How To Overwinter Pineapple Sage

Figuring out the best way to take care of your flowers during winter can be tricky. Do you have a pineapple sage plant in your garden and don't know what to do with it during the colder months? How do you overwinter this species? We did thorough research to answer this question throu ghout this article. 

If you live somewhere with freezing winters, the best thing to do for pineapple sage is to move it inside until spring. Considering that this plant won't tolerate frost, it's best to place it in a sunny window through the winter season.

You also want to prepare your flower for the big move by trimming it back by two-thirds, so don't forget to prune it beforehand.

We will cover all things pineapple sage as we begin and discuss how to overwinter one. Whether you're somewhere freezing or want to try inside growing, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive right in!

Up close photo of a Pineapple sage red petals, How To Overwinter Pineapple Sage

What Is The Best Way To Overwinter Pineapple Sage?

The best way to overwinter pineapple sage is to bring it inside during chillier weather. This species generally can't tolerate frost or freezing temperatures, so your plant will die if you leave it outdoors during wintertime.

Up close photo of a Pineapple sage red petals, How To Overwinter Pineapple Sage

You also want to ensure you place pineapple sage in a bright window with around six hours of daily sunlight. Even though it is winter, the sun will shine bright on your plant, giving it the energy to continue growing.

Beautiful red petals of pineapple sage tree planted in the garden

However, you will need to give your pineapple sage a trim before moving it. As we have covered, this should be significant: about two-thirds cut back.

Overwintering plants usually require some pruning; in this case, it's a bit more severe.

You also don't want to harvest any leaves from your plant during winter, so keep that in mind. The less you mess with pineapple sage through its indoor grow time, the better.

What To Do In States with Mild Winters?

If you live somewhere with moderate winters, you should be fine to leave pineapple sage outdoors. That said, if it freezes where you are, this is when your flower will need to come inside.

This plant species cannot survive temperatures below freezing, so keeping one outdoors through a freeze is a recipe for disaster.

Therefore, it's a good idea to prune your plant, bring it inside, and then make sure it's in a bright, sunny window. Ideally, if you live in a south-facing home, you can get the best sun there, so that's something to keep in mind.

According to Wisconsin Horticulture, you can also grow pineapple sage as an annual if you don't want to overwinter it.

That means your plant will live and produce flowers for a year until the winter hits. Next year you will need to replant a new pineapple sage, so this isn't a great long-term option.

Is Pineapple Sage A Perennial Plant?

Yes, if you grow pineapple sage somewhere warm year-round, it will act as a perennial. However, if you grow one in a colder climate, you will see it behave as an annual species.

Like many flowers, your pineapple sage will need to come inside during colder periods, or it will die.

A beautiful red colored Pineapple sage

For example, someone in Florida or Southern California doesn't need to bring a pineapple sage indoors to keep it alive year-round, while someone in Illinois or Michigan will.

For those in warm climates, you can expect to see pineapple sage slow down into the late fall, ultimately going through a partial or complete dormancy during winter.

Then, as spring comes, your plant should perk up again and green out.

Even if the temperatures drop below 60 degrees, pineapple sage will likely slow down or shed its foliage. Think of this species as more of a tropical grower than one that can stand chillier climates.

Is Pineapple Sage A Flower Or An Herb?

Although there always seems to be confusion about this, pineapple sage is an herbaceous shrub that produces bright red flowers as it blooms.

In addition, this shrub is also an herb, as it is popular for cooking and consumption worldwide.

Many gardeners and chefs enjoy using the leaves from pineapple sage for fruit salads and as an herbal additive for chicken, bread, cakes, and fruit smoothies.

It's also worth mentioning that this plant is semi-woodsy, meaning it will take on that appearance during colder seasons.

Taller stems on your plant are more susceptible to breaking in high winds, so that is something to remember if your garden gets gusty.

Can You Grow Pineapple Sage Indoors Year-Round?

Pineapple sage photographed up close on a sunny day

Yes, it is possible (and common) to grow pineapple sage inside throughout the entire year. Generally, you need to have a greenhouse or a growing light for indoor pineapple sage, much like other herbs.

