Experts and BHG readers answer.
Why does my Russian sage flop?
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) has a tendency to sprawl, especially when young or grown in shade or grown in moist, fertile soil. As with all plants, this species performs best when growing conditions match its native surroundings. Russian sage is native to the seaside, where there's full sun and high atmospheric moisture, but well-drained soil that's always on the dry side. That soil also tends to be "lean," in that it doesn't provide much nitrogen. If your plant gets fewer than 6 hours of sun per day, move it to a sunnier location. If your soil is rich and moist, understand that this condition contributes to soft, thin growth. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizer and overwatering in the plant's vicinity. If you can't change the soil's fertility or moisture level, provide stakes to hold the plant upright. 'Little Spire' is a cultivar that's naturally shorter than the species. If you continue to have difficulty keeping your Russian sage from flopping, give it a try.