Salvia elegans or Pineapple-scented Sage is native to Mexico. It is a tender perennial that will reach 3½ feet (1 m) tall in containers or in the ground. The 2-4 inch (5-10 cm) long ovate leaves have the scent of pineapple when crushed and are used fresh or dry as a seasoning. Salvia elegans has a milder and fruitier taste than garden sage. They are hardy in USDA zone 9 but can be grown in zone 7 as an annual.
Blooming Time: In the greenhouse, they bloom continuously from spring to fall. The bright red flowers are 1½ inches (4 cm) long and very showy.
Culture: Salvia elegans need full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil mix. We use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants in containers are allowed to dry in-between waterings and they are fertilized on a weekly basis during the growing season. During the winter months, we water only enough to keep the plants from wilting. When grown outside in zone 7, they need some protection from the hot west afternoon sun.
Propagation: Salvia elegans are propagated by cuttings or by seed.
Salvia elegans was featured as Plant of the Week March 28-April 3, 2003.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.