Pineapple Sage

(Salvia elegans)

This sage is equally appreciated for its red flowers and the sweet pineapple scent of the foliage — this herb both looks and smells wonderful when cut for a flower arrangement. The pretty red flowers also look great in salads (yes, you can eat them!). Pineapple sage leaves are often used dried or fresh in teas. Plants will grow up through the summer, when you can enjoy their leafy fragrance. Then, just as some other garden plants start to fade in late summer and early fall, pineapple sage will burst into bloom. This is a great plant for the fall garden because it attracts migrating hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • Type Perennial in zones 8 to 10
  • Planting time Spring
  • Features Nectar-rich red flowers in late summer and fall, pineapple-scented foliage
  • Light Full sun
  • Soil Fertile, moist but well drained
  • Plant spacing 24 to 36 inches
  • Plant size 3 to 4 feet tall, 2 to 3 feet wide
  • Garden use Flower arrangements, garnish, teas, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

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At a glance
Nutrition Information

Light requirements: Full sun.

Planting: Space 24 to 36 inches apart.

Soil requirements: Plants grow best in moist but well-drained, fertile soil. Pineapple sage also adapts well to containers, but use a large pot—at least 12 inches (bigger is even better).

Water requirements: Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Once established, plants in beds usually survive on rainfall. In containers, irrigate whenever soil is dry. Pineapple sage is a good choice for a xeric or drought-tolerant garden.

Frost-fighting plan: Pineapple sage is perennial in zones 8 to 10, and gardeners in zones 6 to 7 treat it as a tender perennial, mulching crowns heavily after frost and hoping for the best. Established plants can survive a few frosts (above 28º F) and keep blooming. Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season in fall.

Common issues: Plants grow large (3 feet tall and wide) and require ample elbow room. Mature stems are brittle and benefit from light support in windy locations. Good drainage is vital for successful overwintering in zones 6 and 7.

Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Young leaves have strongest flavor and are most tender. Harvest blooms at any time, although newly opened ones are freshest. Clip whole stems for bouquets. To harvest, cut an entire stem if desired, or just pinch a leaf or blossom at a time.

Storage: Stems will keep in a water-filled vase for a few days. Or store in the refrigerator by wrapping fresh leaves and flowers in a barely damp paper towel and tucking into a closed plastic bag or container. Use flowers within 2 days, leaves within 2 to 4 days. For longer storage, it is possible to dry leaves and blooms, but flavor is best fresh.

For more information, visit the Pineapple Sage page in our How to Grow section.

 

Nutrition Facts

1 tablespoon, dried:
  • Calories: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Dietary fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Vitamin A: 2% DV
  • Vitamin C: 1%
  • Vitamin K: 43%
  • Vitamin B6: 3%
  • Folate: 1%
  • Potassium: 1%
  • Manganese: 3%

Nutritional Information

Sage, a native Mediterranean herb, is known for both its culinary and medicinal purposes. Even its name refers to the herb’s believed healing powers; “sage” is derived from the Latin salvus, which means “safe.” A great source of Vitamin K, sage helps diminish the risk of blood clots, reduces blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and aids in bone strength. With a high presence of Vitamin B, sage is also good for the nervous system and helps the body metabolize proteins and sugar. Manganese, important in forming bones and some enzymes, is another element with high concentrations found in sage. Sage is slightly bitter, with a musty mint taste.