Russian Sage – Don’t Eat It!

2010 _Summer 074

Russian sage is an attractive plant but it is not an edible herb!  For edible sage, please refer to my prior blog titled “Here’s
Some Sage Advice”.  This plant has lavender-blue flowers, gray-green leaves and gray-white stems.  Russian sage typically grows up to 4 feet high and 3 feet wide. The bees love Russian sage which is why I planted it right outside my vegetable garden to attract the good bugs.

While the  blooms come out in midsummer, the purple flowers stay through early fall which is why I can’t bear to prune it in the fall.    Since our winter has been rather brutal this year, I checked with a local nursery to make sure that I can prune it this early in the Spring – I got the green light!  I cut all 4 plants down to 2.5 feet  on Saturday.  The first picture below shows how bad of a haircut they needed!  Look at the last plant in the back of the 2nd picture below- that’s how tall all 4 plants were before I pruned them.

russian sage 1

                   russian sage 2

Russian sage grows fast so buy a smaller starter plant – you won’t be disappointed!  Don’t forget that this plant loves full sun and well drained soil.  When this plant is young, it will need water.  Once it matures, it is drought tolerant and very low maintenance!   Also, Russian sage survives transplanting  – I originally planted them in my front yard in 2009 but decided to lure the bees to my vegetable garden instead of my front door in 2010!

Since I’ve been having trouble pulling the weeds with the bees swarming around me,  I am going to put down landscaping fabric and top it off with more mulch before the sage starts blooming this year.