Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pineapple Sage
Salvia elegans

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: elegans (ELL-eh-ganz) (Info)

Synonym:Salvia rutilans

» View all varieties of Salvias

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 59 photos.
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59 positives
8 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nbaltz On Apr 2, 2014, nbaltz from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

In Phoenix, this plant grows very well and far exceeded our expectations. The foliage always stays a deep green and blooms throughout the year. The superior winter blooms make this plant a magnet for the hummingbirds. We have our Pineapple Sage planted in almost full Arizona sun and it seems to perform very well even during the summer months, regardless of watering conditions. It seems this plant prefers a lot of sun with warm climates and to stay on the drier side. The leaves provide a slight pineapple aroma.

Positive selvahombre On Aug 1, 2013, selvahombre from San Diego, CA wrote:

Here in San Diego I have struggled with this plant. It didn't seem to like our cool wet winters. I moved a plant that was struggling to a raised bed, and within 6 months it is flourishing. 4ft tall and 7 ft wide. I didn't expect it to take over. The hummingbirds love it, so i let it have its space

Good drainage and being on dry side seemed to greatly help this plant.

Positive purplelady45 On Jul 23, 2013, purplelady45 from Palm Beach Gardens, FL wrote:

Have this plant in my pollinator garden and i can tell is beautiful !

Positive loovejonesx On Apr 29, 2013, loovejonesx from Durham, NC wrote:

I live in zone 7b, but obviously my pineapple sage didn't realize that it shouldn't grow in my zone. It established itself pretty quickly & almost weekly it grew in leaps & bounds. I was awaiting the beautiful red blooms & they came just as I had been told. The only thing that I wish I had been more aware of was the weight of the blooms, & how they weighed down the stalks of the plants. They are back this year & I'll spike them to help keep them upright this year.

Positive ratchell26 On Nov 12, 2012, ratchell26 from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I started all of my pineapple sages from 1 gallon pots. Two I started in May and they bloomed for a few weeks right after I put them in the ground. In July I planted 3 more. They are very thirsty plants and even with our wet summers, I had to make sure they were well watered. I didn't get any blooms during the summer, but in October they started to bloom. I am happy to report that there are more blooms than leaves right now! The yellow sulfurs as well as 3 or 4 other species of butterflies LOVE them! I'm going to take some cuttings from them this winter so I can plant more of these in the spring. They are huge, but well worth it when you have to wade through butterflies just to get past the bush!!

Negative XemaSab On Nov 5, 2011, XemaSab from Redding, CA wrote:

Beautiful plant, but of the three I planted, two of them died and the third only started looking healthy in July and only got one bloom on it all summer. I think I'll treat it as an annual in the future.

Neutral prettyitup On Jul 21, 2011, prettyitup from Moss Point, MS wrote:

My pineapple sage is going thru it's third summer here in my yard. Sadly for me, Iv've had to beg it to not die. After

reading on the tag that it would be happier on the drier and sunny side, I planted it in spring under the overhang in

unimproved slightly sandy soil on the west side of our Survived that winter without mulching but was very

near death by the following summer. I then moved it to a site that gets morning sun and afternoon shade

and improved the soil in the planting hole with composted leaves and then only perked up slightly, didn't

grow and only made a couple of sad blooms that fall. Again it died to the ground the following winter but came back fine

in the spring but only grew to about 10". It's now July 2011
(it's 3rd summer here) and hot and humid in s. MS and again

it was near death so last month I moved it to a shadier and
more moist bedand cut it back a little. It is looking better

than it has since it's first year but still only about 8 inches tall
and the leaves are a light green color rather than a healthy

dark green. I think one of the other posters is correct in saying that it doesn't like the heat I really want this plant to do

well for me as I love that pineapple scent of the leaves when they're brushed and the vivid red blooms that come in the

fall. I will definitly keep trying to find a place that makes it happy...I do not want to lose this one.

Positive oscarkat01 On Jun 18, 2011, oscarkat01 from Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the smell of Pineapple Sage! I get beautiful flowers later in the summer that give the garden a dash of bright red color. This plant is mostly an annual in 6a in Rochester, NY. I have one that is sheltered from my front step and porch that is reliably perennial. It has come back every year since I planted it 4 years ago.

