Lifespan of Russian Sage
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Douglas Kahn
Posted on: May 31, 2013

We have about 700 in a large circular area that have given off many offshoots, but were wondering how long the original plants would continue to grow and give off offshoots. The Russian Sage are planted at 8600’ elevation (zone 4) in Colorado.

Russian sage can persist for many years, upwards of a decade or more, particularly in moderate zones. How many years exactly? That’s hard to say because there are a number of factors that seem to be important for longevity. In warmer zones such as zone 10, it may only survive a couple of years, though watering during summer droughts can add a few years. In the coldest zones of its hardiness zone range, zones 3 and 4, it may not always make it through winters if winter is cold with wet freezing and thawing episodes interspersed. It helps to divide old clumps so rot does not develop in the middles. In early spring, remove dead stems, cutting clumps down to 3-4 inches (8-10 cm).

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