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Old 07-20-2020, 08:58 AM
 
1,117 posts, read 1,469,218 times
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I really like fresh sage (and it is even more divine when fried and added as a garnish). For some reason I was unable to find starter common/garden sage plants this year at any of the many local garden centers I visited. They only carried Pineapple Sage this time, so I bought and planted one in my garden.

I wish I had kept it in a pot. It is a really vigorous grower and is taking over that part of the garden no matter how enthusiastically I lop off the branches. I quit watering it and hoped it would die off since my area is officially in drought conditions. If anything, that only encouraged it.

I read online that Pineapple Sage is supposed to be a delicious savory herb that smells like Pineapple. Mine doesn't. I have tried brewing the leaves in tea, adding them to recipes, etc. The problem is that my Pineapple Sage smells and tastes just generally "leafy", as if it was any random collection of leaves I pulled off vegetation growing by the side of the road. No good taste in salads, no good smell, no good taste cooked as a green or brewed as a tea. I wondered if the garden center I purchased this from had accidentally sold me a common weed, so I took a sample to the expert garden center nearby. They confirmed it was Pineapple Sage.

I paid good money for this thing and I would like to do something useful with the boughs that I whack off of it beside just toss them on my compost pile. I really really hope that it is not a perennial in zone 7B.

Has anyone else noticed that their Pineapple Sage has no distinct smell or taste? Is there anything useful I can do with this untasty thing beside keep whacking it to the roots and toss the stalks and leaves onto my compost pile and pray that winter kills it off? It's in my herb bed so I really don't want to saturate the space with Roundup.
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:40 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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So if you want it dead what is stopping you from digging or pulling the whole plant, roots and all, up out of the ground and tossing it? Or why not dig it up and transplant it to some location in full sun where it can't crowd out any other plants?

There are several varieties of pineapple sage now so it's possible you bought one of the new hybrid varieties that doesn't have much scent or flavour. And maybe yours isn't getting enough hours of sunlight? Many hours of full uninterrupted sunlight - 10 or more hours per day - is what brings out the scent and flavour. But it will still possess the typical medicinal properties that all pineapple sage is noted for. Traditionally among indigenous peoples the plant is mainly used for medicinal purposes, not for cooking or flavouring (except for the flowers which have a strong flavour). Pineapple sage has a lot of medicinal properties, chiefly being used as anti-depressant, anti-anxiety or anti-hypertensive, and for lowering high blood pressure.

Also, the fresh leaves of the plant can be bruised and rubbed onto the skin to repel mosquitoes. I also use the dried twigs and leaves for smudging outdoors to discourage biting insects in summer evenings and the smell of the smudge smoke from the smouldering leaves does have a mild citrus, sage and pineapple scent to it. The burning twigs smell more like that of white sage smouldering.

I have 6 pineapple sage plants growing and thriving in all day full southern exposure and nearly drought conditions on top of a big ant hill about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long. Lord knows how deep into the ground the ant mound goes. In summer the plants get around 16 - 18 hours of uninterrupted daily sun light in my location. The leaves smell mildly like pineapple when rubbed or brushed up against and they have a slight flavour that tastes like a combination rather like rose petals and citrus. Most definitely NOT savoury. But it's so mild it is barely noticeable unless cooked or else steeped for several minutes in piping hot water for tea. Then you can taste it and smell the scent more strongly, the heat brings it out.

Now the flowers (which are also edible) are a different story, they have a strong citrus scent and a fruity, almost minty lemony pineapple flavour overlaid with the strong taste of minty sweet nectar. The flowers leave a long lasting after-taste in the mouth and tongue that is of pineapple and sweet nectar. They are good for flavouring and garnishing foods or for making tea or cold beverages out of them, plus they possess the same medicinal properties that the leaves have. The flowers are brilliant scarlet red and chock-a-block full of nectar which is the main reason I planted the pineapple sage, to attract hummers and other pollinators to the garden.

