Never Give Up

This is Salvia Elegans,or Pineapple Sage. Or as I like to think of it, The Probably Dead Plant. Being borderline hardy, it dies down to below ground level each winter, and (I hope) shoots again from the roots in spring. However, it's always very late indeed to wake up, and every year in April  I poke about in the dry twigs and think it's probably dead, and then in May I'm certain it's a gonner, and then at the beginning of June, just as I'm about to dig it up, it suddenly springs to life. At the risk of sounding like Rabbi Lionel Blue on Thought For The Day, I can't help thinking  it's a metaphor for  perseverance and never giving up, (well at least not until the end of June anyway).

Of course if I had taken a cutting or two, (cuttings strike very easily ) and overwintered them in the greenhouse, I could have avoided all this. If only..

Salvia Elegans, or Pineapple Sage has the lovely grey green leaves of all salvias, and this one bears a brilliant if small scarlet tubular flower in late summer and autumn. In a good summer it can grow three feet tall,  providing plenty of material for cuttings!!

Anyway there's no sign of life yet, and after the winter we've had this year, I do really think it could definitely be a late Salvia, a stiff,  gone to meet its maker. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-salvia.



  1. Hah! I always think that about my hostas. In fact, this year I was so sure that one of them was a goner that I hoed up the area where it "had" grown a couple of days ago and was planning to put something else in. This morning I was out looking at the garden, and there was a bunch of bare roots, with two tiny hosta shoots coming out of it. After a shocked "oh sh-----oot," I quickly put it back in the ground again. I may be down to two shoots, but, hopefully, I can get the thing multiplying again.

    So, don't give up on your salvia. Hard winter or not, it will probably come through.

  2. I feel like your salvia. I hope I come back to life before June. Great post!

  3. Thanks Louise, I hope so

    Callie, glad to see you back again, springing up like the salvia!

  4. Your post reminds me of the Monty Python parrot sketch but hope that the salvia fares better than the parrot did :) Could well just be taking its time - was concerned about my hardy fuschias but they have just started to shoot from the base this last week.

  5. I was sent a cutting of pineapple sage, after a short while it looked very dead and so I threw it out. Now I wonder if I should have waited longer.
    I have Salvia 'Black and Blue' which looks like your picture now, but I'm going to wait a little longer before I dig it up.

  6. Anna - Hope your fuchsias come through ok

    Catherine - Nothing to lose by waiting, hope it comes through

  7. Thanks for coming over to my blog.
    My salvas have had it I poked about and lifted them and all the roots have died. The tangerine sage is my favourite the smell is gorgeous and makes a lovely tea mixed with a few lemon balm leaves. I've managed to replace the pineapple with a young plant and am now scouring all the local nurseries for a tangerine one. Why didn't I take cuttings.

    jess x

  8. Oh dear, what a shame Jess, hope you manage to find some cuttings or replacements


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