x-Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spire'
Bright, violet blue flowers held on upright, silver stems make Russian sage a wonderful addition to the garden from late summer onwards.
Perovskia 'Blue Spire' is an eye catching hardy sub shrub that throws out tiny tubular flowers on silvery grey spikes from mid summer to early autumn and also has glaucous-green, divided leaves that are beautifully fragrant . From a distance it has a lavender like appearance but its attractive arching stems and neat, compact habit are far more architectural than that and add real impact to the garden in winter when they positively glow.
Perovskia perform best in full sun but are unfussy about soil and actually prefer a poor well drained spot above anything else and do well in dry, chalky and coastal areas. So, if you have a heavy, fertile soil in your garden either grow these in a large container or dig in plenty of horticultural grit before planting. Prune plants in the early spring, cutting the flowered stems back to the permanent woody framework and mulch generously around the base of the plant with garden compost or well rotted manure.
Insects love perovskia, buzzing around its vibrant flowers. 'Blue Spires' is perfect for a Mediterranean or dry garden , blending well with other silver leaved plants like Artemisia, but looks beautiful with all late flowering summer perennials such as golden rudbeckia, hemerocallis and monarda or grow with grasses like calamagrostis and miscanthus.