The sun is always vital for a plant, indoors or outside, so you want this to be as close as possible. Furthermore, you can also usually grow pineapple sage in a bright window throughout the year, so you don't always need to get fancy.

This all comes down to where you live, how bright your house gets, and the size of your plant.

You can also try and keep your pineapple sage in a pot, moving it indoors and outside throughout the four seasons. For example, if it's spring-fall, you can keep your flower outdoors, moving it inside during winter.

You can also try bringing your pineapple sage inside earlier in the fall to prepare it for full-time indoor growing. One of the ways to do this is to use an indoor plant light.

You can go for an indoor plant growing light that uses LEDs, has full spectrum coverage, is 50 watts, features three timer options, has five dimmable settings, and has a one-year warranty.

View this plant light on Amazon here.

Does Pineapple Sage Do Better In Pots Or The Ground?

One of the great things about pineapple sage is you can grow it in a container or on the ground easily. In general, this plant responds well to pot-growing, as long as it has enough space and drainage.

Pineapple sage won't like winter weather, so having one in a pot year-round can make a move easier. You also have to factor in how big you want your flowering shrub to become.

Typically, plants in the ground become larger than those in pots, which is something to consider.

You can expect pineapple sage to become around 4 feet tall at mature size, so it needs a sturdy root ball/system to sustain itself.

As we mentioned above, pineapple sage can also become susceptible to wind damage, becoming an even bigger problem in a shallow pot.

Where Is The Best Place To Grow Pineapple Sage?

Up close photo of a Pineapple sage in the garden

For anyone wanting this flowering shrub in their landscape, try to make sure you are somewhere warm throughout the year. Pineapple sage loves the sun, so you want to have it in a spot with full exposure.

It's also essential to keep the soil around pineapple sage moist but not overly saturated. Drainage plays a major part in your flower's health, so heavily compacted ground isn't a good idea.

Experts recommend keeping your pineapple sage moist during its spring/summer growing season. Doing this can ensure healthy blooms, faster growth, and a healthier plant going into winter.

You can also try pinching the seed pods/flowers on a pineapple sage to promote better branching and foliage as your plant is young, so that's a trick to remember.

As we have discussed in the previous section, you can keep pineapple sage in a container or on the ground, so that doesn't matter. As long as the climate and soil conditions are suitable for your plant, it will grow to be lush and healthy.

Is Pineapple Sage An Invasive Plant?

Although this species is native to Central America, it's not considered invasive in other locations.

Pineapple sage is a great food source for humans, hummingbirds, and butterflies, so planting one in your garden can be a great decision.

Besides having gorgeous foliage, you can also expect pineapple sage to grow harmoniously alongside different species without becoming aggressive.

Blooming red petals of pineapple sage

On top of that, pineapple sage has a sweet-smelling aroma that will be present in your garden throughout its blooming season. This plant has pineapple in its name because when you pinch it, you'll get a whiff of pineapple!

So, if you love the smell of fruit, want a bright-colored shrub in your yard, and don't want anything invasive, we recommend this plant.

You can get a pack of seeds that comes with 20 pieces, will germinate quickly, can grow inside or outdoors, and typically ship out within a week.

Follow this link to see this product on Amazon.

To Wrap Up

Up close photo of a Pineapple sage red petals

Whether you have a pineapple sage plant in your yard or want to grow one, it's always good to learn how to keep them healthy through the winter.

From what we found, pineapple sage needs to come indoors if the weather freezes where you live. Furthermore, you will have to prune your plant beforehand, cutting it back two-thirds.

Luckily, for people in warmer climates year-round, you can keep your pineapple sage in the ground during winter: but expect it to slow down a bit and look woodsier.

Regardless, don't be afraid to keep your flowering shrub in a container throughout the year, and if you need to move it indoors during the fall or winter, ensure it's in a bright window.

Made it to the end? Check out these other helpful gardening posts below!

Winter Cover Crops For Vegetable Gardens [17 Options You Should Try!]

Where To Buy Plants In The Winter [In-Store And Online Options Explored]

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