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Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’
Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’

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Zone
Zones 2-24, 28-35, 37, 39
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Perovskia

Russian Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Perennials, Shrubs

Native to western and central Asia. Woody-based clump with many grayish white, upright-growing stems clothed in gray-green foliage. Leaves on lower part of stem are 2 to 3 in. long and deeply cut; those toward stem tip are smaller and merely toothed. In late spring and summer, stems are topped with widely branched sprays of small lavender-blue flowers that seem to form a soft haze above the foliage. To extend the bloom season, trim off spent blossoms. Mature clumps may reach 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide; they often colonize, spreading by underground stems to send up new clumps. Can be invasive where well adapted. Mass plants or use them individually in borders. Takes any soil as long as drainage is good. Extremely resistant to heat and drought. Performs best in warm summers. Cut nearly to the ground each spring before new growth starts.

Perovskia atriplicifolia, photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby
Perovskia atriplicifolia, photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby

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Perovskia atriplicifolia

This popular plant is neither a sage nor from Russia. It is anairy-looking but tough plantnative to Afghanistan, Pakistan,Iran, and Tibet. Many uprightgrayish white stems are clothedin aromatic gray-green leaves. In late spring and summer, stems are topped with widely branched sprays of small lavender-blue flowers that seem to form a soft haze above the foliage. Mature clumps may reach 3–4 ft. tall and wide; they often colonize, spreading by underground stems to send up new clumps. Can be invasive where well adapted.

Several forms are sold; many are probably hybrids. Widely grown ‘Blue Spire’, with deep violet blooms, is sometimes sold as P. atriplicifolia ‘Superba’.For lighter blue flowers, grow‘Blue Mist‘ or ‘Blue Haze’. ‘Filigran’ has silvery, very finely cut leaves. ‘Little Spire’ growsslightly over 2 ft. high and wide,with a compact habit that helpsstems to stay upright.

Takes any soil as long asdrainage is good. Extremelyresistant to heat and drought.Performs best in warm summers. To extend the bloomseason and help prevent stemsfrom flopping over, trim offspent blossoms. Cut nearly tothe ground each spring beforenew growth starts.

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