Pineapple sage

July 20, 2005

I am growing the most beautiful pineapple sage plant (bought it because I fell in love with it's look and smell). Just wondering if others are growing, and what possible uses it can have?

Comments (39)

  • Heathen1

    I googled and found this....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pineapple sage recipes

  • christiemoreen

    I made a walnut & pineapple sage paste (I got the recipe from this forum--it was for regular sage). I used 2 cups walnuts, 2 cups (packed) p. sage leaves, 3 cloves garlic, 1/3 to 1/2 cup walnut oil. It's wonderful on pork and chicken. I also sauteed some leeks in butter, added white wine and the walnut/p. sage paste and used it as a topping for grilled salmon: heavenly!

    A coworker of mine puts a few leaves in a pitcher of lemonade; I haven't tried it yet, but can't wait...

    By the way, is pineapple sage hardy? Will it be a perennial in my zone 8/pacific nw garden? (This is the first year I've grown it...)

  • garnetmoth

    you mean its more than just pretty and a wonderful hummingbird attractant?>! rock!

  • Heathen1

    It should be hardy... maybe you could keep some of the rain off it? culinary Sage likes it on the drier side of life...

  • nygardener

    Unlike garden (culinary) sage, pineapple sage isn't very hardy.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Is Pineapple sage winter hardy?

  • Heathen1

    The person asking is in zone 8... where I'd think too much rain would be the most problem.

  • christiemoreen

    Thanks for the hardiness information everyone! Our winters are very wet, probably more than most zone 8 regions, but we'll see what happens...

  • whitejade

    I like to make tea from this sage's also great in a combination of other herbs for tea like lemon verbena...

  • Missouri_Greenwitch

    I believe that pineapple sage is primarily for adoration. Few herbs have the heady scent and visual beauty of this plant!! I have planted a whole wine barrel of different kind of sage plants, and pineapple is Queen! greenwitch

  • breezyb

    I've used both leaves & flowers in herbal teas, & have used the flowers as plate garnishes & in fruit salads.

  • bigred

    For years,I had a hedge of pineapple sage I grew from seed. Had to cut it down this year to put up another greenhouse but took lots of cuttings.


  • Daisyduckworth

    Pineapple sage or Fruit Salad Sage can be used to add extra flavour to a fruit salad. Or thread onto skewers between meat and vegetables to add flavour to kebabs. The flowers can be added to drinks, jellies, jams, desserts and fruit salad.

    Use the fresh leaves to add an interesting flavour to teas, fruit drinks, fruit dishes and salads. Use the sweet flowers as an edible garnish, in salads, sandwiches and desserts. Batter leaves, fry and serve with cream. Good with chicken, cheese and in jams. Thread leaves between meat and mushrooms, onions or capsicum on kebabs.

    Use branches for wreaths and leaves in potpourris.

    It's almost a weed in my part of the world, and has made it to the 'gotta keep an eye on this stuff' list of the local authorities. I got rid of mine because it was threatening to take over my tiny garden. Those flowers are so pretty, though! It needs a lot more water than other salvias, and can take a LOT of it.

  • vieja_gw

    I have grown both pineapple sage (red flowers) and mexican sage (blue flowers) and once in awhile the pineapple sage will winter over (Zone 7). Glad to see how I can use it as flavoring now!

  • CA Kate z9

    Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) is a tender perennial in my zone 9 garden. It survives winter only if it's in a sheltered spot and it doesn't get too cold (below 45º). I've always found that this Salvia likes it's regular watering, but needs the soil well-drained .... like ALL it's cousins. And, I can't wait to try some of the recipes already given.

  • CA Kate z9

    Christiemoreen: Have you ever made the above recipe with regular garden Sage (Salvia officinalis)?

  • evasage

    I have pineapple sage that has wintered over here for the past four years. I always take cuttings every fall just in case. The cuttings root easily using rooting harmone and sticking the cuttings in very wet vermiculite over the winter. I keep my cuttings on my glassed in porch over the winter where it is cool but not freezing. In early spring they have rooted enough to pot.

