spread Russian sage?

Russian sage can be propagated by stem cuttings, seeds, or by splitting mature plants. In the garden, you can also transplant young plants or seedlings.

Under ideal circumstances, established plants will self-sow and occasionally spread via underground rhizomes as well.

It should be noted that depending on their patent status, some cultivars cannot be propagated without a license.

From Seed

If you choose to sow Russian sage seed indoors, you may do so at any time of the year.

If you intend to plant seeds outdoors the next season, it is advised to start them at least six to eight weeks before the last anticipated frost in your location.

Start by cold stratifying the seeds for 42 days in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator at a temperature of about 40F. The rate of germination will rise and accelerate as a result.

Spread the seeds evenly across the soil’s surface, at least a half-inch apart. If seedlings become too crowded, which may happen if they move around when you water, you can thin them later.

To ensure that the seeds have adequate soil contact, gently press them. Add a very thin layer of soil or sphagnum moss on top.

Place the tray in a spot with regular temperatures between 60 and 65 °F, cover it with plastic, and keep it out of direct sunlight.

Lift the cover once or twice a day, or anytime the soil surface seems dry to the touch, and sprinkle the seeds with water from a spray bottle while you wait for them to germinate.

In many cases, your seeds will germinate considerably more quickly than the recommended 90 days. After 120 days, they might not have germinated if you have not noticed any symptoms of germination. If this is the case, throw them away and start over.

Remove the plastic cover after the seeds start to sprout. Position the tray beneath a grow lamp or in a window with natural light. Continue watering as necessary.

You can transplant the seedlings into individual 12-inch pots with potting soil and landscaping sand mixed in when they are an inch tall. This will encourage adequate drainage.

Late spring or early summer is the best time to plant in the garden. The first blooming season for plants raised from seeds occurs in the second year.

After the risk of frost has gone, cold stratified seeds can also be dispersed onto a planting space that has been prepared outside. Till seedlings sprout, gently water the planting area and keep it damp.

From Cuttings

This approach produces pleasant outcomes, has a high success rate, and is far quicker than beginning from scratch.

Both softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings can be rooted, and each gardener seems to have a favored method that they use depending on the season with varied degrees of success.

Spring is the best time to take softwood cuttings, whereas summer is the best time to take semi-hard cuttings.

The optimum time to take cuttings is when you know you can take care of them and when the plants are at their healthiest.

Using a clean pair of pruning scissors and a healthy, mature plant, take numerous cuttings that are each about four inches long in order to propagate Russian sage from cuttings. A leaf node is a good place to start your cuts.

With the exception of a few at the end of each cutting, remove all the leaves. Take out any flowers or buds.

If desired, dip the cut ends of each in powdered rooting hormone. Russian sage will root even without additional rooting hormones, however using them may increase your success rate.

Put the bottom of each cutting approximately an inch deep into a 12-inch well-draining container that is filled with damp sand or your preferred soilless media.

Place your clippings in a sheltered spot indoors with good lighting and a temperature of about 60 degrees.

Within a few weeks, the cuttings should start to create pale white roots, and as those roots take hold, they will start to sprout new growth.

In the interim, keep the soil moist. When your rooted cuttings are about a foot tall, you can plant them in the garden.

From Seedlings/Transplanting

As soon as the threat of frost has gone, Russian sage can be planted in the garden.

Before planting, harden off seedlings or rooted cuttings. This can be accomplished by taking them outside for an hour in a protected, partially sunny place on the first day, bringing them back inside, then gradually increasing the time spent outside each subsequent day by about an hour until they are able to spend the entire day outside.

When plants are grown enough for effective in-ground transplanting, a foot-deep hole that is about two and a half feet broad and as deep as the plant’s root ball should be dug.

Avoid damaging the plant’s delicate roots by placing it in the hole with care. After lightly compacting the earth back around the plant, water it thoroughly.

From Division

If you wish to manage the growth of your current Russian sage plants, division can be useful. Additionally, it can urge them to bloom more forcefully. Naturally, it’s also a fantastic method to introduce new plants to your yard!

Every three years, you can divide your plant, and the optimum times to do so are in the spring or the fall. Before your plant is actively blooming, or right when the blooms have completed blooming but before plants hibernate for the winter, divide.

Before dividing in the fall, you could want to prune the stems with a pair of clean garden shears to a height of about six to eight inches.

With a shovel, dig out the plant from the soil, making sure to go far enough to avoid damaging the roots. Work in segments if you can’t dig up everything at once.

To divide the parent into clumps with roots attached, either into thirds or in half, depending on the size of your plant, gently remove some of the extra soil from around the roots so you can see what you’re working with.

To keep the roots moist while you work, gently separate the roots with your hands and lay the divisions in a shallow tray of water.

For each of the separated pieces, create a hole that is as deep as the length of the roots. To complement the soil’s existing nutrients, add some compost.

Place the crown of each division at the hole’s surface. As you work, pack soil around the roots, continue with each division, replant the parent, and then thoroughly water.

Does Russian sage return annually?

Russian sage is a member of the subshrub family of plants. Every year, new growth emerges from a woody base; the new growth is what blooms. Early in the spring, remove the old growth, which often withers away in the winter. The height and width of a plant are each 3 to 4 feet.

This plant is worthy of a garden just based on its delicately divided, aromatic, soft-textured leaf. The Russian sage blooms throughout the summer, and over a lengthy period of around 15 weeks, the plant produces a cloud of lavender flowers.

How fast does Russian sage expand?

Perovskia, often known as Russian Sage, has long been a favorite in landscapes and gardens because of its distinctive texture, light appearance, and resistance to drought. Perovskia atriplicifolia is extremely tall and has a propensity to lodge, despite its beauty. A brand-new tiny Perovskia called “Denim ‘n Lace” is long-lived, resistant to lodging, and showy in the landscape. Perovskia are simple plants to grow, however we have some ideas and tips to help you produce beautiful completed plants.

