Pineapple sage

mehitabel(z6 MO)July 24, 2011

I had one of these 5 or so years ago that bloomed while still a fairly small plant. Hummingbirds loved it.

This year I have another one that I got in March or April. It's a water hog and a grow monster-- it's in a 14" pot right now and still needs water every day.

But no flowers! What in the world is wrong? It is getting full sun and lots of water, growing like crazy. Surely it should have bloomed by now?

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Dear Mehitabel,

Pinapple sage is a lot of fun.
Here are my tips to get it to bloom:
1) Give it time. Salvias where I live are something I consider fall bloomers. Those even that start early finish big. To paraphrase Ketzel Levine on the blososms of Salvia guarantica, they begin comfortably chatting in summer, and have quite a lively conversation going on by fall.
2) Lay off the nitrogen, and use a _balanced_ organic fertilizer. Keep in mind, salvia don't need a lot of fertilizer. Growing them lean, according to some at least, increases their fragrance, although I have always found that Pinapple sage in particular responds best to a little more rich treatment, especially growing in a cold winter climate.
In any case, Nitrogen - the first number - does little to promote bloom, it is the other two numbers that count here.
3) Try Spray n' Grow. Don't ask me how, or why, but it really does work.

Best wishes, and get back to us with some follow ups on how your plant prospers in the coming months.

Matt Di Clemente

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 3:50PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thanks for the reply, Matt. So it's a fall bloomer? I hadn't remembered that. I should have a lot of flowers then, I hope. It is *huge*. Can't wait to see the hummers on it.

About Spray N Grow-- I've often wondered whether it really worked, but never tried it. I guess I'll have to try it now :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 5:30PM
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Mehitabel, I had this plant last year and I noticed it to be a late bloomer in zone 7. Starts blooming around end of august and blooms all the way to Oct. The blooms are very pretty, dark red color flowers. I bought one this year and the plant is almost 3ft tall with lot of green and no sign of bud/blooms. it does attract bees in addition to humming birds. I have this plant in the ground and I do not worry about watering and I do not fertilize it either.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:56PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thanks, kandhi. So it *is* a fall bloomer. I just couldn't believe such a monster (it's at least 2' in diameter) wouldn't be blooming, but if it waits for fall, that accounts for it.

I thought about putting mine in the ground, but it got too big too fast. :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:39PM
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