To cut or not to cut pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)

ckim88(z7 South Korea)February 17, 2006

Hi, I have a potted pineapple sage plant. It is currently in an south-east facing enclosed balcony and managed to survive the winter.

The plant is now resuming growth.

The plant was neglected last year and looks very ugly with two stems that has leaves only at the top.

I want to cut the plant back to the ground and use the cuttings to make more plants. Would the original plant come back? How long would you think it will take to sprout?

Any help will be appreciated.

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Cuttings of pineapple sage root in about a week, depending on how fast the plant is growing. The stems that should be set in the sterile growing media (not water) should be both green and firm (not tip stems or covered with bark). The rooting medium should be soilless, like vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite.

Do not cut it back until you see apical growth at least start and do not cut it flush to the ground. You can take cuttings as long as you leave half of the green working leaves on the bush, otherwise you will set the old plant back

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 9:56AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Richard, I stuck a cutting of ours in the ground (in regular ol' amended clay soil) and it has rooted and is blooming already. Does a cutting grown in a soilless mix have a better life overall, or is that just the ideal way to start them? I've lost very few Salvia cuttings using my method (stick a cutting in the ground or in a pot of potting soil).


    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 1:40PM
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ckim88(z7 South Korea)

Thank you Richard for your advice.
My pineapple sage is now starting to bloom, so I guess I'll just leave it and wait for new growth to start near the base (that's what apical growth is right?).
Should I cut the tips of top growths in order to encourage bushiness? Right now the plant looks like two sticks stuck in the pot.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Apical growth is growth from the tips not the base. It's the nature of the beast to get leggy. Sugtest you start a few cuttings and pinch back the tips to encourage bushiness. Doubt if your leggy plant will throw basal growth but you might try cutting one stem back to see if new growth starts. If it doesn't, you'll have a topiary tree salvia.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:32PM
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CA Kate

Granted I live in California where rules are always broken, but I cut mine back to a few inches of stalk and they always come back -- if a frost didn't get them.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 9:28PM
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ckim88(z7 South Korea)

I'm going to a nearby herb farm that sells 3 inch pots of most herbs for about $1 this weekend. So I'll just take chances with this one at cut the stems to about 4 inches. With the new one I'll get I will pinch back :).
Thanks everyone for your advices.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:04AM
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