Anyone have luck transplanting Russian sage suckers?

daffodil33May 27, 2014

Hi, a friend of mine gave me a Russian sage sucker/off shoot, I planted it a couple of days ago and watered it, but it is wilting/droopy. It is in full sun. Anyone have any luck successfully growing a mature Russian sage plant from an off shoot? Online i have read a mixed bag, some sayit can bedone,some say it can't. any tips? Thanks.

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I never really did that, but mine are almost like weeds, and they are quite vigorous. I think if you keep it well watered, it should at least make growth from the root. The tops may wilt, especially in full sun. Normally, pruning off some of the growth will help and you could put some temporary shading over it until it gets going. Don't let it get too dry until it's established. Once it's growing well, Russian Sage can take dry conditions very well. Good luck with it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 5:13AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

I never transplant Russian Sage right away. Instead I always pot up the shoots that I dig/pull out of the ground.

These pots are placed in a semi-shaded area and kept well watered. I'm aiming for good root production before replanting. Sometimes ... if I don't need them that season....I'll winter them over by sinking the pots into the ground.

I've used this technique often to propagate Russian Sage for our town garden near the beach.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 6:28PM
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You should definitely shade the plant until it gets established - a week or so with an umbrella should do the trick. Very few plants can take full sun right after having their roots disturbed.

I get a lot of seedlings, but have not had my perovskia sucker, ever.

Also, I think the idea of cutting back the tops to take stress off the root system has largely been abandoned, at least for shrubs (and perovskia is a subshrub). I once had to transplant some mature shrubs in mid-summer, and had great results by following explicit directions provided on the shrubs forum. Lots of shade and occasional misting for a couple of days, ignore the wilting, don't over-water, and... just wait it out. That's what I'd do, if I were you.

Good luck - Russian sage is a tough but wonderful plant.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Thanks all, actually it was fine for the one cloudy and rainy day we had, but now it is wilting again. Hopefully it just needs tome to get established,

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

If it appeared okay in cloudy weather it could be just that the root system isn't ready to deal with sunshine. I would throw a milk crate over it for another week and then try taking it off on a sunny day to see if it still wilts. No harm in putting the milk crate back on for another week too.

If I pot up from the garden, I always put the pots in the shade for a minimum of a week. Anything that is moved from one location to another gets the milk crate treatment.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 6:26AM
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Got two more Russian sage suckers today, this time I put them in pots, gave it water and they are inside the house. Hope they make it! Any other suggestions on helping them survive? Thanks,

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:47PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Gee, don't know why you brought them into the house. Too much sun in your yard?

If so you might want to consider putting them underneath a shrub for shade. I learned this potting-up technique from my mom who was the source of everything that I know about gardening. Mom always told me to pot the little ones up and put them underneath a shrub/bush close to where I wanted to eventually plant them. Leave them for a year and let them adjust to their new home, she'd say. My mother used this technique for all the dogwoods, Mt.Laurels, and perennials that she transplanted from the woods.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Thanks mjc_molie, unfortunately due to a asian garden beetle infestation, I am forced to put these pots in the home. I would love to have left them out.
You mother got dogwoods, mt. laurels and other perennials from the woods? I did not know there were flowering shrubs in the woods, I have not seen any in MA.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:18AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Sorry about the beetle infestation, daffodil. Hope this technique works for you.

And regarding my mother....let's just say (and I've discussed this before, maybe on this forum) that my mother was a hardened criminal as far as digging up plants from the woods goes. I went on many forays with her as a child. She must have transplanted 40+ dogwoods and Mt. Laurels into her yard. Some of her other favorite things to dig up were ditch lilies, ferns and Queen Anne's Lace. Size hardly mattered to mom. Upon seeing a 10' dogwood that was growning near my front door at my first house, Mom said, "You know, that dogwood is turned the wrong way. The front is facing the house. Besides, it would look better up on the hill. Let's move it!"

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:38PM
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