Perovskia Growing Tips
Common name: Russian sage
There are several species in this genus, but only one is in general cultivation, useful for its grey-green foliage and late-flowering habit.
Popular species and varieties
Perovskia atriplicifolia grows to 1m (3ft) in height and produces sprays of lavender-blue 30cm (12in) long. It is best in a border: the previous year’s stems are cut back to a few inches above the in late winter, consequently it is not particularly attractive until well into summer.
These plants are valuable for their flowering which commences in mid-summer and usually continues until early autumn. There are a small number of named varieties, the most popular being ‘Blue Spire’ (AGM).
Another excellent form is ‘Blue Haze’. Both of these perovskias have attractive violet-blue flowers and small, grey, daintily cut foliage. If the leaves are crushed they give off an aroma similar to sage.
Soil type Most humus-rich, well-drained soils are suitable for perovskias.
Planting Choose a sunny spot. Plant in late autumn or spring, whenever soil conditions allow.
Maintenance Cut back in the spring to a few inches above ground level.
Propagation Semi-ripe cuttings with a heel can be taken in the summer.
Pests and diseases Normally, no problems are experienced with these shrubs.