Little Spire Russian Sage
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Pays the rent! In small gardens where space is precious, it’s important to use plants that “pay the rent.” Plants must prove their worthiness by looking sharp over a long period of time. Russian Sage, with its ridiculously long bloom time and pretty silvery foliage, meets that criteria, but it can get a bit unwieldy for small gardens. Little Spire Russian Sage solves that problem. This tidy version has a compact, upright habit, and it stays under 3 feet tall and wide. Plus, it’s still got the same luscious purple-blue blossoms that you and the pollinators will love!
Russian Sage isn’t really Russian. It’s actually native to western China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. It’s called Russian because its Latin name is Perovskia, after a 19th century Russian count and general, Vasily Perovsky. Russian Sage was discovered around 1840, and it became valued as a garden plant soon afterwards. A Dutch plant breeder by the name of Herbert Oudshoorn introduced Little Spire Russian Sage in the late 1990s. He bred plants with the traits he liked, and Little Spire stood out as an especially dapper-looking seedling.
Calling all pollinators! All summer and into autumn, Little Spire Russian Sage’s tiny flowers will attract butterflies to your garden, along with many other happy pollinators. Find out for yourself what the fuss is about—the sweet-tasting blossoms are edible, and you can throw a few on your salad.
How to Grow
Tough love. Don’t give your Little Spire Russian Sage protection from the sun, and don’t give it too much water or fertilizer. This easy-care Spirit wants full sun and lean, sharply drained soil. Feel free to trim your plant in summer to shape it or to remove spent flower stems, but hold off from pruning in the fall—leave it standing over the winter. Wait until green buds appear in spring and then cut the plant back to just a few inches above the buds. Little Spire Russian Sage is generally disease-free, and its aromatic leaves make it unpalatable to deer, rabbits, and other varmints.
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