Questions regarding salvia elegans

malcolm.greenDecember 25, 2012

Hello fellow gardeners

This year I planted a pineapple sage nearby my japanese maple and fell in love with its aroma and general appearance. The red flower spikes also attracted the most butterflies of any of my plants this year.

To the point- I live in zone 8a, recently upgraded from 7b. I wanted to know if I can expect my sage to come back again in the spring. As of now, it's about a 3' wide 3' tall woody skeleton with no leaves... Is it normal for this to happen during a cold period? Is it deciduous in my zone? Or should I plan on purchasing another to grow as an annual this year?

Thanks for any tips/advice!

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desertsage(7b USDA Sunset 10)

I am in a warm 7b, and I keep Salvia elegans in pots. In pots the habit of Pineapple sage is to send out new shoots around the same time it blooms. So I like to keep the new shoots frost free. Lots of gardeners treat it as an annual, and some complain that the blooms are gone by early fall. Cuttings really root very easily.

The photo was taken 28 November, I wheel the pots out of my barn, most days during winter.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by desertsage on Wed, Dec 26, 12 at 8:25

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:17AM
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Mine have survived at least ten years in zone 8b, in heavy, wet clay soil without any pampering, pruning, or special care. They look exactly like you describe after the first hard frost- a (soft) woody skeleton.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 3:37PM
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That's interesting that your potted pineapple sage tends to send out new shoots around the time it blooms... I planted mine in the ground April of this year and it created a huge amount of foliage before the blooms finally came around mid August. I'm excited to see how big it will get as the years go on. It was one of those impulse buys I didn't think much of and turned out to be one of my favorites.

Thanks for the reassurance basil. Mine are planted in heavy clay too and it seemed to thrive this entire year.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 9:40PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

What part of the USA are each of you located? It makes a difference if you are in an arid or subtropical area, since moisture content of air has a big effect on nighttime temperatures, which in turn have a big effect on hardiness.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:00PM
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I'm in N. California Sierra Nevada foothills. Typically very damp in winter, very dry in summer.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:55PM
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