Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Plant Family

Mint Family (Lamiaceae / Labiatae)

Russian sage plant Photo credit: luvlymikimoto Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Bee visiting Russian sage Photo credit: Jason Means Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Common Names

Russian sage


  • Popular sub-shrub native to western and northern Asia and Russia
  • Grows to about 3 to 5 feet tall and wide but is also available in dwarf cultivars
  • Silvery gray leaves and tall spikes of attractive blue flowers that bloom from mid to late summer through fall
  • Grows well on dry well-drained soils with no fertilizer
  • Does best in full sun
  • Tends to flop over with too much water or shade
  • Cold tolerant and adapted to USDA Zones 3 to 9
  • This plant can be grown throughout much of the United States


Adult bees

Additional Resources:


California – Perovskia
Plant Tall Colorado – Russian Sage


Iowa – Russian Sage is Not Foreign to Perennial Gardens