Is your herb garden a monochrome of green? Want to add a pop of color and enchant diverse pollinators, from butterflies to hummingbirds?
Then Pineapple sage is the destined herb for you. Let’s discover more about how to grow pineapple sage from cuttings.
If you want your garden to smell like a fresh pineapple haven and reap all the benefits of pineapple sage, then propagating them would be wise.
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It is named pineapple sage because of the sweet pineapple fragrance that the leaves emit.
Moreover, it is not just a pretty pollinator plant but has many benefits, like medicinal, herbal, and culinary importance.
Pineapple sage is easy to propagate and care for, so it is often considered a beginner’s favorite.
It requires a humid environment with an abundance of morning sun and afternoon shade and watering at regular intervals to thrive and conquer your herb garden.
Unlike some other plants, there is a very high chance of survival for each propagated plant because pineapple sage is easy to handle.
Therefore, with some handful tips and smidgen care, it is effortless to multiply this plant.
Today we will explore the best and most convenient way of growing pineapple sage, i.e., by stem cuttings or propagation through stems.
Table of Contents
- Reasons to Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
- Best Growing Media for Pineapple Sage Cuttings
- Best Time to Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
- Best Potting Mixture for Pineapple Sage
- Materials Required
- Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
- Care for New Pineapple Sage Pups
- To Conclude
Reasons to Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
While raising a sage plant, you have two options: grow it from seeds or propagate it from stem cuttings of an extant plant.
I find it easier to grow pineapple sage from cuttings and inexpensive compared to germination by seeds.
- Germinating plants through a seed needs meticulous care and detailed observation as they are delicate.
- When planting through seeds, you may not always find authentic sage seeds, so it would be a total waste of time trying to cultivate seeds that cannot germinate.
- Growing pineapple sage from cutting is reliable and inexpensive as you can always cut some stems to propagate, and you don’t have to worry about searching for viable seeds.
- Preparing the medium is comparatively easier while propagating rather than growing it from seeds.
- Processes like stratification are required while germinating seed, which is comparatively more complex than propagating the cuttings.
- Various varieties of pineapple sage exist, and growing some types of hybrid vigor is only possible through propagation.
- The time required for the seed to turn into a fully grown plant is about two years, but through propagation, it shortens to just about several weeks or a few months.
So, growing pineapple sage by cutting is economical, cost-effective, labor-saving, and time-saving compared to seeding.
Best Growing Media for Pineapple Sage Cuttings
Both soil and water serve as proper growing media. But, there is a high rate of success while propagating in water.
Propagating the cutting in water media will enhance the ability of the root to absorb nutrients through both water and soil in later stages, and it is relatively easier to follow up.
Also, you can observe the gradual growth of the roots when propagated in water.
Best Time to Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
The tubular scarlet red flower-producing plant grows primarily in zone 8-10. The plant can flourish almost any time of the year except in the frost or colder climates.
Any growing season is suitable for the propagation of pineapple sage cuttings.
However, it is best to propagate sage cuttings in the spring or early summer if you live in colder climates because they cannot survive and die because of frost.
Thus, spring after fall is the best season to propagate pineapple sage for an early and healthy start.
Best Potting Mixture for Pineapple Sage
The most crucial factor to consider is well-draining soil.
The important thing while making a potting mix is to make sure that you use fresh soil. If you don’t use fresh soil, there may be the presence of some pathogens which may infect the cutting as the root is yet to be developed.
Also, do not overuse organic matter, as it may cause waterlogging. So, about 1-2 inches layer of the organic mixture at the bottom and sandy soil mix as a top layer will provide good drainage and proper absorption of nutrients.
Some best available potting mixes for Pineapple sage are:
Make your Own Potting Mix
If you don’t want to spend money on commercial soil mix, simply follow my instructions to make your own healthy soil mix for your pineapple sage plant.
The potting mixture required for the propagation of the cuttings generally consists of coco-peat, perlite, and compost.
