October 2, 2014

What is the best way to transplant Russian Sage?

Question by Question&Learn: What is the best way to transplant Russian Sage?
I have two Russian Sage bushes in my yard and my neighbor would like some of it in her’s. Will Russian Sage branches create roots if soaked in water and root starter or does it need to be dug up from the roots? When is the best time to do it? Advice? Websites?

Best answer:

Answer by Marilyn B
It’s actually pretty hard to divide Russian Sage successfully because of the woody base. It’s better to take cuttings from shoots that emerge from the base of the plants in spring or early summer, or to just dig up the small offshoots that appear on the outside of established clumps. I like the idea of layering because you just place a rock on the stem touching the ground & it grows roots without much fuss.

It makes sense that the bigger the root system, the better the survival rate. However, if the root system happens to be small, the plants should do OK if they have plenty of soil attached to the roots. Be sure to “water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. After the plants are established they can tolerate drought very well.” Make sure they have good drainage or their roots will rot. “Russian sage… is more like an annual or biennial. Plants usually die within two years, but might reappear from seedlings or root suckers.”

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