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Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon'


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  • Pruning

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  • Additional Information

  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Deer Tips

Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon'




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Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

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Description

(Honey Melon Pineapple Sage) This is a short Pineapple Sage that is long blooming. It is the earliest and longest flowering of all the many varieties of Salvia elegans. We recommend it for indoor herb gardening as well as for outdoor borders and groundcovers.

Honey Melon has bright red flowers that hummingbirds love. It spreads into a dense clump with underground runners.  By cutting back older stems to the ground, new fresh growth keeps it in flower for months. On the Northern California coast, it starts blooming no later than May and sometimes continues until February.

Grow this cultivar in partial shade in warmer zones or in full sun in the coolest part of its range. Along with Tangerine Pineapple Sage, Honey Melon is easier to grow in most of the country than the larger growing varieties of the species. 

Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage is found at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used as a medicinal herb -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.

Details

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(2 reviews)  

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Common name  
Honey Melon Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
24"/24"/24"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds

Colors

Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Vivid Red
RHS# 46B






Throat color - Strong Red - RHS# 53C




Secondary color - Vivid Red
RHS# 46C



Bract color - Moderate Olive Green
RHS# 147A

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 143B



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
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See other plants with split complementary colors
See other plants with triadic colors
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous, woody stem Salvias

These are species that produce woody stems, but die back to the ground in the winter in all but the warmest climates. In warm winter areas these can become woody shrubs, but they generally benefit from the following pruning methods.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

During the spring and summer, you can completely or partially remove any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly. This often stimulates fresh new growth and increased flowering


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after first frost, spent stems can be cut to the ground. Some gardeners in cold winter climates say that leaving 3 to 6 inches of the stems intact during the winter improves survivability. They remove the remaining stems before new growth begins in the spring. In warmer areas the stems may never completely die back, but should be cut to ground to allow for new growth.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Salvia blepharophylla `Painted Lady'

    (Painted Lady Eyelash Sage) Small, eyelash-like hairs on the edge of its leaves give this Mexican native part of its name. A compact, gently mounding Salvia, it spreads gradually by underground stolons.

    Similar to Diablo Eyelash Sage, the richly colored flowers of this variety are darker in full sun and paler in partial shade. It's red-orange flowers are brighter than those of "Diablo' and often cover the plant in large clusters from early summer to late fall. Enjoy it in a mixed border.

    10.50
  • Salvia elegans

    (Pineapple Sage) An indispensable fall-blooming addition to the garden, this tender perennial is, perhaps, the best of all hummingbird plants. When in bloom, it is covered in 3-inch-long red flowers.

    Pineapple Sage forms a mound of fragrant foliage and brilliant color that is 3 to 6 feet tall. Outdoors, it shows best in mild climates, because it doesn't begin blooming until mid to late fall.

    If your growing season is short, plant it in a large container and overwinter it indoors such as in a greenhouse. Even if you miss the later part of its bloom cycle, the sweet smell of this culinary sage's leaves is a pleasure all summer long. They taste particularly delicious in breads.

    Pineapple Sage works well as a landscape screen or in a perennial border. Its flower spikes are lovely in cut flower arrangements.

    Native to Mexico, it grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious'

    (Golden Pineapple Sage) The bright crimson flowers of this extremely fragrant, shrubby sage are attractive to both humans and pollinators. However, it is the glowing golden foliage that most distinguishes it from other varieties of its species.

    In cooler parts of its climate range, such as in Zone 9, Golden Pineapple Sage grows well in full sun. In warmer locations, it is a candidate for the partially shaded garden. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is good.

    In areas with colder winters than that of Zone 9, this plant deserves a place in the annual garden where it gives many months of service for a small investment of time and money. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it; deer generally avoid it.

    Give this flavorful culinary sage well-drained soil rich in humus. Compact and thrifty, it is an outstanding accent plant in borders, cut-flower gardens and containers.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia microphylla 'Belize Form'

    (Black Stem Mountain Sage) Intense cardinal red flowers, stiff black stems and large, ribbed, green leaves make this Salvia microphylla stand out. Its color and upright growth make it dramatic amid a group of soft, rounded Salvias.

    Mountain Sage usually ranges from 24 to 48 inches tall. This is one of the larger varieties. The species is native to the American Southwest, most parts of Mexico and sometimes is found further south in Guatemala and Belize.

    Mountain sages grow well in full sun and partial shade. This one does very well in partial shade and even blooms in full shade. Due to originating in the warmer climes of Belize, it is less cold hardy than many cultivars of the species.

    In USDA Zones 8 to 9, Black Stem blooms from spring to fall, but with little production in summer. Except for good drainage, it isn't picky about its soil. Depending on local conditions, it may fit into either a perennial or shrub border. Black Stem also looks pretty as a background planting or screen. Heat and drought tolerant, it does well in dry and native gardens. We highly recommend it, and so do hummingbirds.
     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia microphylla 'Red Velvet'

    (Red Velvet Mountain Sage) This is one of the most intense red-flowering variety of Mountain Sage we grow. Medium-sized flowers are profuse on this large, vigorous plant -- particularly in spring and fall. Dark stems and calyxes intensify the plant's drama along with glossy green foliage.

