How To Propagate Russian Sage Plant

Russian sage plants require very little watering maintenance. In actuality, once established, Russian sage does well in dry soil and requires little water.

Every other year in the late fall, scatter a spoonful of all-purpose fertilizer or a shovelful of compost around each plant.

Provide a 2-inch (5-cm) coating of pine needles over the winter in areas north of USDA Zone 6 and remove them in the spring when new growth appears.

While leaving the stems and seed pods in the garden until spring adds winter interest, you can trim the stems back to a foot (.5 m) above the ground for a neater appearance.

Pruning is the main part of Russian sage care in the spring and summer. Cut the old stems back to just above the lowest tier of leaves when the new spring growth appears. Shear off the top one-third of the stems if the plant starts to sprawl or spread open in late spring or summer to promote upright growth. If the plant stops blooming in the summer, cut off the top half of the stems. This promotes new growth and a fresh blooming cycle.

By splitting the clumps or taking cuttings in the spring, you can propagate Russian sage plants. Every four to six years, divide the clumps to revitalize the plants and limit their expansion.

Russian sage cuttings can be rooted in water.

The new plant can then be planted in the ground after developing roots at the stem’s nodes.

Russian sage’s lovely purple blossoms are a wonderful addition to the garden.

Additionally, it can withstand drought and is resistant to deer, making it the ideal choice for individuals who have difficult gardening.

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.

When may I take Russian sage cuttings?

Since most plain garden soil already contains more nutrients than the sage is typically used to, applying chemical fertilizers is neither necessary nor even desirable for Russian sage because it is well acclimated to barren soils.

When selecting a location to cultivate Russian sage, you might want to keep in mind that it draws bees.

Perovskia atriplicifolia, sometimes known as Russian sage, is a perennial sub-shrub that blooms in the summer and fall with spires of blue and lavender flowers. Russian sage is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9 and requires just light watering and sporadic pruning for shape and size to perform well despite less-than-ideal soil and temperature conditions. Russian sage is a woody perennial with flowers that can be spread both by seed and by cuttings.

At the conclusion of the bloom cycle, gather the seeds of Russian sage from the drying seed heads. Pluck or chop off the seed heads while holding them over some paper or another flexible surface. Then, funnel the seed heads into a small airtight container or resealable plastic bag until planting. Seeds should be buried one inch deep in nursery pots or trays of fresh potting soil before being thoroughly watered.

Use a clean garden knife or secateurs to cut soft wood cuttings off your Russian sage in the late spring or early summer. To ensure that the cutting is not harmed by removing the leaves, make cuttings that are at least 5 inches long and leave any foliage in tact. Make a fresh cut on the woody cutting’s bottom end, then quickly dip it in water and rooting hormone powder to coat the bottom inch or so. Put the cutting’s bottom end quickly and gently into some loose potting soil. To support the cutting, lightly compact the earth around it, and then thoroughly water it.

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia, sometimes known as Russian sage, is a perennial sub-shrub that blooms in the summer and fall with spires of blue and lavender flowers.
  • Make a fresh cut on the woody cutting’s bottom end, then quickly dip it in water and rooting hormone powder to coat the bottom inch or so.

Put your seed pots and cuttings in a well-lit, moist area that is shielded from the wind and from temperatures that are below 55 or 60 degrees. To assist germination, keep the soil consistently moist. Check on it every day as letting the soil become too dry, especially for cutting, might result in a high failure rate. Within a few weeks, pale whitish shoots should start to appear as an indication of successful germination.

When the seedlings are at least a foot tall, plant them outside in the garden. Before winter, seeds sown in the spring and cuttings prepared in the summer should have enough time to establish and harden off. In order to prevent the sensitive young plants from being destroyed by winter temperatures, the indoor housing period may need to be extended if they are propagated later in the season.

Sage can be grown from cuttings, right?

While you can take cuttings of shrubby herbs like rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage, marjoram, and oregano later in the year when the stems are more established, I like to take softwood cuttings in the spring when the bushes are bursting with new life and fresh growth.

Should Russian sage be deadheaded?

Russian sage grows to a height of three to five feet and a spread of two to three feet. The flowers are carried on tall panicles that have an airy, tactile sensation, and their hue is similar to lavender. Over time, plants develop a woody base that needs to be pruned back in the early spring.

Staking: Despite being a tall plant, Russian sage is not typically staked. It will grow into a sturdy plant that won’t topple over if you place it in a highly sunny location.

Russian sage does need a regular watering regimen during the first year in your garden to create a deep, drought-resistant root structure, despite being exceptionally drought tolerant when mature. When that happens, let it dry out in between waterings. It should not be overwatered in subsequent years and will die in poorly draining soils.

Fertilizing: Although it can benefit from a modest top-dressing of compost in the spring, additional fertilizing is not required.

Russian sage does not require mulching during the growth season, although mulching can be employed in the winter to protect delicate plants. If mulching is necessary for aesthetic reasons, use it sparingly and keep it away from the plant’s crown. If you want to grow plants that can withstand drought, think about using gravel or making a gravel garden.

Trimming and Pruning: Russian sage should be cut back each year in the early spring to a height of about 12 to 15 inches. Deadheading will not influence the time it takes to bloom. It adds visual interest to the winter environment by giving chilly mornings a ghostly, airy aspect.

In harsher northern areas, the plant may totally die back to the ground. In these cases, it may be beneficial to prune the plant back in the fall after the first frost and lightly mulch it with straw or other garden waste.