This is the first year I planted pineapple sage (above). I didn’t know what to expect, except I heard it was a great “tea” herb, and who doesn’t love making her own herbal tea? Not me, certainly.
I watched the thing grow all Spring and Summer. And grow. And grow. And grow. It got HUGE. It smelled really great when I crushed the leaves, nice and pineapple-y, but none of those beautiful cardinal red blooms I’d been promised. Where were the blooms?
I waited impatiently. At last, the first little bits of red began to show at the tips of the branches. It was Fall already, and I wondered if they would have time to get going good before the frost.
Well, they did, plus, light frost didn’t bother it. And much to my joy, the honeybees LOVED it. The by now huge plant hummed with activity. I would stand nearby and watch and listen as the bees made a meal out of the blossoms. I was so pleased, it was like finding a dish your picky teenager raves about.
I wanted more. I also wanted more of the patchouli that smelled so fantastic. Patchouli is also a good bee plant.
The procedure for propagating the patchouli and pineapple sage was pretty much the same.
I cut some branches from each beginning near the crown of the plant and cut each branch into segments, 2-3 (or sometimes more) inches long. I made sure there was at least one node on each segment. A node is the part of the stem with buds from which leaves, flowers, or roots grow.
I moistened some potting soil, filled large pots with it, and stuck a stick into the soil where I wanted to put branch segments, making little planting holes.
Then I put the segments in the holes, being sure to leave one node sticking above the surface of the soil.
I watered them in a little more, covered the pots with a couple of glass cloche-like things I found at Goodwill over the years to keep the moisture level steady, and put the pots in a partly shady spot in the yard.
Over the next few weeks, the little baby leaves that were on there dropped off of both plants. New baby leaves have grown on the pineapple sage and I hope the patchouli will regrow some leaves soon.
I’ll bring them inside before it freezes and keep them in a sunny window until Spring when I can separate the individual plants into their own pots or plant them directly in the ground.
I’ll report back in the Spring with the final results. I want to have these plants all over the neighborhood.
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