Positive Sonnenblume On Jan 11, 2011, Sonnenblume from Aurora, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This was my first year growing Pineapple Sage. I bought a small starter plant in early June 2010 from a local garden center and planted it in my Aurora, CO backyard. It got watered along with the lawn so it flourished well in semi-shade even though its a dry climate here and it does soak up quite a bit of water but is carefree. It grew huge in one season. We had a long Indian summer in CO this year and frost came late some time in October just after it started to bloom so I covered it for a few nights during the first frost as it got warm one more time and then potted it up in the largest pot I could find and brought it inside to the southern exposure living room where it happily kept on blooming for about 2 weeks then dropped the blooms and the leaves started to develop a brown ridge around them so it was not so pretty anymore as its dry inside the house. A mister or humidifier would help. I pruned it by about a third and harvested some of the big leaves for tea and the blooms for decoration of dishes (they taste sweet) but left it standing and watered it generously and now it has developed many small fresh leaves while dropping most of the big old leaves and I removed the rest of the old leaves gradually (gently, they came right off without scissors ) so it looks appealing and healthy again like a new plant, growing in the middle of winter (Jan 2011) while we have snow outside. When it blooms its just gorgeous! I plan on planting it back outside this spring or at least take the pot outside. The only thing I missed was hummingbirds visiting as they had already left my vicinity by the time the Pineapple Sage was in bloom. This plant is memorable so it was worth the extra time and effort of bringing it inside and its easy to grow. I imagine that in a warmer zone it may grow too much but on the other hand you do not have to bring it inside. It grows into a bush in one season and the blooms are a pretty red.

Positive natalie4b On Jun 14, 2009, natalie4b from Roswell, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very easy to grow and transplant. Grows like weed. Beautiful foliage, and red flowers in late summer.

Positive DenaBolton On May 6, 2009, DenaBolton from Johnson City, TN wrote:

I grow this as an annual in my Zone 6 area of East Tennessee. This is one of my all-time favorite herbs with which to cook. I use it in almost everything -- chicken, fish, vegetables, herb oils. I have also found that it freezes well at the end of the season, which leaves it tasting fresher than if I dried it.

Positive TheDovesNest On Nov 14, 2008, TheDovesNest from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

Grew this plant as an annual in Rapids City, IL this is the first year in FL, it grew about 3 foot in part shade, flowered from Sept and is still in bloom now, the first part of Nov. but the scent is not as strong as it was in IL, hopefully it will be as the weather cools.

Positive straea On Oct 19, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This has been my first year trying pineapple sage in my cold-winter, xeriscaped, windy garden. It's grown quite well, getting fairly tall by the end of the season, with no need for supplemental water. However, it has yet to bloom here. I've read many times that in cooler climates, pineapple sage usually starts to grow faster and then starts blooming late in the season, and that you can then pot it up and bring it in and it will keep on blooming indoors, so when it started growing more rapidly about two months ago, I expected it to bloom soon. However, I've yet to spy so much as a bud. I'm not sure why, as I planted it back in late spring (after last frost) and it's gotten good sunlight all season and has seemed very healthy the whole time as well. I came to this this page to check what temperature will kill it to know how soon to pot it up. I'm going to try bringing it inside now that it's getting cold here and seeing if it starts to bloom.

I'm giving it a Positive instead of Neutral rating mostly because I've been so delighted this year to have the scent of pineapples released into the air every time I brush the plant when working near it in the garden. I think it's worth planting for that alone, for people who love fragrance in the garden.

(A note regarding a comment below about pineapple sage not being drought tolerant in a container: No plant is drought tolerant or xeric in a container. For a plant to be truly drought tolerant or xeric, it has to be planted in the ground. My pineapple sage has been thoroughly drought tolerant in my xeric, poor-soil, windy garden.)

Positive alecia723 On Sep 17, 2008, alecia723 from Ft Mitchell, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Last year I planted two very small plants that grew to aprox. 3 ft., and they flowered from late spring all the way through fall. The nursery called it cantaloupe sage saying it was the same as pineapple, (or another name for it.)
This year, I purchased two more small plants which read "Pineapple Sage" that were in 3" pots and planted them in a garden corner. So far, I've had to cut them back by almost half 3 seperate times once they reached about 5 ft. I never realized they would get that big. That just made them bush out even more, so now each plant is about 5' tall and 5' wide!!! They didn't flower all season like last years, but it was well worth the wait once they began.
They received regular watering, only one general feediing the whole season, and they're in mostly clay soil, so I'm feeling pretty lucky this year. I don't know if there is/was a difference between the Sage from last year and the one from this year. They look exactly alike except for the flowering times and the extra height. I do love them though!!!

Positive fleurdeelee On Jun 18, 2008, fleurdeelee from Trinity, AL wrote:

This plant has been enjoying southern exposure, by the deck for the past three years. The soil was enriched with a good fertilizer based potting soil. It grows about 4 feet by 4 feet and loads up with red blooms in October.

