Propagating Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans) is one of my most favorite herbs.  It’s what I call a multi-dimensional plant.  It’s not only a great herb to use in fresh salads, cocktails, teas, pork and chicken marinades, cheeses and garnishes, but it also smells heavenly and  looks great in the herb or butterfly garden.  In fact, the Sulfur butterflies might actually love it more than me.  Late in the summer, when the pineapple sage blooms it’s lovely red, petite-trumpet petals the Sulfur butterflies flock to it.  As well, as the occasional hummingbird.  It’s certainly worth propagating to add a few plants outside of your traditional herb garden.

 

IMG_1763-768x1024Like most of the Lamiaceae Family (mint family), Pineapple Sage is easy to propagate. Since Pineapple Sage can’t survive our Zone 7 winters.  I always bring a plant inside the greenhouse  to over winter, but you don’t have to have a greenhouse to keep your pineapple sage going.  A nice sunny window or grow light works well, too.

To propagate,  I like to take a few cuttings and simply place them in a clear plastic or glass container of water in a nice warm, sunny spot. (I recycle plastic water bottles to use for my cuttings.)

 

New Pineapple Sage cuttings placed in water.

New Pineapple Sage cuttings placed in water.

Then it’s just a matter of time.  Two or three weeks later, roots are visible. I’ve been told to take cuttings from new growth, but honestly I’ve taken cuttings from new and old, and they have all developed roots. Once the roots are two inches in length, I pot the plant in a mix of potting soil and vermiculite.

Newly rooted cuttings, just potted.

Newly rooted cuttings, just potted.

Then just give the new plantings time to flourish. Make sure to keep the soil moist and in a warm, bright location.  Below are the cuttings- one month later.

The same cuttings from above, just one month later.

The same cuttings from above, just one month later.

It’s still far too cold for these new babies to go out in the garden, but they will be a great size for instant impact in the herb and butterfly garden in a few months.  But remember, these sun-loving herbs can get up to 3 feet tall and wide.  Make sure they are placed in a spacious spot.  Also, they really need the sun to flower, at least 6 hours.

I always like to propagate a few extra plants.  They are great to share with friends.

 

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8 Replies to "Propagating Pineapple Sage"

  • comment-avatar
    Aunt Kathy February 4, 2016 (4:47 am)

    Amber, you re so clever . Your great grandma Fipps would be saying ‘I think that girl is taking after me’ I know that I ‘m proud of you I love you and Finn

  • comment-avatar
    Russ Bellinis April 6, 2019 (6:35 pm)

    In Southern Cali near the beach where temps seldom drop into the 40’s f. My pineapple sage planted in a drought tolerant front yard is over 6 feet tall right now!

  • comment-avatar
    Mikayla Jeane June 8, 2020 (9:49 pm)

    Finding this now, in the nick of time! Our pineapple sage plant has been having a really hard time lately, & began to get droopy, furled leaves. I hope that I took cuttings before it was too late for the plant to thrive propagated in water, but it slowly started to decline & I panicked, not knowing what to do. We sprayed fungicide & pest control solution, & also fed the plant water soluble nutrients, but no avail. Fingers crossed that these cuttings make it & sprout roots!

  • comment-avatar
    Sheelagh Roth September 29, 2020 (2:38 pm)

    tHANK YOU SO MUCH, i REALLY LIKE THIS PLAN AND I DID NOT WANT TO LOOSE IT.

  • comment-avatar
    Jamie Pate October 12, 2020 (8:27 pm)

    I love your write up. I have beautiful pineapple sage. It grows well it Texas. Thank you so much for all of this information. I use it in my herbal goat’s milk soaps.

  • comment-avatar
    Susan Lowry October 24, 2020 (2:45 pm)

    I’ve always propagated my pineapple sage using cuttings since it won’t make it through our cold winters – for at least 10 years. But since I moved to NY for some reason I have had a terrible time getting the cuttings to make roots. Last year only one cutting put out roots but I got it through and had a nice plant in the garden. So far this year none of the over 15 cuttings I’ve taken have rooted. They just drop their leaves and die. Today will be a killing frost so I cut the rest of the plant and really hope at least one of the cuttings will root. In Maine, I just put them in water and most of them rooted, I’d plant in potting soil and there were my plants for the next year. I know our water here has more minerals than our well water did in ME. Could that be the problem?

  • comment-avatar
    Elayne July 11, 2021 (3:39 pm)

    You mention mixing vermeculite with the soil, but that would make this edible plant toxic. Vermeculite contains asbestos. Do you mean pearlite?

    • comment-avatar
      Amber July 11, 2021 (5:39 pm)

      Hi Elayne,

      Thank you for your message. I certainly understand your concern, especially after the Libby, Montana Vermiculite mine which operated for some 70 years was discovered to have asbestos. It was marketed under Zonolite. Luckily not all Vermiculite contains asbestos. It’s certainly not mandatory in propagating Pineapple Sage if you have any concerns. Happy Gardening.

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