- Cocopeat – Helps to retain moisture and maintain the humid condition
- Perlite – Helps in good drainage and increases porosity
- Compost – Helps in providing necessary nutrients required for the development
Follow these steps to make the homemade potting mix.
- Start with the soil in your garden. Remove dirt, stones, wood fragments, or anything that might infect the root system.
- Allow this soil to dry in the sun for a few days to kill any grub or fungal spore found in the soil.
- Add an equal amount of River sand to make it light, loose, and well-drained. Add half a cup of coco peat and half a cup of organic compost. It will feed the plant and nurture the soil for a long time.
- Add one spoonful of any contact fungicide and thoroughly combine everything.
- Add some old organic compost or kitchen trash to the bottom and top of this soil mix before and after planting.
- Organic compost will progressively hydrate the soil while also nourishing the plant. It will also help reduce the need for frequent watering on hot summer days.
For the propagation of ponytail palm plants from cuttings, you may need the following materials:
- Pineapple sage Plant
- Sterilized hand pruners
- Terracotta Pot
- Rooting hormones
- Potting mixture
Grow Pineapple Sage from Cuttings
Follow the steps below for the successful propagation of pineapple sage from cuttings:
Step 1: Take the Cutting from an Existing Plant
Choose a healthy and disease-free existing plant. Then after sterilizing the hand pruners with rubbing alcohol or any other sterilizer, you can select a twig with no competing bud or flowers.
The twig should be 4 to 5 inches tall and not be too tender. The nodes are the place where the roots and leaves development take place.
So, it would be better to cut the twig with at least 3 to 4 nodes because at least one node should go deep into the soil.
Note: Cutting twigs during the morning is best because they don’t wilt readily.
Step 2: Remove the Bottom Leaves
It is better to remove the bottom leaves, or they’ll be buried in the soil, which we do not want.
So, after chopping off the bottom leaves and reducing the surface area covered by the leaves, the growth potentiality of the sprig is heightened.
Step 3: Apply Rooting Hormones (Optional)
Using a growth hormone isn’t mandatory, especially when it comes to sage. It may be essential in some situations for stronger growth, but you can often get away without it.
If you decide to use rooting hormones, the situation for growth media may be different.
Propagation Media: Water
Root hormones are unnecessary if you choose to propagate the twigs in water media.
But, to increase the chances of growth by keeping the cuttings free of fungal attack, natural ingredients like aloe vera, cinnamon or honey are used.
Propagation Media: Soil
Although it’s not mandatory to use a rooting hormone, most people use it because of the faster and healthier development of the root systems.
But if you don’t want to use any rooting hormones, immediately after cutting, place the sprig emerging in the water, keeping it moist.
Step 4: Pot it, planter!
Following the hormonal path, you must fill a pot or a small container with moist, well-draining, and rich soil.
Secondly, you will have to make a hole to insert the twigs cause you do not want the hormones rubbed off while inserting them into the potting mixture. Finally, after placing a few cuttings press the soil firmly.
After correctly placing the cuttings in the potting mix, you should water them. You can loosely cover the pot with plastic and make holes.
This step will ensure enough air circulation, and the surrounding remains humid.
Note: To yield the best result, you should follow this step when the soil temperature is between 60-70°F.
However, if you choose not to use root hormones, you must develop root structure before planting it into the soil.
Submerge the sprigs in the pot/beaker containing water.
The root system is very confined, so you can easily place it in a container/grow bag/pot.
Wait for about 3-4 weeks for the rooting system to emerge. Then only you can take the sprigs and plant them in potting mix.
If all the requirements are fulfilled, on average, it will take about two weeks for sage cuttings to grow new roots.
Also, check out How to grow Lemon Balm from cuttings.
Care for New Pineapple Sage Pups
As I have repeatedly mentioned, pineapple sage is an easy-going plant. They don’t need any special treatment for them to flourish.
