Herb Series: Pineapple Sage

To all the folks pursuing an edible landscape this year - Pineapple sage or Salvia Elegans has your name on it. If you have never grown this before you are in for an incredible joy. The first year I grew it I thought it was just a variant of sage kind of like Pineapple Tomatillos are a variation of the regular tomatillos. Well the herb shot up and before I knew it, it was bursting with the most vivid Scarlet flowers that were truly breathtaking. As if that were not enough I found myself cutting it and making tea almost every day because - IT TASTES JUST LIKE PINEAPPLE! It’s delicious and is as beautiful as many other perennial flowers that you can’t eat. It is respectable enough for the front yard, gets some good height (about 24-36 inches as an annual but can get up to 5 feet as a perennial) and is prolific. It is an annual for us in Colorado zone 5b but last year I made the most wonderful pineapple sage vinegar with it right before the first frost and the flowers kept their color making beautiful Christmas gifts (recipe on my website). If you want to grow it from seed start it indoors so it has enough time to bloom before the frost. I bought plants when they were small and inexpensive. At the end of the season, you can easily propagate cuttings in water to transplant and bring indoors and then transplant outside the following year making them quite economical. Everyone says to grow it in full sun but mine was in part shade and it exploded with growth. Give it a try this summer, you won’t be disappointed!

Christina Manning Lebek