Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Post on Perovskia

Perovskia, Perovskia atriplicifolia, drought-tolerant

As I noted in my end of month post, the Perovskia has been a wonderful addition to the garden.  Maybe I notice this more because it is one of those "I know it's a good plant, but..." for me.  I have never grown it before, having been underwhelmed by its wispy appearance as a single specimen in a neighbor's lawn years ago.  In my garden bed, it's becoming a lovely presence of blue and silver-green; and I can't help thinking about the fact that there are multiple hybrids...

The plant I purchased is an unnamed, basic Perovskia atriplicifolia.  Flowers are medium lavender blue - bluer than I had anticipated.  They are quite small and the stems are slender and sway readily, so they're difficult to photograph in the constant breezes.
Perovskia, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Perovskia flower

The foliage is finely cut and silvery.  It is a very elegant plant altogether.
Perovskia, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Perovskia foliage, Perovskia leaves

It went into the ground blooming and settled in beautifully.  It is still happily flowering despite my big mistake about a week ago.  I had some liquid plant food for a rose bush, and I decided to pour a little of the extra on the Perovskia.  After all, I had done nothing but water it occasionally since planting.  On went the plant food, and half the plant collapsed within about twenty-four hours!  The stems died off and had to be removed. Obviously, this is not a plant that likes much nitrogen.

In spite of which, the rest of the Perovskia continues blooming, has strong new stems sprouting, and appears unfazed.  

Originally from mountainous regions of Asia, it is said to endure both heat and cold, and to be at its best in areas with warm summers.  It is also said to have a spring/summer bloomtime, but this little plant is still happily flowering in our beautiful desert November.
Perovskia, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian Sage, drought-tolerant

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