Is Pineapple sage winter hardy here in z7?

leighmac(z7 Mem)May 12, 2005

I have been wanting to try a pineapple sage and so I bought one yesterday (at Ike's, of all places!). It had a tag that said annual but the pot said perennial. I looked it up today and it says hardy to z8. Does anyone in west Tennessee, east Arkansas, or north Mississippi get this coming back year after year? I have other perennials that said z8 and they are fine, so I hope this one will overwinter too.



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CA Kate

I'm in zone 9 and it has to be a pretty warm winter for it to survive here..... I treat it as a huge annual.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 5:17PM
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trixylarue(z7 NC)

That is really interesting that yours do not come back in zone 9. This is one of my favorties and mine do come back here in 7a in NC - but the longest I have had one come back is three years (so far). However, mine also reseed. I was surveying my garden today after a three week trip and I found at least five little pineapple sage plants coming up several feet from last yeats plants (two of three plants from last year came back).

I have heard they are also easy to progagate from cuttings. You can try some extra insurance and root some cuttings in the fall.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 11:11PM
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CA Kate

We can get some freezing temps here in the winter. I have 'Honey Melon' that survives and reseeds, but then it's right up next to a huge rock that probably gives off residual heat.

I usually do take cuttings, but lost my plant last summer, so nothing to take cuttings from.... oh well.... they usually aren't that expensive.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:20AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Pineapple sage Salvia Elegans is considered a semitender perennial (hardy to about 20 degrees) here in Texas. And I read in another herb book that is zoned 9 to 10.

If you mulch really heavily, I'm sure that it will come back. That's just my guess though!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 12:14PM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

Who can ever tell with this salvia, zone 9a and not coming back and here at the southern edge of zone 6 one of mine did come back. Our low over the winter was 3 degrees. The one that did survive was under an overhang so remained fairly dry all winter, which helps. Its mate in the same situation a foot away did not survive. All my Black & Blues survived the winter, although a couple were really battered. But Salvia Greggii which is listed as hardier than pineapple sage gave up the ghost in a late February ice storm. So go figure

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 4:31PM
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I am in the Sandhills area and I have one that is 5yrs old.. We have heavy clay..

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:07PM
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I live in zone 7 and my pineapple sage did not return, much to my surprise and extreme annoyance. It was going on about four years though, so perhaps that is about average?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 4:50PM
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This year for the first time I had two overwinter, and they weren't in an especially protected area. There must have been something special about our NJ winter this year.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:27AM
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standard65(z6/7 nashville)

one came back here that was up against the south side of the house in a bed with decent drainage. the other two perished in a bed with more clay and poorer drainage out in the middle of the (south-facing) back yard.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 2:36AM
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Much to my surprise, the pineapple sage planted last year did come back in Jackson, TN. I mulched it with pine straw for the winter. This spring, it came back from the root of the old plant.

I even had enough to give a piece to my neighbor!

I'm sure it'll be fine in Memphis.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 4:04PM
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they're odd plants, so I take cuttings every year (like with my basil, they go in the kitchen window- DH promised to get me a greenhouse window in there sooner or later)

but about half the time, it survives- I've got sandy loam, and the yards are protected by the houses, so we have irises the first week of april, and roses in may some years :)

so your best bet is to hedge your bets, and both protect it for the winter, and take cuttings :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 2:11PM
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imarose_dig(so calif)

I have a 6 year old pineapple sage that thrives on the south side of the house in loose soil. it snows and the ground freezes but it doesn't bother the sage. i never feed it, never winterize it, and for 3 yrs it was abused from lack of water while we were gone. it is thriving now that we are back home.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 11:32PM
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I live in NC (zone 7/8). My pineapple sage has returned for the last three years in the same huge pot. It's in a pot that looks like terra cotta, but it's really a dense styrofoam. The pot comes up to just above my knee. I assume that the pot insulates fairly well. Also, the pot sits by the brick foundation of the house in full sun all day, on a brick patio. This year, the sage has been very slow to regrow, though. It comes back from the old root. I really love that plant. It's one of my very favorites, esp. in the fall when nothing else is blooming, and there's that beautiful huge plant, with the lovely red flowers peering out.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 12:06AM
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redpoppy215(8 TN)

How fun to find another Memphis person! Yes, pineapple sage can absolutely come back year after year here. It can also die out completely in some spots -- so it'll add a little bit of mystery to your bed: will it come back this year? Will it not? :)

I agree with what someone else suggested: leave it in the ground and hope it comes back, but also take some cuttings to keep inside over the winter, just in case it doesn't. I think you'll have good luck with it, though, if you find a good, warm spot for it, like in front of a south-facing wall. You might also try not cutting the stems back until spring.

Next time you're at the Memphis zoo, check out the several clumps of pineapple sage growing around the African veldt area. There's some in front of the bontebok antelope (right between some butterfly ginger and some zebra grass, which all makes a beautiful combination, by the way, in the fall), and some on the opposite side in front of the Nile Lechwe antelope and the ostriches. Those have all been coming back faithfully for years. They probably receive some protection from the low concrete wall back behind them.

Remember in the spring that they come up kinda late, so don't give up if you don't see them sprouting immediately. And if you DO lose it over the winter, get some more and try it again! Luckily the plants are easy to find at almost every nursery, home improvement store, and local plant sale. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 10:51AM
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