By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
The pineapple sage plant is found in gardens to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Salvia elegans is a perennial in USDA zones 8-11 and is often used as an annual in other places. The crushed plant leaves smell like pineapple, hence comes the common name of the pineapple sage plant. The easy care of pineapple sage is one more reason to have it in the garden.
Is Pineapple Sage Edible?
The fragrance may lead one to wonder is pineapple sage edible? Indeed it is. Leaves of the pineapple sage plant may be steeped for teas and the minty-tasting blossoms can be used as an attractive garnish for salads and deserts. Leaves are best used fresh.
Pineapple sage flowers may also be used in jelly and jam concoctions, potpourri, and other uses limited only by the imagination. Pineapple sage has long been used as a medicinal herb, with antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
How to Grow Pineapple Sage
Pineapple sage prefers a sunny location with well-draining soil that is consistently moist; established plants will tolerate drought conditions. Pineapple sage is a semi-woody sub shrub that can get as tall as four feet with red flowers that bloom in late summer to early fall.
Pineapple sage grows rapidly in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade. Those in more Northern zones may plant in a protected location, mulch in winter and experience perennial performance from the pineapple sage plant.
The tubular shaped flowers of the pineapple sage plant are a favorite of hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Include these in the butterfly garden or the herb garden, or plant in other areas where fragrance is desired. Combine this plant in groupings, with other sages for a plethora of flying friends in the garden.