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Is Russian Sage Invasive? (Must Know Before Planting)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 03:02 pm

The flowers of the Russian sage are absolute beauties, and it sometimes seems like that is the only thing you see when you come across the Russian sage.

Unfortunately, though the plant looks pretty interesting, the flowers can sometimes seem much and tend to occupy a relatively large space.

Wondering whether or not the Russian sage is invasive either by flowers or by roots, as you may want to have them in your garden, is a pretty valid concern.

Hence, knowing if Russian sage is invasive is critical.

So, is Russian sage invasive? Well, the Russian sage isn’t precisely an invasive plant. It needs a relatively large amount of space for its growth of ‘self-sowing. However, it shouldn’t be a problem if your garden is a big one. The old growth would die off over time, leaving new development; as such, the space covered wouldn’t precisely increase.

Does Russian Sage Spread?

The Russian sage is a sturdy herb. Surviving in conditions such as poor soil and drought, the plant has a reputation as a survivor.

Being a perennial plant, the Russian sage grows for an extended period, and although being a slow grower, it can reach a height of 3 feet at full maturity.

This height is often its limit and would likely not grow taller, although some varieties may do. The flowers can grow tall and abundant, constantly creating the illusion of spreading.

However, the Russian sage does not exactly spread as this is not its forte. Nevertheless, they can create mini plants at full maturity.

The Russian Sage takes an exceptionally long time to reach full maturity and covers a relatively average amount of space; this is around the time where they start creating minor extensions of themselves under the adult plant.

This process can be a form of spreading, but it isn’t nearly a problem as other herbs with complete invasive characteristics.

These mini Russian sages are a particular characteristic of the Russian sage and form due to self-sowing at the right conditions.

However, this takes a long time before the Russian sage starts producing these tiny versions of themselves.

You can pull away or trim off the roots and stems of these mini Russian sages if you think they would become a problem or are tending to be invasive by your judgment.

The adult Russian sage does take an extended amount of time to form the mini Russian sage as their growth isn’t particularly fast.

As such, the Russian sage does spread; however, this type of spreading is inconsequential at best and shouldn’t be a bother.

Also, note that the new growth of the Russian sage would be the one to house the flowers for the upcoming season, and the old growth would die off and should be taken off.

As such, maybe consider pulling a few new growths if you must and leaving some of the new mini Russian sages so your Russian sage can continue its life.

Are The Flowers of Russian Sage Invasive?

Most varieties of Russian sage plants only grow to a height of 2 or 4 feet, with some types even shorter than that.

As such, the Russian sage has not been classified as an invasive species. However, the Russian sage may seem significant because its flowers tend to be many, which is helpful as those houses are its main benefits.

The flowers of the Russian sage can grow as long as 15 inches and grow in stumps, forming an inflorescence of flowers with multiple branches.

The flowers of the sage can seem overwhelming and are one of the most beautiful herbs. However, this may be classified as invasive based on the opinion of every gardener.

The flowers of the Russian sage may seem invasive based on the size of the garden and the other plants planted alongside other plants.

Certain herbs such as the coneflower, switchgrass, and tall verbena would do pretty well in a garden with the Russian sage as they grow to the same height and would not be overshadowed by the Russian sage.

Also, if the garden is large enough to accommodate the Russian sage fully, the flowers wouldn’t seem to creep, only acting as an aromatic ornamental.

The bottom line is that some people may find the flowers of the Russian sage invasive; it is, in fact, a perennial one and would last for a relatively long amount of time.

Should I Prune My Russian Sage?

Pruning the Russian sage isn’t exactly the most necessary thing to do for the plant.

However, the best time to prune your Russian sage is when it needs it, and this is after winter, as some of the new flowers may die back due to the weather.

As such, to encourage new growth for the Russian sage plant, you should prune off these flowers in early spring to promote the development of fresh leaves and flowers.

You should also prune when you have to take off old growths from the Russian sage to encourage the development of the new stems, which would house fresh flowers for the coming years.

Pruning your Russian sage at other times isn’t essential and should only be done when needed and should never be pruned during the fall.

Pruning during the fall can make your Russian sage die off due to the presence of new growth that can not stand the winter.


The Russian Sage isn’t precisely an invasive plant and is certainly not classified as one under the invasive species registry. However, they can grow to look pretty intimidating, covering a relatively large amount of space.

If your garden is a small one, the flowers can seem invasive.

The only reason why the Russian sage may spread is to continue its growth, and it does this by forming mini sages on the roots.

This growth shouldn’t be a problem as old growth die off after some time giving room for the new growth to continue the new generation of flowers.

Pruning these new mini Russian sages should only be done when it is an absolute must to you if you wish to reduce the size of the sage.

Provided they have the right amount of space or are planted with companion plants in an average-sized garden, growing the Russian sage should be no problem at all.


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