Feathery plumes of purple-blue flowers add a dose of cool color.

Neither from Russia, nor a type of sage, Russian sage is nonetheless an excellent plant for the perennial garden. The plant grows from 2' to 4' tall, depending on variety, with feathery gray-green foliage. In summer, whorls of tiny, light blue flowers appear atop the stiff, upright stems and bloom continues into early fall. The plants' delicate, airy appearance belies its toughness — the plant is adaptable, easy to grow and drought tolerant once established. It was named Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year for 1995.

Russian Sage

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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).
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