If ever a plant was tailor-made for Colorado's climate and growing conditions, Russian sage is that plant. An import from central Asia, Russian sage thrives in our high, dry climate and alkaline soils.
Russian sage is best planted where it will have room to grow to its mature size of three to five feet tall and three to four feet wide without being crowded. It needs full sun and average soil that drains well.
Russian sage can be a focal feature in a Xeriscape garden. However it will also tolerate some heavier watering than what is often required in a Xeriscape. The soft, lavender-blue flowers appear in the late summer and remain attractive into the fall. Great companion plants include purple coneflower, sunset hyssop, winecups and black-eyed Susans.
The Russian sage's strong, upright shape provides a presence through the winter months, standing through wind and weather. As spring approaches, the stems should be cut back to the base to encourage new growth.
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013