Friday, May 13, 2011

Pineapple Sage

Salvia elegans is commonly known as the Pineapple Sage, a very fitting name. You won't find pineapples on this perennial shrub however, instead you will smell them! That's correct, Pineapple Sage has a strong pineapple fragrance that can be savored by being near the plant; rubbing the leaves will release more of the aromatic compounds thus intensifying the smell. Not only is this plant fragrant, it's also edible and extremely fast growing.

Personally, I think that this is a sort of miracle plant for greenhouses. I found it to be surprisingly low maintenance, cheap, fast growing, and adaptive. Its technically not a "tropical" plant and thus it doesn't require high humidity or constantly moist soil. In fact you should let the soil dry out a little in between watering. I bought my Pineapple Sage at a local nursery for 2$, and just about a month later it was already well over a foot tall and still growing! Additionally, these plants can be grown outside during normal spring/summer growing seasons and since they are perennials, they will grow back from mild frosts.

The Pineapple Sage plant thrives in full sun and well draining soil. Be sure to plant it only where there is adequate room as they can grow into large bushes (sometimes over 5 feet tall). Occasional trimming may also be required if you find yourself with a wild, unruly plant.

The Pineapple Sage has beautiful red tubular flowers that are a favorite among hummingbirds.