From bare root, Perovskia a. “Denim ‘n Lace” grows swiftly and is finished in only 8 weeks!

We advise planting bare root Perovskia in the spring for a quick turn crop based on our experiments. Perovskia with bare roots store nicely in Premium 1-gallon containers.

Make sure the bare root crown is at the soil line while planting. Based on growing conditions of 68 to 72 F, spring-planted bare root should be finished in 6 to 8 weeks. Use a bark and peat-based soil mixture with a pH range of 5.8–6.5 that is well-drained.


Although vernalization is not necessary for Perovskia to bloom, it does improve the performance of the plant. In the spring, bare root plants that you get will already have undergone vernalization.

How long does a Russian Sage live?

Perennial plants come in more than 100 different varieties. Numerous additional flowers, bushes, grasses, herbs, and even catnip are included in this group of well-liked plants.

There is a perennial for every taste, from exotic Hibiscus and Lavender, which are used in teas and tinctures all over the world, to charming and exquisite Russian Sage and Coral Bells.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Daylilies are available in thousands of different types, in practically every size and color imaginable. The single color that does not go well with daylilies is blue since they like tough environments like sloping properties, dry soil, and small urban garden plots.

Even though a single Daylily flower bloom only lasts a few days, the plant can last up to three years. Keep in mind that the daylily need additional management to prevent it from taking over because it is designated a weed in some areas because to its invasiveness.


The Hosta is a lovely perennial with enormous leaves. There are numerous cultivars of these lovely and ornamental plants. Their muted, elegant colors make them a favorite perennial of interior designers and landscape architects. They are fantastic shade plants, suitable for providing coverage in densely planted areas, with strong stems and sturdy blooms.

Hosta perennials can live for 15 years if given the right care, including adequate moisture and humidity. Hostas are an excellent choice for gardeners of all skill levels because they are quite simple to grow.


Due to its aroma, lovely color, and edible characteristics, hibiscus is one of the most well-known and adored perennials, used in everything from tea to perfume scents. It does well in tropical regions since it likes the sun and prefers very moist soil.

The earliest part of spring is the ideal time to plant hibiscus. Before committing to planting anything else in your garden, you should plant them. This is so that the hibiscus has time to establish itself and send roots deep into the ground. Their ability to thrive unhindered by other companion plants is crucial.

Depending on how well and consistently they are cared for, hibiscus plants can live for five to ten years.

Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Coral Bells are a perennial with stunning, spherical, bush-like leaves that are partially pointed. Depending on the season and the environment of the precise place where they are planted, these leaves might be a deep purple, sage, or green tint.

Coral Bells are a great addition to any garden for an extra flash of color or to improve the curb appeal of your home. They have sprouts of tall stems that each produce at least ten tiny bright pink flowers. Coral Bells thrive whether grown in pots or other containers as well as when let to spread out naturally along the borders of lawns, roads, fences, or walkways.

A perennial, coral bells have a three- to four-year lifespan. But as they mature, they don’t get smaller and weaker as some plants do; they get stronger and more vibrant.

Nepeta (Catmint, Catnip)

Catnip is well known for being the preferred intoxicating treat of cuddly feline pals all around the world. Catnip, sometimes referred to as catmint, is a fantastic perennial to plant if you want a vibrant show of color that will continue throughout the summer months.

Due to the fact that catnip needs a lot of heat and direct sunlight, make sure it is the tallest plant in the area and is kept away from other perennials that will grow bushy and cast shadows.

A Catnip plant will live for three to five years if properly clipped and trimmed every two weeks, depending on whether it is in a pot or growing in a yard.

Ornamental Grass (Various)

You might think that grass only appears on lawns or grows erratically on the sides of overpasses. However, one of the best perennial plants for adding depth and dimension to your outdoor spaces is ornamental grass.

There are numerous forms of ornamental grass. Nearly all of them are perennials, which require little to no maintenance and can last up to 15 years. They are a great option for filling in extra landscaping gaps close to fences because they are a very hardy perennial. Around placing flowers by the pool, you may also use them to help create a romantic, beachy look.

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

The ideal robust perennial for hot, arid areas is Russian sage. Although its name might imply it comes from Eastern European woodlands, this plant is technically a woody perennial.

Russian Sage does not fare well in humid environments and prefers to live in well-drained soil. Although its purple blooming buds, which resemble the well-known Lavender plant, only last around four months in total, they must be clipped approximately a month after planting if starting with a mature plant. It can live for three years.

Baptisia (False Indigo)

A perennial that enjoys being planted in full sunlight is False Indigo. It can survive for 10 years in a region with very deep soil but is intolerant of shady situations.

When properly managed for, false indigo can reach heights of about 3 feet. It produces tiny, vibrantly purple flowers with a form akin to a pea blossom. The ability to be moved in the same year as planting is one of the best aspects about False Indigo. This makes it very tough and adaptable.

Lavandula (Lavender)

The most prevalent perennial in the world is by far lavender. It is understandable that families, farmers, landscape architects, and health lovers all love lavender as a garden favorite because of its calming and aromatherapeutic fragrance as well as its lovely light purple appearance.

Many lavender cultivars can live up to four or five years depending on the acidity of the soil. Lavender has been grown for ages due to its reputed medicinal properties and ability to grow nearly four feet tall. However, as it ages, it grows bushier and is less able to maintain its lofty appearance.

Lavender is a great pollinator for bees, according to anyone who has kept a hive of bees for more than a year. It imparts a delicate yet fragrant profile to their honey.