Russian sage question.

I planted Russian sage as an ornamental last fall. It wintered over just fine and began new growth in the spring. When it got to about 12-14" tall, the tips curl and die. The bottom portion of the plants remain green, but the plants haven't grown a bit since. They are planted in full sun and get "adequate" water. The other plants in the bed are growing ok. Anyone have any suggestions?
Bob S.
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Russian sage likes it hot, and dry. In poor soil. Did you loosen the rootball before you planted it? And what is growing near it? In fact, most perennials like it in poor soil. The most beautiful and healthy and upright flowers are found along side the highway in the gravel and scree........ madgardener
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Why do you suppose that nearly every bit of information I see about perennials has the following advise: "Plant in rich, well drained soil. Amend soil with plenty of compost."
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into new beds with rich, well drained soil laid down first and then struggled to become more upright. Once the soil leeched thru rains and snows, the perennials that were upright actually stood up. I have seen awesome gardens with beautiful flowers in some of the worst conditions.
This house where I live had feverfew, blue Myst or blue Eupatoria flowers, sedums (old fashioned green ones) and an unusual yellow colored one and asters growing along the sidewalk and Joyce had had cancer and was dying of it for well over two years so her flowers were neglected.
As soon as I moved into the house and lifted the plants and dug the soil with my tiller and added worm compost, replanted the perennials I discovered there, the blue Eupatoria or perennial ageratum all but vanished. I think it finally has gone from the beds. The sedums went nuts and grow every year since then (that was 9 years ago) at least 5 foot tall when before they were only two or three foot tall. The asters dissolved. And the feverfew flew the coop.
All I know is, the flowers I see along the roadsides are upright, healthy, full of flowers and growing in gravelly, poor soil. Even the chicory is lush and covered with flowers. And now the black-eyed Susans are popping up everywhere and they're awesome............so go figure.
There are SOME perennials that like it rich. Sedums(some), blooming bushes, hosta's, bulbs, daylilies,apparently Soladago does, and so does purple Loosestrife and Gooseneck loosestrife, and ground covers.......but the rest of them, the composites and sages and bee balm and such grow prone in rich soil. I can't tell you the plants I've lost due to rich soils.........but then, it could just be ME............. madgardener
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Nah, it isn't just you, Mad, I've got the same problem. My verbascums re laying right now all over the grass, the stems are too floppy (and tall) to stand upright. I've got to remember, compost only, no fertilizer!!
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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expounded:

Do you suppose that is the problem with my alchemilla? It always flops when it flowers, but that's how I have seen it in display gardens also. I would gladly not fertilize it if it would help keep it upright.
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Most likely. I broadcast a general purpose bulb type organic fertilizer in the spring for all the bulbs, iris and peonies I've got everywhere, and even though it's not high in nitrogen, it just might be too much for some of the other perennials. I've got lovely iris, peonies and daffs (among others), though!!! <G>
This year I spread compost over everything (I had an old compost pile that I sifted and used). I've got lambs quarters all over the place, but things seem better, except those damned verbascums!
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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i have a similar problem. No growth, no blooms. What gives?

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I have to agree with the other poster. If the other plants are fine in the same flower bed, then it's too rich soil and too much water for Russian sage.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Karen) wrote:

That'd be my guess too. Mine have been very slow growing in an almost-never-watered location with no attention, but the two clumps bloom gorgeously every year, & every year are just a tiny bit bigger. It might grow a little faster if I watered it occasionally; but it'd likely do awful if I watered it regularly.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Karen) wrote in message

Thanks. I quit watering after the other plants got established but these heavy rains every other day are not helping the situation. The soil was poor (sandy clay) until I tilled in some compost. I wouldn't think the soil is too rich, but water could definitely be the problem. I am seeing a little new growth so maybe they'll make it.
Bob S.
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I unknowingly killed mine with kindness... :-(
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