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Russian Sage Flowers Picture

Russian Sage: The "Lavender" Substitute

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Russian sage (Perovskia) is often spoken of as being a "lavender substitute"....
Russian sage flowers picture.

Flowers bloom in summer.

David Beaulieu

The trained eye would never mistake a 4-foot tall Russian sage plant for lavender, although one of Russian sage's other common names is "Siberian lavender." Indeed, Russian sage is a bit hardier than lavender plants are (zones 4-9 vs. zones 5-8) and might be a better option for northern gardeners seeking a "Mediterranean" look and who haven't been able to grow lavender successfully.

Russian sage comes in a number of cultivars, and their respective flower colors will differ slightly; but all revolve around the lavender-blue-purple theme. The profusion of its delicate flowers, its gray-green leaves and its whitish stems all work to give Russian sage a "misty" look, making it a good choice if you're looking for a plant with a fine texture.

Russian sage grows best in full sun and a well-drained soil. These perennial flowers may be herbaceous in planting zone 4 but are generally woody further south.

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