We whack it down through the winter, but it happily sprouts up lots of new stems in spring and grows like mad. Those sprouts will quickly have aerial roots at the base. If the 3 foot sprouts are snatched off from the base root, then the aerial roots will easily allow the detached stem to take hold and grow. The soft fuzzy green leaves look pretty next to the cool blue-green leaves of the siberian iris.

It is a fantastic hummingbird plant. In our area it is surviving the winters, but some our other pineapple sage in less protected locations have not survived the North Alabama winters. Anyone hoping to have it survive zone 7a winters, might want to be sure to try it against a southern wall. Cutting it to the ground in fall and adding a mulch layer might also be helpful.

Negative gavinadda On Mar 30, 2008, gavinadda from Seoul
South Korea wrote:

I just got a Pineapple Sage out here in Korea... Unfortunately, it has started to display speckled leaves There are brown / black spots on the leaves.


Positive ival On Jan 10, 2008, ival from Arlington, TX wrote:

I have grown this for years here in Arlington, Texas, for the fragrance and brilliant red autumn flowers. Here it must usually be grown as a tender perennial and rarely survives winters. Also it is very sensitive to drying out and to soggy soil or overwatering. Nonetheless, it's well worth growing, as a successful planting produces a brilliantly flowered butterfly magnet with very pleasant pineapple-scented foliage.

Positive WatchMGrow On Sep 12, 2007, WatchMGrow from Nashua, NH wrote:

Im new to growing Herbs, not doing too badly for a newbie. One of my absolute favorites in my Herb Garden is my Pineapple Sage. I LOVE it in Salsa, especially in sweet/fruit varieties, I also use it in Pasta Salads even Chili as an accompaniment to my Mexican Sage...I look foward to trying the Pineapple Sage Pound Cake in the recipe above. I dont understand why it isnt used more widely with Chefs ? Many things taste sooooo much better when it is added to the Recipe!!

Negative passiflora07 On Aug 29, 2007, passiflora07 from Fern Park, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I just replanted mine in a bigger pot. I thought I was doing everything right, but days after I repotted, the leaves started turning brown. Now, three weeks later, it is completely sad :(

Neutral breeezzy On Jul 29, 2007, breeezzy from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I am surprised by the postings that say this plant is drought-resistant. I bought it through eBay because the seller also said that. However, it takes only a day without water for this plant to wilt in my patio planter tub. Also, the seller had to send me a replacement TWICE because it had such a hard time making the trip; the first 2 were wilted to the point of not being revivable before I could even plant them. I've now had the surviving plant for a couple of years, and it does fine -- but only if I don't let it get dry. Maybe it's the lack of dew in these here parts? I live in zone 10, and the plant gets full sun only half a day -- but that sun is strong. I know it wouldn't want full shade, though. So what's a southern California mother to do?

Positive thetripscaptain On Jul 3, 2007, thetripscaptain from Racine, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have grown one of these in a big pot every summer now for the past 3 or 4 years. It has come to be one of my regular favorites. In SE WI (53402) it is an annual only plant unless you can keep it very brightly lit indoors (such as with a HID grow lamp) which I don't bother to do...

Anyways, this plant is one of the last of the year to flower, which is nice because after most everything else is done, I've still got flowers to look forward to.

The hardest part with it is that it needs a fairly heavy amount of watering when it is in a pot and the weather is hot and sunny. It seems to lose quite a bit of water through its leaves. Other than that it's a pretty simple to grow plant.

Oh and one more thing, the biggest problem that I encounter with these is that they seem to be susceptible to wind damage... A windy day will sometimes snap branches off, and sometimes even the thicker branches towards the bottom break off, causing a large portion of the plant to be lost. Last year (2010) I grew this as usual, only we had a windy day in September, and the entire plant broke off, right at the ground. The root system was intact, but it was too late in the year to grow it back to flowering size. This year I am going to be more conscientious of the wind damage factor, and bring it indoors or up against the side of the house where it is shielded from the stronger wind gusts.

Neutral GaPilot On Jun 19, 2007, GaPilot from Covington, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Love this plant but I lose every one of them due to some insect that invades the hollow stems. Small white bug, looks sort of like an ant or termite of somekind. Afraid to use insect spray since it does attract hummingbirds.

Neutral CodyMody7890 On Jun 14, 2007, CodyMody7890 from Reno, NV (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a great plant for its smell and foliage. It smells and tastes like pineapple ! Great plant; I'm not sure about its hardiness, but a few of my neighbors have them from a few years ago and they're doing great!

