Russian Sage vs. Lavender: (Key Differences + Care Tips)

Lavender and Russian sage differ significantly in their flower structure. Both lavender and sage have inflorescences, which are the stems and flower clusters.

Russian sage vs lavender

While the flowers of lavender are symmetrical and grow to 4 inches in diameter, those of sage measure only an inch.

A panicle (i.e., a loose branching cluster of flowers) of Lavender grows to 13 inches in length.

In contrast, the spikes of sage are arranged in a tangle, with several flowers grouped together.

The Russian sage is a hardy perennial that thrives in warm climates.

Its robust roots can withstand cold winters and scorching summers.

While it needs regular watering, once established, it is drought-tolerant.

To maintain the shape of the plant, mulch around its base to discourage weeds and retain moisture.

Once established, the perennial sage will not need fertilizer.

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Where Does Russian Sage Grow Best?

Russian sage grows better in soils with high sand and low clay content. It prefers moist, well-drained soil with good air circulation.

Unlike lavender, sage is not a heavy-duty garden plant. It is highly ornamental and needs a well-drained, alkaline area to flourish.

It can be planted between twelve and 18 inches apart. To maintain its blooms, make sure to water it several times a day.

Watering Requirements for Russian Sage and Lavender

When growing lavender and Russian sage, keep in mind that these two plants require the same soil conditions. However, they do not have the same water requirements. Both plants need plenty of sunlight and good drainage.

If you have poor soil conditions, both of them will suffer. When choosing a planting site, make sure to take into account the conditions of the soil in your area.

If the ground is wet, you may end up with a plant with weak roots.

Although both plants are cultivated in a similar manner, they have different growing requirements. Both plants should be planted in the same area for optimal results. In addition, they are both very drought-tolerant.

They should be planted in separate areas for optimal growth. But Russian sage does not tolerate too much heat. Garden soil with a neutral pH is the best choice for lavender and other ornamental herbs.

The two plants are similar in their climate and soil needs. Both are native to the Mediterranean regions, and they share similar soil requirements.

Both plants need well-drained soil. They do not tolerate puddles, but they do like to be a bit cooler.

The same is true for the other plants. A good growing environment is one that does not cause problems, but it should still be well-watered.

The two plants are related to each other and have their own distinctive qualities. Both are popular in Mediterranean climates, but their native range is limited to the western Mediterranean.

They are both fragrant and have a distinct aroma. They are both grown as perennial shrubs. The plant is a member of the mint family and grows in zones four to nine.

In the United States, Russian sage is commonly cultivated for its aromatic properties.

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Does Russian Sage Smell Like Lavender?

Russian sage is not the same as lavender. It is an herb that comes from the same family, Salvia, but has distinct features that distinguish it from the latter.

It is low-maintenance, has a shrubby habit, and silvery green leaves. Its flowers are purple, and the plant blooms for a long time. Once established, Russian sage is drought-tolerant, and it prefers hot, dry climates.

Both plants have the same fragrance and use different methods of preparation. Lavender has more lavender-like qualities than Russian sage, and its fragrance is more common and well-known.

Regardless of the variety, the key difference between the two plants is in the floral form.

Both Russian sage and lavender have tiny, fragrant flowers. Both flowers grow on thin flower petioles.

While Russian sage has a more elegant appearance, Lavender’s flowers have no lateral flower stalks and are very close together.

When it comes to scent, Russian sage has a similar aroma to lavender, and even shares many of the same characteristics. It has beautiful silvery-green foliage, and the flower petals are delicately scented.

During the summer and fall, it fills the voids in the garden and acts as a vertical element. It is deer resistant and will happily reunite with the spring when the weather warms up.

Although both herbs have similar aromas, they have a distinct flavor. The lavender flower is more aromatic and yields more flowers than the Russian sage. It has a sage-like fragrance, and its narrow, bluish-purple leaves are also used in cooking.

However, Russian sage is less fussy about soil pH than lavender. If you live in an acidic area, adding garden lime to your soil will help it produce more lavender.

Russian sage is similar to lavender in appearance and can be confused as one plant. It is a woody perennial with fragrant foliage and flowers.

But it needs more moisture than lavender. While the two plants are similar, there are some key differences between the two species.

The latter has a more delicate scent and needs more water than the former. But despite its similarities, it does not have the same aroma.

The flower of Russian sage is small and the flowers of the latter are bigger than the former. Both plants have lavender-like inflorescences, but it is more compact.

The Russian sage has loose, voluminous panicles. Its flowers are blue with a hint of purple.

The former is lighter than the latter. Its leaves are similar. It is not, however, as it is hardier than its Russian counterpart.

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Can You Plant Russian Sage and Lavender Together?

Can you plant Russian Sage and Lavender? Yes, they go well together! Both herbs grow to be around four feet tall and three feet wide.

This fast-growing perennial thrives in moist rich soil. It is best planted in late spring when the weather is warm but not too hot.

You’ll need to give it plenty of water to ensure a long-lasting bloom. If you plan to divide the plants, be sure to prune back the older leaves and subshrubs to reduce their size.

If you’d like to grow sage in your garden, you should choose a cultivar with similar characteristics to lavender. These two herbs are excellent companions. Both are drought-tolerant and deer-resistant.

They both also attract pollinators because of their fragrant scent.

You can plant both Russian Sage and Lavender together as long as they have similar growing conditions. But make sure you prune your sage in early spring so it doesn’t outgrow the French sage.

Both plants can be planted together. Both are easy to care for, but the best thing to do is to find out more about each plant’s requirements before you choose which one to grow. A good rule of thumb is that Russian sage shrub and lavender have different needs.

The latter requires more moisture and doesn’t tolerate dry soil. They need a high amount of water, while the former is hardier and doesn’t do well in poor soil.

There are some similarities between the two. Both grow in similar conditions, and they can be used together in the garden.

Although the French sage is more aromatic than the Russian sage, it can be planted with Russian sage in a mixed garden.

Both herbs are useful in the kitchen and in medicine, and both look lovely as border plants. You can even mix and match the two types!

You can also plant the two plants together in your garden. They are both deer and pest resistant, and both require the same conditions.

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They’re both good companions, and both are great for attracting pollinators. However, if you want to avoid a clash between the two, then you should separate the plants. The difference is in their growing habits and how they work together.

For example, if you have a lavender-loving neighbor, you can split it between two Russian sage plants.


Discover the nuances between Russian Sage and Lavender, two beloved garden plants. Explore their distinct characteristics, including growth habits, foliage, flower colors, and fragrances. Gain insights into the ideal growing conditions for each plant, helping you make informed decisions for your garden. Whether you’re drawn to the airy blue blooms of Russian Sage or the classic scent of Lavender, this comparison will guide you in selecting the perfect addition to your garden landscape. Delve into the world of these aromatic perennials and elevate your gardening experience.


When it comes to planting herbs, they’re great companions. Both plants are tolerant of most soil conditions, but they are not compatible with other types.

So, the key to choosing the right plant for your garden is to choose the species that grow well together.

If you’re looking for lavender, you can use the French sage, which will grow in the same environment. These flowers are borne on tall panicles.

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