Perovskia — blue haze and spicy aroma


If you like lavender and sage, then you will definitely be fascinated by Perovskaya. A low fragrant shrub blooms for three months because a long inflorescence forms many tiny flowers.
During the flowering period, each branch of Perovsky resembles a giant gray fluff. And given that there are a lot of them on an adult bush, the whole plant during the flowering period is more like a gentle cloud.

The plant comes from Central Asia and was opened to the world by the son of Count Rozumovsky, General V.A. Perovsky, bringing from Central Asia to his father’s garden. So, by the name of the discoverer, this fragrant shrub got its unusual name.

In vivo Perovsky grows to a spherical bush with a diameter of one and a half meters. And in culture, this indicator varies depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Flowering Perovski lasts quite a long time from summer until frost.

At the same time, the inflorescences go into winter sleep, slightly fading, but retaining the attractiveness of the form until spring. Along with cereals, the fragrant bush of Russian sage (another name for Perovsky) is a welcome guest in a snowy garden.

This semi-shrub feels absolutely comfortable on poor stony soils, easily tolerates a period of drought and generally belongs to the category of those plants that are “planted and forgotten”. The only thing he needs is early spring pruning, and then purely for decorative purposes.

For Perovsky, sunny places are chosen, because in shading the branches are strongly extended and the curtain collapses.

This hardy plant is not afraid of drafts and dry winds, but in winter, snow cover will blow out in windy places and the perennial may freeze.

Considering the fact that Perovsky is comfortable in the conditions of the climatic zone of the range 5-10, it becomes clear why this beautifully flowering and fragrant shrub has become a favorite of European gardeners and is so uncommon in the homeland of its discoverer.

In culture, only two types of perovskia are used, from which a number of fairly popular varieties have been bred.

Perovsky abrotanoid, wormwood (Perovskia abrotanoides)

  • Growth area: Middle Asia.
  • Flowering period: June August.
  • Color spectrum: dark blue inflorescences.
  • Height: 40-120 cm
  • Growing conditions: sunny hillocks without winter drafts, sandy soil, categorically does not tolerate waterlogging, climate zone 5-10, hibernates with dry shelter.
  • Peculiarities: similar in color to lavender, but the leaves are carved, dissected, the aroma resembles strawberry, the oil is used in the confectionery and perfume industries.
Variety «Little Spire» hybrid, descended from the crossing of Perovski wormwood and swan-leaved. The curtain is low (up to 75 cm), the leaves are openwork, the inflorescences are purple, the beginning of flowering in July.

Openwork foliage of a bluish color in a hybrid variety «Filigran»purple inflorescences, while the height of the curtain in good conditions reaches 90 cm.

Perovsky swan-leaved (Perovskia atriplisifolia)

  • Growth area: Afghanistan, Pakistan.
  • Flowering period: August-October.
  • Color spectrum: gray leaves, inflorescences from blue to purple shades up to 30 cm long.
  • Height: 90-150 cm.
  • Growing conditions: sun, well-drained alkaline soils, drought-resistant, climate zone 5-9.
  • Peculiarities: perennial semi-shrub, highly decorative, has a number of beautiful varieties.
Variety Taiga distinguished by a height of 40 cm, winter hardiness and blue inflorescences.

Variety «Lacey Blue» grows no more 45 cm, has a compact bush shape and purple inflorescences.

Variety «Silver Blue» distinguished by bluish foliage, blue inflorescences and a height of 60 cm.

Curtain perovski varieties «longin» has a vertical shape up to 120 cm high, gray-green foliage, blue inflorescences.

Variety «superba» it is distinguished by winter hardiness and the height of a spherical curtain up to 120 cm.

Variety «Blue Spire» one of the most popular, with purple inflorescences and the largest curtain volume (up to one and a half meters), blooms in autumn until frost.

IMPORTANT: provide drainage when planting, especially if the soil in the area is clayey, heavy.

Perovskia does not tolerate transplanting well because it does not have time to increase the length of the roots before winter. For this reason, the place for her is chosen very carefully, taking into account all her needs.

Perovsky pruning is done literally in the first weeks of the beginning of the growing season, at a height of 10-15 cm from the base of the bush.

Ideally, this semi-shrub poses in an environment similar to the conditions of its homeland: among stones on slopes protected from winter winds.
For this reason, Perovsky — a wonderful element for decorating the foot of alpine slides, rockeries and paths.

If you are a fan of Pete Oudolf-style flower gardens, Perovsky is your option.

Perovskaya only benefits from landing in arrays.

Given the long lifespan of one bush, perovskia is a welcome guest in borders and hedges.

Perovskia is a dried flower, therefore it will decorate a snow-covered garden until spring.

The thinnest inflorescences that form a blue haze are the perfect backdrop for landscape-style flower beds, just like miscanthus, ornamental millet, feather grass, ornamental barley.

When choosing Perovsky companions, it is important not to plant nearby moisture-loving species that require an acidic environment.
In terms of the similarity of growing conditions for this perennial, echinacea, rudbeckia, perennial aster (Octobrinka), stonecrop, mordovnik, gravel, lavender, daylily, monarda, yarrow, etc. are ideal.

In a composition with silvery accents, Perovskaya noticeably enhances the effect.

Perovsky is propagated by seed method and cuttings.
If you have ever grown lavender, then be sure that you will grow Perovskaya. It is either sown in winter (natural stratification), or the seeds are stratified in the refrigerator. Sprouted seeds are planted in cassettes, where they grow.

Cuttings are either lignified shoots of the last year, necessarily with a heel, in spring (this information has not been personally verified by me), or green this year (second half of summer). The cuttings are planted in cassettes under the film in a slightly shaded place, monitoring the moderate moisture content of the soil. The young overwinter in a greenhouse.

The soil for the plant should be prepared in advance: lighten heavy soil by adding sand, arrange drainage on clay soil, add slaked lime to acidic soil (this procedure is done at least six months in advance, but in no case immediately before planting). If it is not possible to wait for the deoxidation of the soil, purchased soil is poured into the hole.

Such thorough preparation will justify itself with an incredibly long life (more than a dozen years) of a plant in one place.

An adult perov transplant does not tolerate well: the roots do not have time to increase the depth and the plant may freeze out.

Transplantation is carried out only with a clod of earth, preferably in early spring. The planting step of perovsky depends on the variety: tall ones from a meter to one and a half, medium tall at a distance of 60-80 cm.

In one place, without a transplant, Perovskaya grows up to 15 years.

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