BLUE STEEL RUSSIAN SAGE Perovskia atriplicifolia

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Like a giant and prolific lavender, Russian Sage 'Blue Steel' has deep-blue blooms that seem to last forever! Forming clouds of color, they bloom from summer until fall, and can also be used as a dried flower and everlasting. Plants are large and easy to grow, and are tolerant of neglect, drought and poor soils once they are established. Foliage and stems are silver-gray and equally attractive.

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 4-9

Height: 3-4 feet

Location: Sun

Bloom time: Summer until fall, over a very long period

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container at room temperature for 1 week (they will not grow yet), and then place them in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container back at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. They require some patience, but are well worth the effort!

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