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Phlomis tuberosa, better known as "Jerusalem sage" is a large-sized perennial perennial plant, originating in the Mediterranean area and in central and southern Europe. It produces large leaves, in basal rosettes, of a brilliant dark green color; they are heart-shaped, wrinkled and with a serrated edge, and, in regions with mild winters, are evergreen; in late spring, between the leaves develops a thin, erect stem, up to 100-150 cm high, which carries some crown-like inflorescences, consisting of small flowers of intense pink color. Under the inflorescences, which diminish in size as it rises towards the apex of the stem, there are two lanceolate leaves, with a serrated margin. The flower stems can be used in compositions of dried flowers. Very decorative plant, it is sometimes ruined by intense frost, even though it generally produces new shoots the following spring; it is advisable to prune the stems that carry the withered flowers and also to prune all the stems up to 15-20 cm from the ground in late autumn.
The Phlomis tuberose are grown in a sunny place; It is also possible to place the plant in a slightly shady place, as long as it receives a few hours a day of direct sunlight. It is a species that does not fear the cold, even if in regions with a very harsh winter climate it is advisable to place the plants in a place sheltered from the wind to protect them from freezing and allow them to grow optimally.
As for watering, it is advisable to irrigate the Jerusalem sage from March to October. However, this must only take place when the soil is dry, avoiding excesses and of course, any water stagnation that would cause damage to the plant such as rot. These plants can easily withstand periods of drought, even if prolonged, but the blooms are more abundant if the watering is regular. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days, mixed with the water used for watering.
Phlomis tuberosa plants grow in any soil, even in the common garden soil, provided it is well drained; It is possible to cultivate the species of phlomis tuberose also in pot, providing a large container, given that the plant has a rapid and abundant development.
The reproduction of Jerusalem sage usually takes place by seed, in the spring season; It is also possible to divide the clumps of leaves, in autumn, or to take semi-woody cuttings, in late spring.
Jerusalem Sage - Phlomis tuberosa: Pests and diseases
The sage species of Jerusalem are not particularly subject to the attack of pests and diseases. In case of high humidity the foliage is easily hit by the oidium better known as mal white, fog or manna; It is a pathology that is difficult to overcome as it is very resistant to any treatment, both biological and chemical. The flowers and leaves are attacked instead by aphids and mites which, feeding on the sap of the leaves of the plant, weaken it and facilitate the spread of viruses between infected and healthy species.