Pruning Russian sage is super easy! It’s also important to know that Russian sage won’t grow back at the tips of the plant after the winter, and the branches die back towards the bottom of the plant. Share your tips for pruning Russian sage in the comments section below. In a hard winter, all of the aboveground stems on Russian sage may be killed, and all new growth emerges from the crown. Quite helpful! 48" tall x 48" wide (cutting propagated). You can prune out the dead growth any time, you won’t harm the plant. In warmer regions, deadheading may result in a second flush of bloom. I pulled it out last year and it seemed to kill half the plant….it is bigger now and the plant seems to have shrunk. Asked May 21, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT. Get a head start on spring by planting in the fall. That is usually towards the bottom of the stem, but it can be much farther up on some stems. As winter arrives and freezing temperatures settle in, stems freeze. In milder winters, stems may die back part way. Any ideas? Prune sage in the springtime. When Russian sage is pruned to about 18 inches tall, some stubs of dead stems may remain. Like I mentioned above, you can’t kill Russian sage by over pruning it, so you really don’t have to be careful. If you’re doing your garden clean-up well before the last average frost date, leave 18 inches in place. My brand new book Vertical Vegetables is now available for purchase!! Russian sage is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. But don’t worry, these pruning tips work for all of them! While pruning, cut off any dead branches and keep the inner rows of branches as tidy as possible. It’s also important to know that Russian sage won’t grow back at the tips of the plant after the winter, and the branches die back towards the bottom of the plant. So it’s important to learn how to cut back Russian sage to keep it looking its best all summer long. This provides winter interest in your garden. In areas with long growing seasons, pruning Russian sage immediately after flowering can promote a second flush of bloom. What should I do? I've learned I should have pruned the sage in winter as it went dormant. Method 1: Cut it down to the ground – If your Russian sage is really woody and hasn’t been pruned before, then you might want to try cutting it all the way down to the ground. Tackle Russian sage pruning with confidence. Remove the growing tips and the first leaves behind the flower. Learn about one of autumn’s most gorgeous bloomers, the chrysanthemum. Here’s an example of a plant that was pruned to about 18 inches tall before the new growth emerged. Sterilize the … For the average gardener, pruning Russian sage typically occurs on the ends of the growing season—near the start and finish. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Once established, Russian sage is drought-tolerant. Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. Or you can alternate these methods from year to year as you need to in order to keep your plant growing nice, and keep it shapely. ‘Longin’ is a compact Russian sage … Thanks for any help you can give me. Prune russian sage back in early or mid-spring. Many gardeners choose to prune their russian sage annually in order to make the plant grow bushier as a result. Did I do harm to them? Genus name honors Russian general V. A. Perovski (1794 - c. 1857). I told you pruning Russian sage would be easy. Prune your Russian sage plant in early spring before new growth emerges, about six weeks after the last predicted frost date for your region. Perovskia is a genus of 7 species of deciduous shrubs from Central Asia to the Himalayas. Pruning Russian Sage The ideal time as to when to prune the sage depends on how you want to use the plant. Learn the how, when and why behind pruning Russian sage, Drought tolerant and low maintenance, Russian sage is a no-fuss perennial that brings on the color all season long. But they are very hardy, and cutting them down to the ground shouldn’t hurt them. The biggest maintenance requirement of Russian sage is pruning. If you prefer, you can prune your plant while it’s still dormant. They will grow back. Thinning the plant and pinching back represent the types of pruning that should be used to control Russian sage growth and flowering. But don’t worry! Many thanks for the Russian Sage info its just what I was looking for as I only planted them this year and our winter in the UK is fast approaching so I was wondering how to deal with the plants when winter arrives. You can cut it back all the way down to the ground, prune it for shape, or wait for new growth before pruning it (which is the method I like to use, see the step-by-step instructions below). But don’t worry, if you accidentally knock off a few, it’s really not a big deal. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Noteworthy Characteristics. Bev. Is it too late? Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia Neither truly Russian nor a sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia holds its own when it comes to being a trustworthy, drought-tolerant shrub useful in a variety of sun-filled landscape designs. ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ tames the tall and floppy growth of traditional Russian sage with a compact 28- to 32-inch height. Join the party! Foot-long flower heads infuse strong drama into plantings. When it comes to pruning plants, Russian sage is one of the easiest to do. I would try watering more often to see if it recovers. For the average gardener, pruning Russian sage typically occurs on the ends of the growing season—near the start and finish. Method 3: Wait for new growth before pruning it – This is my preferred method, but it’s also the most tedious. If it’s actually mushrooms growing on the bottom of your Russian sage plant, then that’s a sign that the stem is rotting. It can seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of pruning Russian sage, your plants will grow stronger and fuller—and stage a prettier flower show. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia, is a plant that was tailor-made for Colorado’s climate and growing conditions.An import from central Asia, Russian sage thrives in our high, dry climate, bright sunshine and alkaline soils. They are hardy plants, but if it’s dry, hot, and sunny, they may start to suffer without adequate water. Which may mean the plant is getting too much water. Or skip this pruning and leave stems intact through winter to add interest to winter garden scenery. It is useful in container gardening, and a single plant in a large container brings color and fragrance to patios, decks and terraces. Pinching back involves using your fingernail to press into the plant stem to remove individual flowers. Typically the crown is buried just beneath soil. Yes, if you prune the tips, it will make your Russian sage branch out more. In areas with mild winters, tackle pruning Russian sage after flowers fade and when winter settles in. So, I’ve included step-by-step instructions for how to cut back Russian sage using this method below…. Russian sage is a beautiful perennial with small blue flowers that is neither Russian nor sage.Though it has the aroma of sage when the leaves are crushed, the plant is inedible and actually can be quite poisonous. So, no matter which variety you have, you can follow these steps. Pruning is not part of Russian sage propagation, although taking tip cuttings might qualify as a pruning activity by true botanists. As spring arrives, snip stems back to 12 to 18 inches. Since you can’t over-prune a Russian sage bush, you don’t have to worry about exactly where to make your cuts. Spanish broom and Russian sage should be pruned during the dormant season if large stems are removed. You can use this technique every year to make pruning easier if you want, it won’t hurt the plant. The plant's vigorous root system helps it withstand scorching-hot summers and dry spells. Hardy in Zones 4-9. This perennial offers a double-whammy of pretty flowers and a heady, vanilla scent. Plants resemble lavender when in full color. Just came across your sight! Last fall, Bought and planted a few Denim & Lace variety. But, the best time for pruning Russian sage is in the spring. Russian Sage (Perovskia) has taken the gardening world by storm, rising from obscurity to enormous popularity in the past decade. Russian sage stems are woody, and can be pretty thick in spots, so I recommend using pruning shears for the job. 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