Plant Library

California Sagebrush

Artemisia californica

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California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) at Green Thumb Nursery

California Sagebrush

California Sagebrush

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) at Green Thumb Nursery

California Sagebrush foliage

California Sagebrush foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Coastal Sagebrush, Sage Brush


A highly aromatic shrub, that branches from the base, growing out from there, up to 8 feet; fine, threadlike silvery foliage for a great landscape contrast; does best in poor, dry soils; an ideal plant for adverse conditions where little else will grow

Ornamental Features

California Sagebrush has attractive grayish green foliage with hints of silver on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. The small fuzzy threadlike leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color.

Landscape Attributes

California Sagebrush is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading
  • Self-Seeding

California Sagebrush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

California Sagebrush will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for clay, alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Garden 
Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features