.
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:31 PM
 
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I bought the same thing and thought hummingbirds would like it but after 3-4 months not a bloom in sight. Mine is not tasteless and does have a pleasant smell a slight bit on the pineapple side (my nose can smell things other humans can't) but I already have other herbs I like cooking with so rarely think of using it. YES it is vigorous, but not yet invasive. If it would bloom as it is supposed to it would be wonderful. It will be removed if it doesn't step it up.
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:21 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkletwinkle22 View Post
I bought the same thing and thought hummingbirds would like it but after 3-4 months not a bloom in sight. Mine is not tasteless and does have a pleasant smell a slight bit on the pineapple side (my nose can smell things other humans can't) but I already have other herbs I like cooking with so rarely think of using it. YES it is vigorous, but not yet invasive. If it would bloom as it is supposed to it would be wonderful. It will be removed if it doesn't step it up.
They won't start blooming until autumn and then they will bloom steadily for nearly 3 months. Which is one of the reasons they are great plants for autumn migrators that need nectar during their migration. Pineapple sage is a photoperiodic plant, otherwise known as a short day plant, that means the bloom time of short day plants is entirely seasonally dependent on the shorter hours of daylight they get at specific seasons.

In the case of photoperiodic pineapple sage they won't even start the blooming process until after a notable decrease in the number of daylight hours towards the end of summer as days begin to more rapidly get shorter and shorter.

Being subject to photoperiodism means their blooming is also dependent on there being NO artificial light interference at night. No light pollution. Not ever. No street lights, no porch lights, no indoor lights coming through house windows, no solar lights along walk ways, no patio or pool lights left on overnight, no security lights that go on and off frequently at night, etc. That's one of the reasons why I planted mine on top of the big ant mound, because the ant mound is the very darkest location on the property at night, it gets no artificial light pollution or interference from any light source at night, not even moonlight on mine. If they get too much light at night throughout the year they won't ever bloom at all.

To the best of my knowledge there is only one hybrid variety of pineapple sage that blooms in spring instead of autumn, all the others bloom in autumn.

Here, read this about photoperiodism so you understand better, my explanation is limited and not very scientific: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoperiodism

.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:06 PM
 
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We always have one foe hummingbirds. Non have been invasive. Yes, they get big and bushy and once it cools don they explode with bright red flowers. Have not found much use for the leaves but have a very distinct pineapple smell.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:27 AM
 
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Thanks everyone.

Zoisite - I particularly appreciate your detailed information but CD won't let me rep you again.

Yeah, I thought about digging it up. Unfortunately I left my spade in the front yard for a few hours while I ran errands. Some passer by liked the looks of it and off it went. Sigh. I have another one on order from Gardeners.com and resolve not to let it lie around where passers by can see it.

I think your observations are spot on. The bush in the present location gets about 6-7 hours of sunlight. That's dropping as the days grow shorter. So, based on what you said, I guess there's insufficient sunlight in that spot to develop a distinct taste and scent. Also based on what you said, I will never get flowers from this plant. Sure, I can move it to a sunnier spot once I clear a spot out of the Pampas grass that invaded my yard while it sat empty last year. Hence the need for a good root spade. But, all my yard is illuminated all night by the bright street lamps in the area, so it never gets completely dark. Once I get a new spade and put the work into clearing a patch of the Pampas grass, I will try moving it. I will try the tea again, but will have to combine it with something else in order to get any taste out of it. I will let the Pineapple Sage and Pampas Grass wrestle it out as to who overpowers who.

Thank you again for the detailed info.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
28,467 posts, read 27,251,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkletwinkle22 View Post
I bought the same thing and thought hummingbirds would like it but after 3-4 months not a bloom in sight. Mine is not tasteless and does have a pleasant smell a slight bit on the pineapple side (my nose can smell things other humans can't) but I already have other herbs I like cooking with so rarely think of using it. YES it is vigorous, but not yet invasive. If it would bloom as it is supposed to it would be wonderful. It will be removed if it doesn't step it up.
You'll love this story!

https://awaytogarden.com/pineapple-s...-late-bloomer/
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:21 PM
 
1,075 posts, read 469,635 times
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Gerania

Thanks for the link. I'm zone 7 to 8 so hope the hummers are still here when it blooms.
They are in my yard every day, the previous owner had a feeding station so we inherited them along with nesting bluebirds.

Mother Earth News says not to dry pineapple sage as it becomes tasteless when dried. Better have a great fall display lol.
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