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California Sagebrush

Artemisia californica

3-6' tall / 4' wide


California Sagebrush is a small to medium sized shrub that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The leaves are soft, fragrant and subtle gray green in the wetter months and then turn to a brambly yellowish brown in the hotter months. Though the plant looks dead, its usually Summer dormant. This plant is very tough and able to survive with no water on a steep hillside, though it won’t look so appealing. Plant is also able to survive near a creek where it can reach out for water, but also stay dry. Optimum drainage required. The flowers are extremely tiny and inconspicuous.

In the garden, this plant is often used as a slope stabilizer and habitat restoration. Loved by native garden enthusiast. It offers a sense of wild California. The smell is sweat and musky, but too much can cause a headache. As for trimming, do that as often as you like. A hedge trimmer is required because the bark is pretty strong. Prune it to whatever shape you like, and don’t worry if it looks super woody or brambly. As long as there is water present, it will bounce back quickly. If you prune in the Summer and do not water it, you’ll have to just wait until it rains for it to spring back to life.

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