Propagate Russian Sage

Russian Sage is a popular houseplant that can be propagated through stem cuttings or seed and division in either water or soil. In this article, we cover Russian sage propagation and how to transplant it into your garden

Can You Propagate Russian Sage

Yes, you can propagate Russian sage through stem cuttings, seeds, division, and transplanting.

How To Propagate Russian Sage

You can propagate Russian sage through stem cuttings in water or soil, from seed, through division, and by transplanting from seedlings. Using stem cuttings is the most popular method for propagating Russian sage and has a higher success rate than using seeds.

Russian Sage Propagation Through Stem Cuttings in Water or Soil

  1. Use a  sanitized pruning shear and take multiple stem cuttings that are at least 4 inches long always making sure that you cut a stem cuttings just above a leaf node.
  2. A leaf node is the point where leaves develop on the stem when taking stem cutting make sure that you have around 4 nodes on the cutting.
  3. Remove all flower buds and leaves from the stem cutting leaving only the leaves at the tips.
  4. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone (Russian sage can propagate without rooting hormone as well but success chances are higher with rooting hormone).
  5. Now Place the stem cuttings in a 12-inch glass container and use sand or another medium like water.
  6. When placing stem cuttings in the sand you should make some holes in the sand using a pencil to ensure that the soft stems do not break.
  7. You should make sure that you keep the stem cuttings moist and you can use a bag to cover it as water loss is one of the major reasons why cuttings fail to develop roots.
  8. After two weeks you should try to gently pull the cuttings from the soil and if you feel that they resist it means roots have developed.
  9. After roots have developed you can move your stem cuttings to a larger pot.

You can take either softwood stem cuttings that are taken in spring from the soft part of the stem or semi-hardwood cuttings that are taken during summer.

Can you root Russian sage cuttings in water?

Yes, you can root sage cuttings in water as well as soil. If using water as a medium place the sage cuttings in water that is not chlorinated but is filtered and place the stem cuttings in a glass container using water as your rooting medium at the bottom.

Growing Russian Sage From Seed

  1. To start Place a plastic bag containing the seeds in a refrigerator at 42 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 days so that the rate of germination can be increased. This process is called cold stratification of seeds and by doing so you can create winter conditions that are cold and moist that ensure that seeds germinate
  2. Use a seed-starting mixture that is moist and put it in a seed tray.
  3. Sprinkle seeds throughout the soil such that seeds are spread out and have at least 1/2 inch space between two seeds.
  4. Make sure that seeds are in contact with the soil and cover them with a layer of sphagnum moss.
  5. Cover the seed tray with a plastic top and place it in direct sunlight so that the average temperature that they face is between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Touch the soil and if it is dry add water by misting your seed tray you might need to do this at least once a day.
  7. Leave them for 90 days after which they should germinate and if they have failed to do so by 120 days you might need to throw them out and start again.
  8. After the seeds have germinated you can remove the plastic cover and place the seeds in direct sunlight and keep on watering if the soil is dry.
  9. Once the seedlings have become at least an inch tall you can transplant them into a pot.
  10. If you are planting them outdoors move them into the garden late in spring or in summer.

The advantage of growing Russian sage from seed is that you can do it throughout the year if it is done indoors.

The right time to start Russian sage propagation from seed is 6 to 8 weeks before the predicted frost in your region if your aim is to use the next planting season to plant your seed.

How to divide Russian Sage: Propagating Russian Sage Through Division

  1. First Dig Deeply and widely using a shovel and then remove the plant from the ground without causing any damage to its roots
  2. Remove excess soil from the roots of the plant and then start dividing your plant into different sections.
  3. Divide the plant into half or third or even more depending on your plant size so that roots are attached to each cluster of plant.
  4. Make sure you keep the roots moist by placing them into a water tray while you separate the cluster of roots.
  5.  You should dig a hole for each plant section depending on the length of the roots that you separated.
  6. Place the divided Russian sage plant in each hole and replant them by adding compost and water deeply.

Division can work very well to ensure that your Russian sage blooms more and also help in controlling the growth rate of your plants.

You should do division after every two to three years and do it mostly in spring or fall.

You should divide the plant before they go dormant in winter or when they are actively blooming.

Before Dividing the plant make sure you prune them so that they are six to eight inches tall

Transplanting Russian Sage

After you have propagated Russian sage by either seed or stem cuttings you need to transplant them outdoors into your garden and you can do so once frost is over. This is the method for transplanting your Russian sage

  1. Make sure that you harden your seedlings or stem cuttings before transplanting by exposing them to increasing amounts of sun each day. You can start by exposing them for 1 hour the first day and then increase slowly until they can withstand the sun for the full day.
  2. You need to shovel to create a hole that is 2 and 1/2 feet wide and at least 1 foot deep so that the root ball can be transplanted.
  3. Place the rooted plant into this hole gently so that you don’t damage the plant.
  4. Fill the hole with soil and tamp it lightly onto the soil water deeply and your plant has been transplanted.

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By Pete