Xeriscape Gardens

Phlomis Fruticosa Care: Growing Jerusalem Sage

Phlomis fruticosa with bright yellow blooms

Phlomis fruticosa, or Jerusalem sage, is a small, flowering, evergreen shrub. It has fragrant, oval leaves that resemble sage – hence the name. This plant has deep yellow, tubular flowers that form a cluster of around 20 blooms in short spikes during summer.

This plant is native to Italy, Cyprus, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and countries of the former Yugoslavia. It has also naturalized in parts of South West England and parts of California.

This drought-tolerant plant is a popular choice as a xeriscape plant amongst gardeners thanks to its hardy nature. If you want your garden to be a deer and rabbit free zone, then you need to grow these beautiful flowing plants in it.

Quick Care

Phlomis fruticosa with bright yellow blooms
Phlomis fruticosa with bright yellow blooms. Source: jacki-dee
Common Name(s)Jerusalem sage
Scientific NamePhlomis fruticosa
Height & Spread:23-47″ tall and 29-35″ wide
LightFull sun
SoilNormal to sandy
Water:Low to medium
Pests & Diseases:Resistant to most, including deer and rabbit

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage), often grown as an ornamental plant, belongs to the plant genus Phlomis. It grows beautifully along dry, sunny borders in cottage or coastal gardens. The wrinkly, grey-green leaves of this plant are 2-4″ inches (5-10cm) long and are covered with fine hairs.

The tubular, buttery yellow flowers of this plant grow to 1″ inch (3cm). The flowers and leaves of this plant remain all through winter. The striking yellow flowers attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

Jerusalem Sage Care

Close-up of the Jerusalem Sage flower
Close-up of the Jerusalem Sage flower. Source: kategardenphotos

It is very easy to take care of Phlomis fruticosa plants. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 to 11, then you can easily grow them in your garden. Here’s everything you need to know about its care and maintenance.

Light & Temperature

This plant needs full sun to thrive, and it will not grow well in partial shade. Grow it in your garden beds in an east, south, or west-facing direction.

Water & Humidity

This plant prefers to grow in dry to medium moisture. Once planted, it can be fairly drought-tolerant. So, make sure to occasionally water your plant. Water it weekly if you want it to thrive. Additional water is only required when the plant is grown in hot and windy regions.


These plants can do fairly well in many types of soils. However, they prefer to grow in sandy, well-drained soils, with a neutral pH.


These plants do not need any fertilizer to grow.


You can propagate these plants by softwood cuttings in summer and by division in spring. You can also propagate Phlomis plants by seeds under proper cover in late spring.


You can cut back the stems of your Phlomis fruticosa or Jerusalem sage after flowering to encourage additional blooms.


The low-maintenance and hardy Phlomis fruticosa is resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can face problems when grown in a shaded area. So, if you are growing this plant in your garden, make sure to grow it under full sun. Your plant will have leggy stems if you plant it in a shaded area.

Pests and Diseases

This plant is virtually free of pest and disease pressure


Here are some frequently asked questions about this small, flowering plant:

Q. Is Jerusalem Sage edible?

A. This plant is indeed edible; you can use it as a common sage in your meat dishes. You can also use it to garnish your pasta dishes. However, make sure to use it sparingly, as it can overpower.

Q. How do you take care of Phlomis fruticosa?

A. You need to plant it in well-drained soil, under full sun, and water it occasionally.

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