Positive susybell On May 21, 2007, susybell from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love how this plant smells! It is a bit delicate, however. Last fall, just as it was starting to bloom we had a cold snap where it dropped to the low 20's overnight. I brought it in the house as soon as I saw it that morning. I watered it and left it in the house in the hope that it wouldn't die. The poor thing went into shock and turned brown and lost all its leaves. I thought it had died, and gave up and moved it to my potting bench in the garage for throwing it out later and forgot about it. A couple of weeks later I saw it and it had leafed out again! So, I brought it in the house and overwintered it in my south-facing office room. I just transplanted it into a nice big pot and put it back outside and it's doing quite well. I've been moving it in and out to give it a chance to gradually adjust to the cool (but not freezing) nights.

When I transplanted it, I accidentally broke off a few shoots so I put them in water in hopes that they'd root. Not only have they rooted, but they've grown a couple of inches and are blooming! The main plant doesn't even have buds.

Positive pinkypetunia On May 2, 2007, pinkypetunia from Poplarville, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love Pineapple Sage! It is one of the first things to show green in spring here and grows beautifully all summer. By the time it blooms in late Aug. early Sept., it is huge! How beautiful it is covered with bright red flowers that the hummingbirds can not resist. I love to sit in my garden and watch them swarm the plant. I also love to show visitors to my garden how to crush the leaves and smell the fresh pineapple smell. It is so easy to propagate as well, I have new plants come up voluntarily every spring. If you get a chance to grow this plant, you should it gives oout nothing but pleasure.

Positive Digger On Apr 28, 2007, Digger from Concord, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is the third year this plant has come back in my garden. I guess it's true that plants can't read zone maps as I'm in zone 7b and it's hardy to zone 8. It gets better & bigger every year! It's super easy to grow, smells wonderful & the hummers adore it! What else is there?

Positive jawharpqueen On Apr 23, 2007, jawharpqueen from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Pineapple sage blooms all year long in my backyard here in San Francisco. I have spread it by simply sticking cuttings into the ground... It also reseeds like crazy; there are many new plants growing nicely now in late April under my oldest one (2+ years old.) This oldest one is floppy, but I tie it to the fence. The lower stems are woody & bare now, but the new young ones beneath it are almost tall enough now to cover the old one's bare lower stems. The hummingbirds love it - I see and hear them so often, sipping from its long scarlet blooms. The scent is so fantastic, too. Such a wonderful plant.

Positive valliebeth17 On Apr 3, 2007, valliebeth17 from Crown Point, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

I grew Pineapple sage as an annual, and kept it two years by growing cuttings indoors during the winter. It's a wonderful, fast-growing bushy plant, and cuttings root very easily.

Positive pal2k9s On Dec 27, 2006, pal2k9s from Lake Arrowhead, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have two groupings of three plants each in different areas of my garden. One group has part shade exposure, the other has full sun (morning sun, afternoon shade). The full sun group grew to about 4 feet tall, and began blooming in October. The part shade group grew to about 5 feet tall and began blooming in late November.

I love that this plant blooms so late in the season. When everything else is going dormant, the Pineapple Sage really shines. The bees and hummingbirds sure do appreciate these flowers- there are not many flowers available on other plants in late fall.

In my garden, these plants like a good deep drink once a week, although if the weather is hot, they will let me know that they're thirsty by dramatically drooping and curling their leaves. In the hottest part of the summer, it's not unusual for them to need to be watered 2 or 3 times a week.

Positive Rotegard On Dec 2, 2006, Rotegard from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I planted a couple this year in May in our sage patch (Minneapolis zone 4 + with urban heat bubble microclimate.). It is very aromatic grew about 3 feet in a season .The plant is thirsty and needs daily waterring in the heat of July. I repotted the outdoor plants about 9/15 in two large containers and left them in the community garden for a few more weeks before transferring them to south and west facing windows at my home and office. With extra plant lights and religous watering they appear to have accepted the demotion to house plants. The little new leaves smell the most pineapply. When they bloom next I intend to try the bread recipe above.

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 17, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

I love Pineapple Sage, but it's not hardy here, have to plant it every year. Love the flowers and the scent of the leaves. Have to start planting it in the ground, maybe it would bloom sooner, because I have been planting it in 20" containers. Wish it would bloom alot sooner too and longer for my area.

Summer of 2006, I had 'Golden Delicious' Pineapple Sage and the red Pineapple Sage in potted containers. 'G D' is beautiful also!

