Is Russian Sage Invasive? (No, here’s why)

Russian sage invasive

The Russian Sage shrub can add an extra layer of beauty to your landscape.

However, the only concern that most people have is the invasiveness of plants.

Is Russian Sage Invasive?

Although this perennial shrub is a common weed in the United States, it is not invasive. Its long blooming season makes it an excellent plant for landscapes. The lavender panicles of flowers are quite decorative. 

The shrub spreads by rhizomes and self-sowing.

While it is sometimes considered an invasive species, it is not listed on the National Invasive Species Database.

Grow Russian Sage in Containers to Prevent Spreading

To prevent it from becoming invasive, consider using a container. As a perennial plant, Russian sage does not need a lot of water once it is established. 

However, it is important to water it during the first growing season to stimulate a deep root system. 

When pruning, consider trimming the stems 6-8 inches above ground level. While the flowers of the shrub are attractive, they will fade after a few weeks.

In the wild, this shrub may be invasive. However, it is not a problem in residential or urban settings. 

In fact, it is one of the best options if you want a beautiful and fragrant shrub. This plant will attract butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer-resistant. It is also unlikely to be eaten by rabbits. 

As a result, you can grow Russian sage in your yard. Luckily, the sage will stay where it is planted for years. While you need to consider its location, it is not a problem once it is established.

If you do want to plant Russian sage in your yard, you can do it yourself. You can cut the stems down to a few inches from the ground. Mid-spring pruning is a good idea, as it will allow the plant to fill in with new leaves. 

Just remember to prune away dead stems, which stick out like sore thumbs and look ugly. And if you’re worried about it becoming invasive, you can prune it down to a foot high.

Russian Sage Cuttings

Taking cuttings of this perennial is easy and convenient. You can make them in May or June to avoid the risk of weeds from spreading. The cuttings should be about four to six inches long and should be sliced just below the leaf node. 

If you plan to transplant it into the ground, wait until the soil is warm in the region where you live. Once the cuttings are in the ground, they should be watered deeply until they sprout new growth.

When it comes to soil, heavy clay soil will require amendments to increase drainage. 

If you’re planting Russian sage in a garden, you can use a combination of grit and organic matter to improve the soil. 

Bonemeal is a good source of phosphorus. It will be happy in your garden for years to stay and thrive. It is a great addition to your landscape.

How Fast Does Russian Sage Grow?

Russian sage is a graceful perennial with feathery silver leaves. The plant can grow to four feet in height with a three-foot spread. 

Its fast growth makes it the ideal choice for small spaces. 

The best time to plant is late spring when the soil is warm and the weather is not too hot.

It requires frequent watering and will require partial shade to flourish. After planting, the foliage will die back but the plant will return the following year.

Planting Russian Sage Seed is Easy

It can be started indoors early in spring and transplanted in late summer. The seed should be planted six to eight weeks before the last predicted frost. 

Depending on the cultivar, some cultivars are protected from germination unless you have permission from the owner. 

Soil should be well-drained and sunny. Despite its slow growth rate, it tolerates alkaline conditions. It’s a perfect choice for seaside gardens. Its long, slender stems and slender leaves will add drama to your garden.

Once planted, Russian sage can survive temperatures of up to one-digit degrees in winter. 

However, it prefers a well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Clay-based soil is not the best choice, as it’s difficult to aerate the soil. 

Luckily, this herb has a long growing season, so you can safely plant it in your garden once the risk of frost has passed.

The Russian Sage Needs a Sunny Site, with no Shade or Wind

It needs adequate sun to grow well and bloom.

It grows best in sandy soil that’s not too acidic. This helps the plant overwinter successfully. The plant is relatively hardy and rarely has pest or disease problems. 

When young, the plants tend to flop over. This is not a problem, but staking them is a good idea. If you are planting them outdoors, they will grow more vigorously if they’re placed in the sun.

In order to grow Russian sage plants, make sure you plant them in the spring or early summer. It is best to plant them 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost. 

Once established, the plant will be able to withstand dry spells and scorching summers. It needs sunny, well-drained soil and is alkaline. As a result, it is an excellent choice for seaside gardens.


Overall, Russian Sage isn’t an invasive shrub. However, you still need to care for it, so it doesn’t spread out and choke other plants.

Despite its name, the plant is a subshrub that grows from a woody base. It flowers on new growth. 

The plant has soft, fragrant, finely divided leaves. During the summer, it produces cloudy lavender flowers that appear over fifteen weeks. 

Aside from being tolerant of dry soils, it also prefers full sun and reduced summer moisture. Once established, the Russian sage will grow and bloom at its full potential.