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The Mediterranean Gardener The Mediterranean Gardener
Perovskia atriplicifolia

Perovskia atriplicifolia Perennial, Perovskia atriplicifolia is a multi stemmed plant with lobed smallish greeny-grey leaves, highly aromatic, almost spicy scent from the crushed leaves approx 1m x 1m

Flowers:  multitudes of smallish mauvey blue flowers on spires to 1m high; flowers are stronger in colour than in the picture.

Drought tolerance: 5 – see our post on drought tolerant plants  for an explanation.

Full sun.


Usually called ‘Russian sage’ although reputedly from Afghanistan, it is impossible to imagine gardening in the Mediterranean without this tough-as-boots stalwart; very drought tolerant indeed, no particular cultivation needs apart from being kept dry.  Flowering like mad from July to late September, I’m not quite sure why Perovskia atriplicifolia is not planted much more, it is the most reliable summer colour plant that you can find. No pests and diseases either.

Best planted en-masse, groups of 3-5 or more – no need to carry out any soil amendment.  The flowers have a nice airy look that soften stiff plantings really well.

In the autumn, cut Perovskia atriplicifolia plants back hard about 10 cms to the ground to encourage lots of new growth and flowers.

Propagation is from spring/early summer cuttings; they root very easily and will reach flowering size the following year. Plants are quite long lived if kept dry.

‘Blue Spire’ is the cultivar of choice.

Perovskia atriplicifolia mixes with frost tolerant cacti and all manner of drought tolerant shrubs and drought tolerant grasses.

What  a great plant; I can’t get enough of it – every year I take about 30 cuttings.

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