The showy tubular flowers of pineapple sage are borne in spikes at the stem tips, blooming from late summer into early autumn. Pineapple sage is a tender perennial or subshrub; it’s winter-hardy only in the warmest zones, but gardeners everywhere can enjoy it as an annual. Container-grown plants can be brought indoors before frost and overwintered in a cool, bright room or greenhouse.
Common name: Pineapple sage
Botanical name: Salvia elegans
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial or subshrub
Zones: 8 to 10
Height: 3 to 5 feet
- Sun: Full sun
- Soil: Average; moist but well-drained is ideal
- Moisture: Evenly moist but not soggy
- Mulch: An inch or two of organic mulch
- Pruning: Pinch new growth lightly to shape plant.
- Fertilizer: Apply diluted soluble fertilizer monthly during the summer.
Pests and diseases
- ‘Golden Delicious’ has striking yellow-chartreuse foliage that really sets off the bright red flowers.
- ‘Honey Melon’ is a bit more compact (3 feet) and blooms earlier than the species.
- ‘Scarlet Pineapple’ has slightly larger flowers than the species.
- Pineapple sage flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Stem cuttings of pineapple sage root readily. In cold climates, a good way to keep the plant going is to root cuttings in late summer, then overwinter the potted cuttings indoors.
- Put a container of pineapple sage near a doorway so you can brush your hand through the foliage on your way in or out of the house.
- Use its leaves in cooking.
All in the family
- Pineapple sage is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), a large family of mostly herbaceous plants.
- Many mint family members (including pineapple sage) have square stems.
- Many Salvia species and cultivars are grown as garden ornamentals.
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