‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage

Story and Photos by Peggy Hill

You may have grown pineapple sage before, but have you tried the cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’? It is spectacular! It has everything you love about pineapple sage: It’s a hummingbird and butterfly magnet, it’s deer resistant, and it’s heat tolerant. When crushed, pineapple sage’s foliage smells and tastes like pineapple; you can use the leaves and flowers as a garnish, or add them to salads, cocktails, or teas. 

For eye-popping contrast, pair ‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage with dark-leafed plants, such as Dahlia Mystic Haze (‘Dark Side of the Sun’) and Pennisetum ‘Princess Caroline’.

What sets ‘Golden Delicious’ apart from regular pineapple sage is the bright, chartreuse foliage. Whereas regular pineapple sage usually fades into the garden for most of the season and only draws attention when it blooms in the fall, ‘Golden Delicious’ makes a statement the minute you put it in the ground. Who needs flowers when your leaves are practically glowing? If you like pineapple sage, give ‘Golden Delicious’ a try. I think you’ll love it.

The color of ‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage’s leaves perfectly matches the color of a cloudless sulphur’s wings.

Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Name: ‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage
Botanical Name: Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’
Zones: 8-11
Color: Chartreuse foliage, red flowers
Blooming Period: Fall
Type: Tender herbaceous perennial
Mature Size: 3-4 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide 
Exposure: Sun
When to Plant: Spring, after the last frost
How to Plant: Even with soil, 2 feet apart
Soil: Average, well drained
Watering: Average, drought tolerant
Prune: Cut to the ground in early spring.
When to Fertilize: Amend soil with compost in spring.
In Your Landscape: Foliage color is brightest in full sun, but in the Deep South, where the sun is intense, give it a little afternoon shade so the leaves don’t burn.

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