Phlomis Russeliana – ( Jerusalem Sage)
Phlomis Russeliana is a popular plant due to its long flowering season. It produces, at intervals, long stems of soft yellow whorled flowers from late spring into autumn, above lush and dramatic heart shaped green leaves. Each plant forms an architectural candelabra-like effect in the garden, and as a bonus in autumn the flowers turn to handsome seed heads, which add drama to the autumn garden.
Although appearing ethereal and tender, this plant is a hardy specimen to about – 15 degrees C. and the beautiful leaf rosettes are evergreen over winter.
In addition, Phlomis Russeliana is drought hardy and is an excellent plant for dry partial shade or a dry site in full sun. It tolerates poor, dry soil extremely well.
It requires very little maintenance. When the foliage becomes untidy, from late summer onward, it may be cut back to encourage new growth. If left alone some people enjoy the form of this plant, especially during the snow when it appears as white fluffy snow covered balls raised on their stalks. It is a valuable and easy-to-grow plant and attracts bees and other nectar loving insects during its flowering period.
To extend flowering, deadhead the spent flowers, this also makes for a tidier-looking plant.
Large clumps should be divided every three years in autumn-winter to remove excess growth.
The Royal Horticultural Society awarded the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) to Phlomis russeliana in 1993.
Sowing: Best sown early winter to early spring. Best sown when temperatures are around 5°C.
Sow finely and evenly. Cover thinly with compost, grit, soil or sand to about 5mm. Keep cool and covered in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. No heat is needed. Make sure the compost is kept moist but not wet
The seeds can germinate irregularly over a long period, they can germinate in as little as 14 to 42 days but often over several months so do not discard seed trays prematurely.
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant to 7cm pots. Harden off before planting into their final positions. Space plants 30cm apart.
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Jerusalem Sage, Turkish Sage
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