All you need to keep in mind are a few basic requirements, and voila, you’re ready to start your own sage farm.
|4 to 6 hours of sunlight and partial afternoon shades
|Minimum 15°F and Maximum 90°F
|2-3 times a week in early stage. Once or twice in two weeks after proper development of root system.
|Greater than 5 and less than 7 for best blooming
|Well draining, Sandy and Nutritious soil
|Two plants should be placed 2-3 feet apart.
|About 40% relative humidity
1. Preferable Location for the Plant
Pineapple sage requires at least 4 to 6 hours of full sunlight and partial afternoon shade for optimum growth.
They prefer natural light to artificial light. As a result, they’ll only bloom if they’re outside in direct sunlight.
If you live in a cold region, you should treat it as a foliage plant, bringing it indoors (or putting it in a container) before it fully blooms.
2. Temperature Requirement
Pineapple sage prospers well in zone 8 (15°F to 20°F) and zone 10 (30°F to 35°F).
But, it won’t survive in colder temperatures.
Therefore, remember to keep the plant frost-free in winter. At the same time, the maximum temperature threshold for pineapple sage is about 90°F.
3. Humidity Requirement
A humid environment is essential for the newly developing pineapple sage as it favors a moist environment.
4. Correct Type of Pot
The plant can easily fit in a container or a small pot when it is just a sapling.
However, pineapple sage can quickly grow into a large and bushy plant. A grown-up plant has a height of 4 feet and a width of 3 feet.
So, a pot of about 12 inches in height and 10 inches in diameter is suitable.
The bigger the pot better it will be because the root of pineapple sage can grow about 12 to 14 inches long, depending on various factors.
5. Watering Frequency
Pineapple sage favors consistent moisture, so you should water the plant soon after planting the sprigs.
Water free from chlorine, like rainwater and distilled water, should be used, and avoid using tap water.
Watering can be adjusted according to the texture of the soil. For example, if the soil is dry, increase the watering frequency, and reduce the watering frequency if it feels soggy.
Watering must be reduced to half before starting fall to prepare the plants for the harsh winter.
Note: Remember to keep the soil moist but be careful not to overwater the plants. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot, and the plant will die.
6. Feeding Fertilizers
Fertilizers are not an absolute for newly potted pineapple sage, but they are very beneficial.
They can function well without any fertilizers and don’t require a heavy dose of regular fertilizers. But you can use organic fertilizers or manure, or chemical fertilizers.
While using chemical fertilizers, NPK 20:20:20 are the best option.
7. Protecting Newly Potted Plants from Pests
Pineapple sage is a robust and adaptable plant. However, they may be weakened and prone to various infections due to a lack of proper care and appropriate conditions. One of them is infestation by thrips.
When infested by thrips, the leaves show silvery spots, visible only in the area without chlorophyll.
Also, there is rapid inhibition of growth in some young samplings. So, it would be best to prune the plant. Therefore, if any leaves show a sign of discoloration, remove them immediately.
Other insects that could cause infestation are:
- Aphids – They cause metabolic imbalances in the plant, which leads to twisting of the leaves. Also, it produces a toxin that alters the development of the growing plant. When the leaf and young shoots show wilting and distortion, they are probably infested by aphids.
- Spider mites – If you ever observe patterns of tiny silvery dots on the tip of the leaves, then be careful of the spider mites. They are tiny spider-looking mites that suck the plant juices and kill them.
Protection of New Sage from Insects
- It would be best to prune the plant from time to time.
- If any leaves show a sign of discoloration, remove them immediately.
- Make a mixture of soap and water and spray it at regular intervals repeatedly or use mild insecticides or neem oil.
- Spider mites hate Chinese parsley, so using infused water made of that would undoubtedly be of great help.
- For aphids, try spraying cold water or dusting the plant with flour. Flour causes constipation in insects.
This low-maintenance perennial herb is dynamic. From being used in kitchen confectionaries to having various health benefits like an antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and aiding in digestion, pineapple sage is truly a sage.