hardiness of pineapple sage?

mfliegner(z5MI)August 2, 2005

Based on the repeated recommendations from this site, I went looking for Jacob Cline bee balm and pineapple sage, which I could not find in any local nursery, so I looked online. Big Dipper Farm in WA lists Salvia elegans as hardy to zone 5, and Bluestone Perennials has it listed as zone 9,10. Help! As I am zone 5, I would like to know if I am buying an annual or perennial. Just another thought - could I start Jacob Cline from seed now or is it too late? Thanks!

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Pineapple Sage is an annual in Zone 5, but worth planting every year. I can usually find it among the herbs at the local nursery.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 8:59PM
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pineapple sage is an annual I don't know who listed it as a perennial except the northwest is north and west but is zone 8 so is Vancouver Canada. I think it has something to do with the pacific version of the gulph stream which makes England mild. I'm sure you could start jacob cline beebalm by seed but I have no idea how I bought mine at a local nursery on sale in August. You could try by the name Monarda didyma although the hummers seem to prefer jacob cline they also like the species monarda didyma it just isn't as well behaved as jacob cline which is more mildew resistant. Good luck if you lived nearby I would give you a clump. Sarah

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:15PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

There have been some instances where Pineapple sage has been reported to have overwinter in zone 5 but I think it must have been in a very protected area. I am experimenting with mine this year. I planted it in a raised bed on the southwestern side of my house right next to the house. I am not really expecting it to survive but I can usually find it in the herb section at local nurseries also.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 10:05AM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

You could also plant one in a big pot, and in the fall pull into the garage when a frost or freeze is in the forecast. It is not unusual, at least down here in NJ, to get just one or two frosts before mid November, and all it takes is one to stop Pineapple Sage dead in its tracks. This will be my first year trying this method, which I'm also using for Salvia Leucantha, so we'll see how it goes. I'm tired of seeing these sages cut to the ground just as they begin to show their stuff.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 10:15AM
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I have over wintered Pineapple sage in the ground several years when it didn't get below -10. It needs at least a foot of mulch. I used oak leaves. It seemed slow to break dormancy. Give it a try, it may surprise you.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 4:40PM
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bobky(z6 Ky)

In Northern climes it's so slow to blossom, I wonder how useful it is. We managed to overwinter some in a pot that we took inside,then planted it this year;but, it still had no flowers yet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 5:04PM
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Thanks to everyone for clarifying. I think it might not be worthwhile for us in zone 5. Luckily, there are many other hummer friendly plants!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 7:53PM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

One last comment about overwinter pineapple sage. For me the overwintered plants lack the vigor of fresh plants from cuttings. The one that survived last winter is only about a foot tall, while one of the ones in a pot is over a yard tall. I am running into some sort of nutrient problem, all three plant's leaves are showing dark red pattern. This is also true to a lesser degree on the leucanthas. Maybe I shouldn't have filled the pot with composted stable stuff which contained a large percentage of wood shavings?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 9:13AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

My pineapple sage that was in a large pot last year got at least 4 ft. tal and as wide as the pot would allow. The one in the ground is barely 2ft tall right now and about 2ft. wide but much thicker stems. I will probaby take a cutting or two but last year my hummers left a day or two before my plant started to bloom. If they leave before this one blooms I will not replant next year.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 7:40AM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

I don't blame you Penny. With so many beautiful and long blooming sages around, it is hard to justify growing this plant. However, the only Rufous I ever had came to the Pineapple Sage in an exceptional year when there were no hard frosts until about November - not something that would happen in upstate New York. So I'll see how the potted ones bloom and how long I can keep them going.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 8:44AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I am more than happy with the early blooming salvias, jacob's cline, coral honeysuckle and my agastaches and so are my hummers. As long as I have plenty of those then I can afford to trial other plants but the staples have first dibs on the best planting areas. The nice thing about the salvias and agastaches and penstemons is that they are relatively carefree.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 9:41AM
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This is my first year to try Pineapple Sage. I have them in large containers on my patio. I'm hoping they will bloom before all the hummers are gone. Whether they do or not though, I will probably not try to keep them over winter. But I may buy new ones in the spring. They grow so fast, it's really not worth it to keep them.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 5:29PM
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