Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape November 14, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Plant Family



Bee visiting Russian sage
Photo credit: Jason Means Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



Russian sage plant
Photo credit: luvlymikimoto Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Mint Family (Lamiaceae / Labiatae)


Common Names

Russian sage


  • Popular sub-shrub native to western and northern Asia and Russia
  • Grows to about 3 to 5 feet tall and wide but is also available in dwarf cultivars
  • Silvery gray leaves and tall spikes of attractive blue flowers that bloom from mid to late summer through fall 
  • Grows well on dry well-drained soils with no fertilizer
  • Does best in full sun
  • Tends to flop over with too much water or shade
  • Cold tolerant and adapted to USDA Zones 3 to 9
  • This plant can be grown throughout much of the United States


Adult bees






Additional Resources:


California - Perovskia
Plant Tall Colorado - Russian Sage


Iowa - Russian Sage is Not Foreign to Perennial Gardens


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.