Positive WilliamB1026 On Nov 6, 2006, WilliamB1026 from Medford, MA wrote:

We live in Massachusetts, z6a-b. We bought the plant as a little thing, at a garden center because the leaves were so fragrant. And it had a beautiful red flower ... that was in May. We planted it, waiting for the red flowers. It grew and grew, to huge proportions ... still waiting for the red flowers. Then in October it started to bloom. What a wonderful surprise. Our little plant is now a bush with abundant stems of red flowers. Incredible as it may seem, we've had two hard frosts but our salvia elegans is as vigorous as ever. We love this plant, and will try to overwinter it indoors.

Positive pspady1210 On Oct 19, 2006, pspady1210 from Fayetteville, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love my Pineapple Sage here in Fayetteville, NC. I have started it from little shoots around the base of the plant. I have three in my yard and plan to share with others. This year it seemed a bit leggy; however, so was the coleus. No big deal ... it is blooming now and I'll let it collect leaves then mulch it. Next year, I'll probably try a little fertilizer as I didn't fertilize at all this year. I'm also going to try to put it with various velvet sages. This year I had the pineapple sage growing about two bush lengths away from a purple velvet sage and decided right then and there that next year, they will be together ... the colors will be outrageous! I'll put some red velvet with it.

Positive lleighmay On Oct 6, 2006, lleighmay from Woodlawn, VA wrote:

I'm smitten. I got one off the "nearly dead" clearance table and plunked it in the ground just to see what would happen. It was mixed in with a bunch of other plants that were doing well next to the gravel driveway/picket fence (not the most hospitable environment) so I never really paid attention until (suddenly!) it bloomed in beautiful clear red. I'm going to try to cheat a zone or two by moving it up against the south side of the house in the herb garden...... since it works for the rosemary I'm hoping it'll work for this plant too. I figure it's airy enough that it won't crowd out the parsley and the hummingbirds and I will be thrilled if it comes back. If this doesn't work I'll definitely grow it as an annual (en masse) next year.

Positive pegdog On Sep 23, 2006, pegdog from Winchester, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I grew pineapple sage in my zone 6a/b. I planted it near my house foundation, slightly protected by a lilac. It died back but popped right up in the spring. It is now doing great in its second year. Mine is much larger than 48"!!! In 2005 it got to 3.5' and this year it is about 4' tall by 2' wide. I tried one in a container, but it never returned and didn't do as well as when in the ground.

Positive lindaismysister On Sep 12, 2006, lindaismysister from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

I bought this from a nursery as a small plant in the late spring. It is HUGE now and more of a bush than not! It hasn't bloomed yet but I look forward to that in the next couple of months!

Neutral LindaTX8 On Aug 12, 2006, LindaTX8 from NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lovely plant but requires more watering than I give my garden. Constantly wilted in hot weather.

Positive ctindell On Jun 13, 2006, ctindell from Sterling, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this plant. I planted it a few years ago and it grew nicely in full sun. One fall day I looked out and I was pleasantly surprized by a profusion of red flowers. I enjoyed the flowers and an occasional hummingbird until the first frost when it completely died. One of my favorite annuals. I will try to save seeds this year.

Positive starr56 On May 27, 2006, starr56 from Roma, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I live in deep south Texas where its hot most of the year and for Spring I got 7 little pots of Red Salvia and I can say they are flowering and doing pretty good under the Sugarberry tree..something I did not think it was going to do.

Neutral ladygardener1 On May 26, 2006, ladygardener1 from Near Lake Erie, NW, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is an annual in my part of the world, but I still like to grow it. It flowers late in the summer for me. I like to just sniff the crushed leaves, so refreshing!
Here is a recipe I like to share with you all.

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake Recipe
The bright red flowers adds that bit of wow to this cake!

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
5 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage leaves (the small, new leaves are best)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pineapple sage flowers, if available
1 teaspoon grated lemons, rind of
4 tablespoons well drained crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour

Makes 1 loaf or 4 miniature loafs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease and flour four miniature loaf pans*.
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
Beat in the honey.
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat for one minute after each addition.
Beat in the sage leaves, flowers, lemon peel, and crushed pineapple.
Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.
Fold these together gently, until just blended.
Pour into loaf pans.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes ( time for 1 loaf), or until golden brown (wooden pick inserted into center will come out clean).

Positive MandevilleJim On Mar 30, 2006, MandevilleJim from Mandeville, LA wrote:

In the late summer and fall, into early winter or the first good frost, one cannot have enough pineapple sage to take care of the passing mummers and b-fly's, and native b-fly's, moths, wasps and bees, and and who knows what all else. Comes back - usually - from the roots in the spring, esp if mulched or otherwise protected. My best is enmeshed with rootbound cocosmia. It tends sometimes rot in our winters that are wet, drainage is not good, a characteristic of lots of plants on the northshore of New Orleans. Pineapple sage has done better than any other savia species for me, even surviving being smothered by hundreds of pounds of pine tree tops from Katrina, and subsequent drought. It has not seeded for me. Although it is not native to this area, I consider it a welcome guest.