  • PurpleRainbow

    Today I put some bruised PS leaves in a glass of water and it added a wonderful hint of flavor. I think I'll go get some more and use boiling water, ice it, see how that works, I think I'll get more flavor. I'm trying PS with peppermint leaves in my sun tea. You all made me realize what an asset I was letting go to waste. Thanks! How's it work if minced and mixed in cream cheese, anyone know?

  • Janine Starykowicz

    First time with PS, I have it in a pot that is 12" diameter and 11" high. Is this big enough? I have to water it constantly or it withers, but perks back up with water. Will it survive in my semi-heated (50-60 degrees) basement over the winter? I used a soil-less potting mix, think it was MiracleGro Moisture Control.

  • whiteelk

    The native americans use it for smudging their souls and we use them with other natural herbs to make our sun teas.
    White Elk

  • PurpleRainbow

    jrstark, how often is constantly? I'm willing to water potted plants outdoors one, maybe two, times a day if the weather is hotter and drier than usual, othewise my plants have to go in bigger pots; normally I try to not have to water more than twice a week. Looking at the size of my PS in the ground I think the smallest pot I'd be willing to use would be about the size of a 5 gal. bucket but larger would definitely be better. Now that I've thought some more, I really think you need something larger than a 12" pot.

  • idgy

    Awesome info about the pineapple sage. I will take some cuttings to try and winter over as it may not make it here in z6. This summer is dry and brutal - and it thrives on. The leaves do indeed make a yummy tea- especially with a little peppermint thrown in. It has not bloomed yet, sounds as if my hummers will love it as much as the bee balm. Thanks again.

  • angel312

    Seems as though I'm hearing mixed reviews with the Salvia Elegans (PS). Hmmm, hate to experiment with my mother's day present, so maybe I will try it in a pot first and set it outdoors and take it from there. I see that people don't post what zone they are in and it would help if I knew this as I read your posts. If you say it grows fine for you, I don't know where YOU are. Now, I didn't check people's profiles and maybe it's in there....but hate to do it with each and every post when there is a place for it on the post? Really don't mean to complain, It's just that I have a severe back injury and if I'm going to do this, I want to make sure it's going to work and save me down the road. Thanks for listening. I really am not trying to be a pain or offend, just honest.

  • eibren

    Pineapple sage can easily fill an entire whiskey barrel in the course of a summer if it gets the growing conditions that it likes. One summer I had some in a stainless steel tub with a hole in the bottom (it's some sort of kitchen equipment I bought at a yard sale). The tub was easily the diameter of a whiskey barrel, if not wider and deeper.

    At the end of that summer, the pineapple sage totally covered the top of the tub, but was lapping well over the edge, and when I tried to take the soil out for re-use, it was SOLID with pineapple sage roots inside, which were curving around the sides trying to get out! If I did not live in a zone where it dies in winter, I would never, ever plant it directly in the ground, until I had grown it for a few seasons in a very large container to see just how far it wanted to spread.

    That was in a condition with some shade from morning and late afternoon sun.

    On use as a beverage, I was always a bit disappointed with it until I read, in an old book on herbs, the recommendation that it be used with pineapple mint--the one with the white varegation. The writer explained that pineapple sage has wonderful fragrance, but little flavor, whereas the reverse is true of pineapple mint. I tried this, and together they make a very satisfying herbal tea.
    (To my surprise, the pineapple mint wintered over in two pots I made up last summer, and has them completely filled already this spring :o) ).

    (Angel, the zone that most of the posters are in is part of their posting info, and if they included that when they registered it is right next to their name, in black, as "z5'" etc.)

  • saintpaulia

    I love it if for nothing else, it's unique. I made some gourmet cherries jubilee the other day with fresh cherries from FIL's orchard, and I added pineapple sage blossoms to the mint leaves as a garnish.

  • CA Kate z9

    ooooh.... that would be so pretty! I suppose one could throw those into a salad too. Thanks for the idea.

  • rebbe

    Pineapple sages is great in salads, especially fruit salads, tea, and cold drinks in summer. I've also served it with dark chocolate with great success. Use it in your garden, along with Mexican sage to attract hummingbirds.

  • fisannie

    Dry the leaves and use them in pot pourri. Put some leaves in a simmer pot for aroma. I do that with a lot of herbs.

