Phlomis seedheads

How to grow phlomis

Find out all you need to know about growing Jerusalem sage, in this detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December


Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do Take cuttings in June

Do Take cuttings in July

Do Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Phlomis is a summer-flowering shrub or perennial from the Mediterranean. Also known as Jerusalem sage, the leaves are very similar to the herb, but have no scent and aren’t edible. There are different variations, all with distinctive hooded flowers that appear in whorls around the stems. Most are yellow, but some flower in pink or mauve. They thrive in sunshine and well-drained soil and are perfect for coastal gardens and dry borders. The dried seedheads work well in the winter border, making the perfect winter silhouettes.


Browse our practical guide to growing phlomis, below.

Where to plant Phlomis

Grow phlomis in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.

How to plant Jerusalem sage

Being Mediterranean, drought-tolerant plants, phlomis will not tolerate winter wet. Therefore, add plenty of grit to the planting hole to improve drainage.

Propagating Jerusalem sage

Collecting seed from Jerusalem sage
Collecting seed from Jerusalem sage

Perennial phlomis can be propagated by division in spring, while cuttings can be taken from shrubby phlomis. You can also save seed of some species, in autumn.

Here, Alan Titchmarsh explains how to save seeds from phlomis and other plants:

Phomis: problem solving

Phlomis are generally disease-free and not very attractive to pests, other than leafhoppers that will suck sap from the leaves. However, these are unlikely to do the plant harm.

Care and maintenance

Cutting back phlomis in winter
Cutting back phlomis in winter

Phlomis can be a little untidy in their shape, so cut plants back in spring to contain them.

Phlomis varieties to try

Phlomis fruticosa flower
Phlomis fruticosa flower
  • Phlomis longifolium – native to the hills of Turkey and Lebanon, this is a neat evergreen shrub with olive-green leaves and yellow flowers on vertical stems
  • Phlomis fruticosa  – Jerusalem sage is an attractive Mediterranean perennial shrub. Small, spreading and evergreen, the grey-green foliage and bright yellow flowers on tall stems are very attractive. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
  • Phlomis russelliana – Turkish sage is a herbaceous perennial variety. It has large, grey-green heart-shaped foliage, which dies back in winter
  • Phlomis tuberosa ‘Amazone’ – with upright purple stems that carry whorls of lavender-coloured flowers and heart-shaped sage-coloured leaves, this is a very attractive variety
  • Phlomis italica – the stems and foliage are much paler and hairier than other species, with very small violet flowers