Positive SuzeD On Feb 20, 2006, SuzeD from Clearwater, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I no sooner got it in the ground with organic compost and some peat hummus than it was starting to flower. it is February 20 here where I am in Pinellas County, Florida.

It is a happy little plant. Am reading some comments on it getting 4 feet high. I was under the (obviously wrong) impression it stayed under 2 1/2 feet. If it does get huge like that I will put it elsewhere in the yard as a shrub.

Positive CastIronPlant22 On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this sage! Its very aromatic and i love it better than the other sage plants. To me it was hard to find and when i found it, it was in a 6 inch container, early spring. I plan to buy more this coming spring, if i can find any. EVERY garderner should own at least one of these.

Positive krishnatulsi On Nov 24, 2005, krishnatulsi from Nevada City, CA wrote:

Beautiful late fall bloomer, with a profusion of bright red spikes at 2,700 feet near Nevada City, California. Has bloomed into December the last two years! 4-5 feet tall and wide after getting established.

Positive zemerson On Oct 19, 2005, zemerson from Calvert County, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Two thumbs up positive!! This plant did spectacular for me and what a surprise when I looked out my window and saw bright red blooms! I just had to brave the bughaven and go outside to snap some pictures! Awesome smell too!

Positive djballington On Oct 16, 2005, djballington from Reidsville, NC wrote:

I've grown this plant at least five years and although I occasionally lose a plant in one location, others in different parts of the yard always come back. It takes up a lot of space, but when it blooms in late summer, it is well worth it.

Positive Gindee77 On May 18, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant grows as an annual here in my zone 5 garden and is very aromatic. It's leaves are great flavoring in tea or cooking. The flower spikes bloom in late summer to early fall and are a pretty red color.

Positive resqme1065 On May 15, 2005, resqme1065 from Marietta, GA wrote:

I have the original plant bought over 3 yrs ago. I made cuttings that survived 2 winters and succesfully replanted in my garden.

Last winter, a bug I couldn't identify destroyed my cuttings. I said goodbye to my plant.

Surprise! The original plant was found sprouting from the root in April! It continues to grow!

I live in Marietta Ga, an area considered tender for pineapple sage.

I must add, the plant grows each year to be huge! The trunk of original plant must be almost an inch, and I had to stake from first yr planted. Rubbing the leaf produces a wonderful aroma too!


Positive Kauai17 On May 15, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Pineapple sage is one of our favorite herbs in the garden. It has a vibrant green leaf and then sprouts a beautiful red flower. When you rub the leaves together you get a great aroma.

Positive ibarakibryan On May 5, 2005, ibarakibryan from Iwama
Japan wrote:

Great in the Japanese summer, heat brings out the smell nicely...

Positive zzazzq On Apr 16, 2005, zzazzq from Madison, MS wrote:

Great plant here in central MS. I do not cut the stems over the winter and it has returned for 6 grows to be a five+ foot shrub by the end of the year and blooms in fall, and is spectacular. I grow it in a part shade, part sun situation. I does seem to self-sow and sometimes I'll find another plant in a nearby container.

Positive cacti_lover On Mar 28, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

I just love the smell of this herb. Just a little rub on the leaves will produce the sweet pineapple scent. I like it in teas and other culinary uses. Attractive leaves and flowers too.

Positive pokerboy On Jan 26, 2005, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love the colour of the flower of this plant and I love the fact that it tolerates dry soils. Tough and hardy. Like most Salvias. pokerboy.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Oct 10, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

A very beautiful flowering tall shrub hardy from zone 7a and 7b southward. One of the most popularily known and grown plant in the South and one of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. This plant is great in full sun, where it can grow fairly quickly during the summer. It also does very well in partial shade with some sun!

Positive KMAC On Oct 10, 2004, KMAC from Co. Cork
Ireland (Zone 9a) wrote:

Love the smell of it. The stems can be brittle and often break in strong winds. In some winters it has no problems with frosts, but in colder winters it gets knocked back.

Positive BUFFY690 On Oct 2, 2004, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This was my first year with this plant and I just love it. It was about 1 foot tall and 1 branch when I purchased it from Parks in the late spring, and now it is 4' tall and about 2' wide, it is in part shade, I was not expecting it to do so well, but I really love it.

I have rooted some cuttings so I can distribute a couple more over my yard and share with some neighbors, my cuttings rooted in a sunny window in about 7 days.