    In a mixed group of Mountain Sage and the closely related species Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Red Velvet is always the first plant you notice.

    Red Velvet can handle full sun, but particularly flourishes in partial shade. It even blooms in full shade. It needs well-drained soil and regular watering based on local conditions. At 48 inches tall and wide, it is ideal for a shorter screen or background planting, especially in a native garden. In the cooler part of its range, it works well in perennial borders. In warmer zones, group it with shrubby Salvias.

    We highly recommend this fast growing, lovely plant. Thank you to Luen Miller of Monterey Bay Nursery for developing this exceptional Salvia microphylla.

    10.50
  • Salvia roemeriana

    (Cedar Sage) Scarlet flowers abound from spring through summer on this small, mounding, woodland sage that is native to Texas, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Grow it as a small scale groundcover or mix it with other shade-loving sages in a perennial border or along a path.

    Native to Cedar, Juniper and Oak forests, this sage prefers partial shade and well-drained, acidic soil rich in organic matter. It does particularly well when mulched with the type of leaves found in its native forests. Although it likes regular watering based on local conditions, Cedar Sage does well in dry gardens.

    This is a petite plant that only spreads about 12 inches wide. Yet if you plant a number of Salvia roemeriana in the right conditions, the plants will self seed and form colonies. We have never found it to be invasive.

    9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia dichlamys

    (Scarlet Rooster Sage) From the Mountains of Mexico we have this stunning Sage, which seems never to be out of bloom. A superior hummingbird plant, the warm orange flowers that cover this shrubby perennial make it a standout in the garden.

    Easy to grow, you can use this one as a background to lighter flowered plants, as a Summer hedge, or as a stunning container plant.  We are amazed how popular these blooms are to our hummingbirds.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'John Whittlesey'

    (John Whittlesey Sage) Hardy, vigorous and long blooming, John Whittlesey Sage is a hybrid of D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) -- a native of Mexico -- and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which is native to the American Southwest and Mexico.

    The long flowering season of this sage makes John Whittlesey Sage a garden favorite; it begins bursting with salmon-red blooms early in the growing season. You can grow it as a bedding plant in areas with winters cooler than those of USDA Zone 7. In warmer zones, this tidy sage is an herbaceous perennial.

    In coastal areas, John Whittlesey Sage is a great stand-in for the plethora of little-leaf species -- Mountain Sage, Autumn Sage (S. greggii )and Jame Sage (S. x jamensis) -- that often struggle with humidity. 

    Hummingbirds love the bright red flowers of this full-sun, heat-tolerant plant that makes a tall but effective groundcover. However, it is generally used in mixed borders. 

    Horticulturist Mike Thiede of Chico, California, developed this sage and named it for John Whittlesey of Canyon Creek Nursery in Oroville, California.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia elegans 'Tangerine'

    (Tangerine Pineapple Sage) This citrus-scented cultivar is our smallest variety of Pineapple Sage. Worth growing just for the exotic scent of its leaves, this culinary Salvia is also one of the longest blooming plants in its species.

    How is this variety of Pineapple Sage different from Honey Melon?  Tangerine's leaves are much smaller (1/2 inch x 1 inch as opposed to 1 inch x 1 1/2 inches), and the plant is shorter (18 inches tall vs. 24 inches). Tangerine also has darker red flowers, foliage with a very different scent and a shrubbier look. Of course, anyone who loves scented plants should have both.

    Tangerine Pineapple Sage spreads into a dense clump with underground runners. By cutting back older stems to the ground, new fresh growth keeps it in flower for months. On the Northern California coast, it starts blooming no later than May and sometimes continues until February.

    Grow this cultivar in partial shade in warmer zones or in full sun in the coolest part of its range. Along with Honey Melon, Tangerine is easier to grow in most of the country than the larger-growing varieties of Pineapple Sage.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage is found at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used as a medicinal herb -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

Average customer rating:
 
(2 reviews)  



2 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
gemjane
Jun 6, 2016
Good quality plant. Arrived in excellent condition. Hasn't bloomed yet, but it sure is putting on a lot of new growth--it will be loaded with flowers when it does bloom. Lovely scent.
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Nora Williams
Feb 26, 2014
Wonderful plant! I can always count on Flowers by the Sea for the healthiest, best rooted plants. These are THRIVING in my yard.
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Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield's Hummingbird Journey

Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield's Hummingbird Journey


Category: Sage Experts
Posted: Mar 28, 2016 03:23 PM
Synopsis: Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.
Sassy Sage Holiday Cooking

Sassy Sage Holiday Cooking


Category: Culinary Sages
Posted: Dec 25, 2014 10:36 AM
Synopsis: Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.
Sage Words about Wildlife: 4 Seasons of Hummingbird Salvias

