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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.

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:
  • Closely Related Species:
  • 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. Once growing transplant into the garden about 60 cm 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; and 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 take cuttings in the spring.