Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is an annual I buy almost every year to smell its wonderfully sweet scent, and enjoy red trumpet like flowers in early fall. This plant’s scent would make you wish for the invention of scratch and sniff internet images.
Yet the most surprising garden find this spring has been the return of this little gem in my front garden. Never before has this sage survived a Colorado winter in my garden, and I’ve planted it many years! I looked around to see what zone this native to highland Mexico could possibly be in, and 3 of 4 sites place it in zones 8 – 10. Huh? This year we definitely did not meet the zone 5 chill, but I didn’t expect it to play host to a Salvia Elegans. But on further searches I see that this plant has returned after winter in zone 6b.
To keep this plant going in Colorado its best to give it winter warmth. This plant can also be overwintered inside and cuttings can be taken to propagate it.
This is only one of many salvias you can grow in Colorado. Check out the pollinator’s garden for Salvia nemerosa and Salvia coccinia.