Sage Words about Wildlife: 4 Seasons of Hummingbird Salvias


Category: Sage Words About Wildlife
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 05:51 PM
Synopsis: Regional differences in seasonal temperature and humidity affect the choice of Salvias to plant in hummingbird gardens. The varying seasons in which particular sages bloom and the part of the world where they originated also determine whether they attract hummingbirds. Flowers by the Sea offers suggestions based on regions and seasons.
Salvia Small Talk: Unusual Pineapple Sage Culinary Treats

Salvia Small Talk: Unusual Pineapple Sage Culinary Treats


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: Mar 9, 2014 01:23 PM
Synopsis: Pineapple Sage looks and tastes delightful in many foods, including baked goods. It's a surprising treat in herb butters and marmalade.
Fall Planting: 10 Top Butterfly and Hummingbird Favorites

Fall Planting: 10 Top Butterfly and Hummingbird Favorites


Category: Hummingbirds in the Garden
Posted: Oct 3, 2013 11:35 AM
Synopsis: Flowers that butterflies and hummingbirds favor are rich sources of nectar. But not all nectar-rich butterfly favorites are easy to access with long hummingbird beaks. Conversely, many flowers designed by nature to attract hummingbirds don't have the structure necessary for feeding butterflies or providing a perch. Here are ten Salvias and companion plants for backyard wildlife habitat that both butterflies and hummingbirds will enjoy.
How to prune Salvia elegans 'Tangerine'

How to prune Salvia elegans 'Tangerine'


Category: Views from the Garden
Posted: Aug 8, 2013 05:08 AM
Synopsis: Pruning makes some people nervous. Am I doing too much or too little? Will I kill the plant? Is this the right time?

In this video, which describes the pruning of Tangerine Scented Sage, we'll answer all of these questions.
Quick Digs: Salvia Groundcovers Suppress Weeds

Quick Digs: Salvia Groundcovers Suppress Weeds


Category: Quick Digs
Posted: Jul 21, 2013 08:44 AM
Synopsis: Quick Digs is a new serial containing short posts focused on a central issue. The topic for the first series is Salvia groundcovers for weed control, and this is the opening article. Great groundcovers help conserve soil moisture and leave little room for weeds to grow. This is true of many colorful, fragrant Salvias that spread freely, including Meadow Sages. However, it may be that the essential oils creating the pleasant aromas of many Salvias are also helpful in suppressing weeds. Many researchers refer to this apparent trait as the “Salvia phenomenon.”
Salvia Small Talk: Cooking with Salvia Flowers

Salvia Small Talk: Cooking with Salvia Flowers


Category: Salvia Small Talk
Posted: May 6, 2013 07:47 AM
Synopsis: Some kinds of Salvia flowers make good additions to foods ranging from breads to salads. Growing the Salvias yourself is a good way to avoid toxins.
One-Pot Herb Garden Brings Sage and Summer Memories Indoors

One-Pot Herb Garden Brings Sage and Summer Memories Indoors


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Feb 13, 2013 03:45 PM
Synopsis: Growing a one-pot herb garden indoors is a fragrant reminder of summer. While some herbs need plenty of water, others - such as Culinary Sage (Salvia officinalis spp.) - need little. Aside from controlling soil moisture, keys to success include plant selection, pot size and drainage, appropriate potting mix, sufficient sunlight and indoor pruning to control growth.
Salvias Down South: How Salvias Behave in Florida

Salvias Down South: How Salvias Behave in Florida


Category: Salvias Down South
Posted: Dec 30, 2012 02:56 PM
Synopsis: Salvias that grow well in Florida may behave differently from one region of the state to another. This may mystify gardeners who have just moved to Florida or have moved to a different area in the state. Based primarily on seasonal variations in temperature, the four main regions are North, Central, South and Tropical Florida.
Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida

Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida


Category: Salvias Down South
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 07:22 PM
Synopsis: Florida is one of the wettest states in the nation, yet it is a fine place to grow Salvias if you select shade-tolerant, moisture-loving species and ones native to Florida. Gardeners who are accustomed to growing Salvias in a dry climate face a variety of surprises in Florida gardens. These include recurrent periods of drought, many cloudy days and soil that is so poor it has to be amended for Salvias.
Sacred Sage: Pineapple Sage

Sacred Sage: Pineapple Sage


Category: Sacred Sages
Posted: Oct 26, 2012 09:17 AM
Synopsis: Many kinds of Sage were considered sacred in ancient times due to their soothing, medicinal qualities. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans), which is native to Mexico and Guatemala, is still a highly regarded folk remedy for relieving anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. It is also one of America's most popular culinary sages and is a highlight of the USDA's National Herb Garden.
The Power of Scent

The Power of Scent


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 30, 2012 09:15 PM
Synopsis: While it's true that not all Salvias smell, well, pleasant, many varieties are grown specifically for the pungent or even sweet aromas that they release into the air. These ten Salvias are our top picks for the best-smelling varieties in the garden.
I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.