  • californian

    My pineapple sage died, so I never got to try it for cooking. But I believe I read after I bought it that it is not for culinary use. They had all sorts of different sages at the Fullerton Arboretum plant sale, and I took a little taste of each one and none of them tasted good to me. What kind of sage is the kind you use for stuffing and gravy?

  • iloveherbs

    I have grown Pineapple Sage for years. It is a great addition to any herbal garden (however it requires a lot of space since it becomes a very large and very beautiful plant.)
    If you haven't used the "Herb Companion" here is a link to an article on that site that will tell you most of what you want to know.
    Think of Pineapple Sage as a very exotic plant that will add much to your life.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Herbal Companion

  • tropicalparadise

    thanks for all these wonderful ideas. can't wait to use my pineapple sage!

  • dicot

    I'm not a fan of eating the leaf, but the flowers are spectacular. After tasting flowers from both the white sages and pineapples in my yard, I have a hard time not just grazing on all the flowers as they bloom (and sometimes the hummingbirds will actually get territorial over it).

    I can be a bit of a broken record on this, but I've said before at GW that home gardeners are really shorting themselves if they don't let brassicas flower and pick them like peas or feast on the spiciness of basil or cilantro flowers after bolting - when 1000 wrong publications will tell you to quickly toss the veggie or herb. Certain fresh, green seeds are great too, like dill, mullein and borage. All flavors you'll never find in a store and seldom even a farmers' market.

    And for Valentines day, mustard flowers were a Roman aphrodisiac, ginger flower petals an Asian one. For less romance and more science, the lining of banana peels are a huge source of precursors to dopamines, your brain's real sex drug.

  • saj519

    It's divine in bread. over a double boiler, heat 1 tsp of butter, 1 tsp of olive oil and as much pineapple sage as you like, add the mixture to the flour before you add your activated yeast.

  • jeanwedding

    mine overwintered just fine. course it was close to reg sage ( big plant and close to bags of [pine needles

  • jh623_frontier_com

    I chopped some leaves and add to a box of Stove top stuffing and served with pork loin. It was delish. Even my picky 16 year old grandson liked it.

  • neohippie

    I just got a new pineapple sage plant. I had one a few years ago planted in the ground, but it was killed by a hard freeze. In my area it will probably be ok most winters, but then there's that one unusually cold winter where it gets below 20 or something and that does it in.

    I put my new plant in a pot, so if I need to I can take it inside for a night or two.

    It also seems to need more water than regular sage. But a little extra pampering is worth the wonderful scent and flowers.

  • greentiger87

    It makes a much better tea when cold steeped, imho.

  • debra3453_yahoo_com

    I am not a big fan of the usual smell of sage. Too strong for me. I have used this plant chopped up into everything. . I have chopped it up with chives into cottage cheese. I put it with absolutely every other herb I have out there. Will have to try the rooting thing.

  • slkgreen60_yahoo_com

    I live in australia and here the pineapple sage is very hardy. I made the mistake of planting it in my herb garden and it is now 5' high and 5' in diameter and it is the only thing left in that herb garden. it strangled everything else. I had to put in another herb garden for the other herbs lol. it survives heavy rains and scorching heat waves. it flowers and grows winter and summer, whatever season it just keeps growing!! but I wouldn't trade it for anything, especially on warm summer evenings when the sun warmed fragrance perfumes the air, I love sitting next to that herb garden. I use it in so many dishes! it is the most wonderful plant! not only do I use the leaves in cooking but I also use the flowers in salads, and I also pick the stems, both flowers and leaves, and put them in vases around the house, the fragrance is just so wholesome and fresh, and gives such a feeling of being on holidays to your home (hope u know what I mean by that lol - kind of like being in a tropical resort). I warm extra virgin olive oil and steep dehydrated leaves and flowers in it for up to a week, then strain and use it in oil burners or with wine vinegar as a salad dressing! so versatile!

  • u2dan

    I grabbed a clipping of pineapple sage that was growing outdoors on an island in Maine, says the zone is 4 or 5. Not sure how this was growing outside as a perennial there, but I know no one was caring for it as everyone leaves the area for the fall/winter. Im curious to know if anyone in lower zones have success without over wintering? I wonder if my sage will be hardy, I am sure its gone through many many winters up in Maine.
    I live on the Massachusetts coast so its a tad warmer in the winter, but not by much.

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