My plant grows next to an anise bush and a butterfly bush, there is also a don juan rose growing close by and these scents mixed together is heaven, I could not have planned my walkway any better, as it is it kind of happened by accident.

My plant has come back wonderfully I cannot wait for the bloom this year.

Positive weedville On Aug 26, 2004, weedville from Marcus Hook, PA wrote:

Has grown well in compact clay soil that has poor drainage. Smells great!

Neutral Larabee On Jun 2, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

I tried this indoors originally, but it began to look very sickly, despite getting enough light. It was turning brown and wilting and I nearly threw it away good thing I gave it one last chance by moving outside (in zone 9a). I also cut off one third of the plant (the worst of the damaged, ugly parts) and resolved to ignore it completely save watering it with my other herbs. It thanked me with new growth in a few weeks, and more after that. The plant has now restored enough of itself that Ive cut off all of the brown parts and I am amazed that this is the very same plant I almost threw awayit looks lovely!

I suppose the moral of the story is natural sunlight for pineapple sage. Many other plants really love fluorescent lights (like many people have in their kitchens or offices), but not this one. If you want a fragrant herb in the kitchen where you can smell it all the time, this is not the one for you (Id recommend chocolate mint).

Positive purplepetunia On May 24, 2004, purplepetunia from Savannah, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

this plant has come back after dying to the ground thru the winter. It is very full, about three or four feet wide and tall. It has spread and I have already divided it into four plants.
The red flowers are beautiful. Last summer it grew to about six feet tall. I have it planted in an area that stays somewhat moist. I have put one of the new clumps in a dry, full sun area to see how it does.

Positive bayouposte On May 9, 2004, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have loved this plant since the autumn it turned into a "burning bush" in a back bed. For some reason, it has never survived the winter, although some of the other sages have been there for years. I replant pineapple sage as an annual each year. Perhaps this year I'll mulch with fall leaves as suggested in an earlier post; since the other sages receive a natural leaf mulch just from their location, maybe pineapple sage will manage to return next year on its own.

I always plant it somewhere in the back bed so I can see it from my window in autumn and be heartened by the glorious color.

Positive jreamy On May 8, 2004, jreamy from Toledo, OH wrote:

I've had pineapple sage growing in my garden for several years. I have it planted in full sun and cut it back every fall and give it a blanket of either leaves or mulch after the first freeze. In the spring, when the rains start, I pull the leaves/mulch away and it springs right back to life. I have a fairly compacted clayey type soil but that doesn't seem to bother it.

Positive angelam On Apr 17, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

In zone 10 this plant flowers with us from mid-Autumn all through Winter until I cut it back in Spring. The bright scarlet flowers are really welcome in the Winter garden.
The scent of the leaves is lovely, so plant it where you will brush against it.
It is very drought tolerant- but leggy in those conditions, better with moderate water.

Positive suncatcheracres On Nov 3, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

My pineapple sage grew quite well through our cool and rainy Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, Summer this year, and is now gloriously in bloom in late October and early November. The heavy Summer rain made the three-foot-tall stems flop over, and they have now rooted, making a three foot square plant that started out last March as a small, 8" tall seedling bought from an herb booth at a plant fair.

I have grown this plant before in Florida so knew what to expect. The plant is just covered in brilliant red flower spikes that can be seen from across the garden. It is a butterfly magnet, especially for Cloudless Giant Sulphurs.

This sage will root in water, so it is easy to have them all over the garden. My one current large plant is in a perennial bed near a Brown Turkey fig tree underplanted with several different iris, with red antique roses on a trellis in the background, and other herbs, such as parsley, lovage, and valerian, all within a border of white flowered garlic chives. But the flowers of the sage can compete with even the wine red roses!

Positive carolann On Nov 2, 2003, carolann from Auburn, NH wrote:

Although an annual here in z5b, Pineapple Sage is a lovely and dependable addition to the butterfly and hummingbird garden. Sadly, had to pull up the dying plant last week as temps are dropping now. Always one of the first annual herbs purchased in the spring here.

Positive xyris On Aug 17, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grow lots of this plant. It is easy to propagate from cuttings or by division of its own self-rooting offshoots. It overwinters for me in pots under my outdoor deck in Bremerton, Washington, and actually flowered all last winter. It doesn't start putting on its best flowering until October or later.

In Florida, it does best in winter and early spring, and is not happy during the hot and humid summers.

Positive kviolette On Aug 1, 2003, kviolette from Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Pineapple sage is an October showstopper here in Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b/8a). Beautiful, fragrant foliage throughout the growing season to 4' high by 4' wide by Sept. and, as its final hurrah, another foot added in all directions of the brilliant red flower spikes in October. A true traffic stopper on my street.

