The Phlomis Fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage) Full Care Guide

The Jerusalem Sage, otherwise known as the Phlomis Fruticosa or Jupiter’s Distaff, Yellow Clary, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Jerusalem Sage Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Jerusalem Sage are the following:

  • Water: The Jerusalem Sage grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
  • Light: Keep your Phlomis Fruticosa in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Jerusalem Sage in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, chalk, and loam.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Jerusalem Sage is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Jerusalem Sage plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Jerusalem Sage belongs to the Lamiaceae family, the genus Phlomis and the species Fruticosa, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Phlomis Fruticosa.

As with other Phlomis’s, the Jerusalem Sage is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Jerusalem SageSardegna to Transcaucasus.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Jerusalem Sage is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Phlomis Fruticosa will be most used to the heat zones in the 8 – 9 region, and in climate zones that range between 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Jerusalem Sage is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But what exactly does this mean for your Jerusalem Sage? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Phlomis Fruticosa can grow up to 2′ – 4′ (60cm – 120cm) in 2′ – 4′ (60cm – 120cm) and 3′ – 5′ (90cm – 150cm) in 3′ – 5′ (90cm – 150cm). 

These dimensions make the Jerusalem Sage a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 60″ (150cm) free so the Jerusalem Sage can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Jerusalem Sage is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Phlomis Fruticosa grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low to average needs in terms of water. 

Jerusalem Sage up close


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Jerusalem Sage in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Jerusalem Sage is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

The Jerusalem Sage’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of sand, chalk, and loam.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Jerusalem Sage requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Phlomis Fruticosa in 


Being an evergreen plant, the Jerusalem Sage will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (early, mid, late).


In particular, this shrub is well known for its long bloom season and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Jerusalem Sage produces some beautiful yellow, or gold/yellow flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Jerusalem Sage have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

Jerusalem Sage and bees

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Jerusalem Sage is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for dry soil, drought and animals like deer and rabbit, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Phlomis Fruticosa will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Jerusalem Sage? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Phlomis Fruticosa owners agree that this shrub will look great in most mediterranean and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, coastal garden, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Jerusalem Sage’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a border, or a mass planting.


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Jerusalem Sage to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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