Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pretty picture: Salvia elegans flowers

I really love pineapple sage, mostly for the smell, but the flowers are nice also. The only disappointing part is that they do not, in fact, cause a cloud of hummingbirds to materialize out of thin air, as many people suggest on-line, and as salespeople will tell you in person.

Not that I mind making my own hummingbirds. It just seems a little misleading, that's all.

Because I like the plant, I intend to try to overwinter it. We were never very good at doing this at work (it was usually a technical success but a practical failure: the plants would be alive, but hideous and unsellable unless we cut them back, which we always did too late because there was so much other stuff happening), but it's done so well for itself that I feel I owe it at least a solid chance.

Things haven't been working out, so far. I've already forgotten to water, and it's dropped a lot of leaves. Maybe it would be a good idea to take some cuttings to try to root, as insurance, but everything I could take as a cutting now has a flower spike (or at least buds) on it, which makes me not want to cut it off very badly.

Just an experiment anyhow. I'll buy another in the spring if this doesn't work. Maybe I'll buy several, actually. The smell really is nice.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some hummingbirds to whittle.


Sue Swift said...

Just went out on the balcony and realised that I too had completely forgotten to water the orange pansies I put in last weekend. I hope they - and your Salvia - make it.

Nell Jean said...

The teeniest little tips of Pineapple sage will root and grow on quickly through the winter, rewarding you with blossoms before the days lengthen in the spring.

our friend Ben said...

I overwinter mine in the greenhouse, Mr. S., where it's darn cold and I'm not great at slogging through the snow to water. But they're hardy plants, and as you say, I cut them back in the spring and they come back on strong. Mine haven't ever attracted hummingbirds, either (sob), but like you, I love the way the foliage smells, and they do bloom for me pretty consistently while they're wintering in the greenhouse. I wouldn't want to be without them, or fruit-scented sage, for that matter.