dividing overgrown, suckering Russian sage

This is one plant, with a very awkward root ball. How to I cut and replant this, I don't even know where to cut, what to replant... advice please!!!

Comments (4)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    6 months ago

    i think it already broke itself into two pieces .. and you should just plant them ...

    i might cut off a couple of the branches to balance them a bit more.. and hope to trigger some new lower buds for future growth...

    i hope you healed them right back into the soil while you delayed to ask this ... if you put them in a bucket of water.. heal them back in.. until you make the decision ...

    but... they do look very old.. and if you insist on wanting them.. you might by a new one or two ... for the future.. in my z5 MI .. i never got these to last very long ... it sort of depended on how bad a given winter was... or how deep the snow cover was ..


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    6 months ago

    Russian sage, Salvia yangii (formerly Perovskia atriplicifolia), is really a woody subshrub, similar in habit to a lavender and any number of other species of salvia. Suckering stems come from a single central root system. As such, division is not impossible but not always easily done or readily accepted by the plant.

    I wouldn't try making any smaller divisions but plant whatever you have now with what appears to be any healthy roots as quickly as you can. Water only as necessary. And keep your fingers crossed!

    I have found that various plants loosely grouped as subshrubs tend to develop a very gnarly, woody base or interior over time that even routine annual pruning does not improve. IOW, they lose their looks with age :-) When that happens, it is easier to just dig, toss, and replace. These plants are not budget breakers and easily and inexpensively replaced.

  • Lauren W. (z5b - CNY)
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    I have at least 10 of them so I definitely don't want to replace them completely. They're only 3 years old and they take over the area I have them in, splaying all over the place encroaching on my reed grass. should I just leave them be and cut the top growth back when they get too unwieldy? they are healthy, too healthy I would say.....they love this area and get huge.

  • rober49
    6 months ago

    I find that if they are happy where they are they spread like crazy. I have patches that have tripled their footprint in a year. it's even coming thru cracks in my driveway. I hit lowes in October & buy all I can get for .50 per pot. what I like most about them is that they bloom all summer & the honeybees are are on them nonstop. being a beekeeper i'm always looking for bee friendly flowers.