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Perennials/Russian Sage

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Question
I have 2 Russian sage plants that are 2-3 years old and have been very healthy until about a month ago. I stated noticing dead leaves and branches. I pruned the branches out but they still appear to be dying. I also tried putting seven dust on them. What should I do or not do to help these plants?

Answer
Hi Donna,
Thanx for your question.  First, make sure the plant is well-draining and water or dampness is not sitting at or near the roots.  This plant loves dry conditions and will susceptible to root rot if overly exposed to water.  There are no known pests or diseases.  Sometimes, as plants like this age, the central core of the plant will begin to die as newer growth becomes more mature on the outside or the main plant.  If you find this to be true, you can dig up the root ball in the fall, cut out the dead core and divide the plant into pieces.  This is a good rejuvenating practice and helps keep the plant looking tidy.  Usually, this will occur once every couple years.  I hope this helps.
Tom

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Tom Alonzo

Expertise

I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.

Experience

I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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