This plant is situated on a slope near the top of a large drainage ditch, in moderately rich, well drained soil.

My plant has been in the ground now for a third growing season and has wintered although is is very tender here. I winter it over by letting it 'catch' the fall leaves, leaving the leaves until late March and NOT cutting the plant back unless the temps drop below 20 degF. Then I cut the plant back to just below its 'leaf pile', piling more leaves on top to protect the hollow stems from moisture (and therefore from rot). So far this has worked - the plant survived long, cold winter (for North Carolina) with a few nights down to 10degF. Come late March, removing the leaves and cutting the plant to the ground seems to work as it comes back, slowly, but comes back nonetheless.

A terrific plant.

Positive Lavanda On Jun 11, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Hummingbirds smother this plant with attention when they discover it in bloom.

Positive Weezingreens On Oct 25, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Here in my USDA Zone 3 climate, I raise Salvia elegans as an annual, but it's a favorite of mine. I usually try to winter it over indoors and root cuttings in the spring.

Positive Johngl On Jun 9, 2002, Johngl wrote:

Rub a leaf, then inhale the authentic smell of pineapples! Of all the aromatic plants this one must surely be the best. Fresh leaves can be put into summer fruit salads, used to decorate desserts or be added to jams, jellies or cream cheese for flavouring. Use dried leaves for potpourri mixes or for herbal butter and teas. Or just enjoy its beauty; in early summer the tender serrated deep green leaves are reward enough. But towards autumn the plant blooms with vivid, velvety tubular scarlet flowers. They have a mild flavour but can be used as decoration or garnish with food. In its native Mexico this plant attracts humming birds.

Neutral Terry On Sep 7, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Common name refers to the scent of the foliage when crushed or bruised. Grown as a woody shrub in Zones 10-11, herbaceous perennial in Zones 8-9, and as an annual or greenhouse plant in colder zones.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Auburn, Alabama
Dadeville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Prattville, Alabama
Trinity, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Hereford, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Berkeley, California (2 reports)
Brea, California
Cameron Park, California
Chico, California
Clayton, California
Clovis, California
Elk Grove, California
Encinitas, California
Eureka, California (2 reports)
Fairfield, California
Hemet, California
Hoopa, California
Knights Landing, California
Lake Arrowhead, California
Lakeside, California
Lompoc, California
Los Angeles, California
Miranda, California
Mountain View, California
Nevada City, California
Palo Alto, California
Sacramento, California
Salinas, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California (3 reports)
Santa Clara, California
Vista, California
Walnut Creek, California
West Covina, California
Washington, District Of Columbia
Alford, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Oviedo, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Quincy, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Trenton, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia
Blackshear, Georgia
Covington, Georgia
Douglas, Georgia
Ellijay, Georgia
Guyton, Georgia
Hazlehurst, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Suwanee, Georgia
Woodstock, Georgia
Kihei, Hawaii
Viola, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
North Vernon, Indiana
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Ft Mitchell, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Ball, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Franklin, Louisiana (2 reports)
Gonzales, Louisiana
Independence, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana (2 reports)
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Paulina, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Baltimore, Maryland
Crofton, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Medford, Massachusetts
Somerville, Massachusetts
Redford, Michigan
Walled Lake, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Leakesville, Mississippi
Maben, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Poplarville, Mississippi
Scooba, Mississippi
Raymore, Missouri
Kalispell, Montana
Henderson, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Pahrump, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Auburn, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire
Annandale, New Jersey
Bayville, New Jersey
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Rodeo, New Mexico
Bridgehampton, New York
Brooklyn, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
Crown Point, New York
East Syracuse, New York
Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina (2 reports)
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina (2 reports)
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reidsville, North Carolina
Taylorsville, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Delaware, Ohio
New Carlisle, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Perkins, Oklahoma
Dallas, Oregon
Roseburg, Oregon
West Linn, Oregon
Wilsonville, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Chapin, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina (2 reports)
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Moncks Corner, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Johnson City, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee (2 reports)
Memphis, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Arlington, Texas (2 reports)
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Cedar Hill, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Grand Prairie, Texas
Hemphill, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Kilgore, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mexia, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
Oakhurst, Texas
Pflugerville, Texas
Port Neches, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (5 reports)
Spicewood, Texas
Spring, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Waco, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Alexandria, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Fishersville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Ruther Glen, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
Winchester, Virginia (2 reports)
Bremerton, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Volga, West Virginia
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin

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