How to Grow Phlomis Plants

Guide to Growing Jerusalem Sage and Lampwick plant

Phlomis are delightful hardy perennials that range in height from 45 cm to 90 cm (18 to 36 inches).

They have paired leaves and carry clusters of white, purple or yellow flowers that bloom from spring to summer.

A common name for Phlomis is Jerusalem Sage.

Phlomis lanata
Phlomis lanata by peganum.

Phlomis Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Jerusalem Sage, Lampwick plant.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 18 to 78 inches (45—200 cm).
  • Native: Eastern Mediterranean. Asia minor.
  • Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9; species specific.

  • Flowers: Spring through summer.
  • Flower Details: White, yellow, purple. Clustered. Long stems.
  • Fruit: Hairy nutlets.
  • Foliage: Opposite pairs. At right angles. Wrinkled. Green. Oval. Aromatic. Herbaceous, but can have a shrub or subshrub nature.

  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Spring.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: 2 weeks to 2 months. Temperature: 60°F (15.5°C). Two months in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost. Spacing: 24 inches (60 cm).

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or light shade. Light, poor, sandy soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Flowering branches should be lightly pruned in the winter. Maintain vigor by dividing every three years. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas; or from cuttings in the summer or autumn.
  • Family: Lamiaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Basil, Deadnettle, Lavender, Mint, Perilla, Sage, Thyme.
  • Miscellaneous: Host plant for Coleophora phlomidella and C. phlomidis moths. Was used in Ancient Greece as lamp wicks, and the scientific name for the genus comes from the Greek word for flame.

How to Grow Phlomis - Jerusalem Sage

The seeds of Jerusalem sage (Phlomis) can be sown outdoors (lightly covered) in the spring.

The plants are tolerant of sunny and partially shaded areas.

Ideally the soil that Jerusalem Sage grows in should be sandy, light and infertile.

If starting off Jerusalem sage indoors, then do so about two months in advance.

The Jerusalem Sage seeds take from two to seven weeks to germinate at 10 degrees centigrade (50°F).

Once growing transplant into the garden with a spacing of about 60 cm (2 feet) apart.

Caring for Phlomis

It is easy to look after Phlomis plants such as Jerusalem Sage. They require to be watered during prolonged dry periods. The flowering stems should be pruned lightly in the winter.

The Phlomis plant should be divided every three years or so in the autumn to maintain vigour and to propagate further plants. Alternatively they can be propagated by taking cuttings in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Phlomis genus contain?

The Phlomis plant genus comprises around 100 species of perennials, shrubs, and subshrubs.

Do Phlomis members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Phlomis plants, commonly known as Jerusalem sage, are valued in landscaping for their attractive foliage and whorls of yellow, pink, or purple flowers. They are drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, adding to their garden appeal.

Which Phlomis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Two species are particularly popular: Phlomis fruticosa, the Jerusalem sage, and Phlomis russeliana, the Turkish sage. Both are admired for their flower whorls and sage-like leaves.

Are Phlomis plants fragrant?

While Phlomis plants are not particularly known for their fragrance, some gardeners may notice a mild, sage-like scent from the leaves.

What is the perfect location to grow Phlomis?

Phlomis prefers a sunny location with well-drained soil. They are tolerant of drought and poor soils, making them suitable for xeriscaping.

Is Phlomis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Phlomis is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Phlomis plants from my garden?

To remove Phlomis plants, dig up the entire plant, making sure to remove all roots to prevent regrowth.


The Phlomis genus, part of the Lamiaceae family, encompasses both perennial and shrub species. These plants, often known as Jerusalem Sage, are celebrated for their striking, hooded flowers and aromatic foliage.

Phlomis species prefer a location with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They can be planted in spring or fall. These plants, with their unique floral display and resilient nature, add a touch of the Mediterranean to gardens, borders, or containers.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Phlomis plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Thyme, Anethum plant, Galanthus plant, and Agastache plants.