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greenthumbomaha July 12, 2017 09:35 PM

Why is Pineapple Sage dying?
I indulged and bought two Pineapple Sage plants - One from Bonnie and one grown by a priovate Kansas Nursery. Planted each in a new pot (with drainage) and they both doubled in size and looked very healthy for about a month. The already dead one was in Black Gold, and the dying one in Miracle Grow.They are in morning sun on the porch. I gave the second one a dose of micronutrients but it still wants to decline.

What is happening? What can I do with a new plant (ahem yes I have another one from another nursery waiting for transplant) to keep it happier. I was hoping to overwinter in a sunny window.

- Lisa

Labradors2 July 12, 2017 09:54 PM

Sage likes to be dry and it doesn't appreciate too much fertilizer. Sounds as if you loved them to death :(

Third time lucky :)


GrowingCoastal July 12, 2017 10:54 PM

I give mine the regular amount of osmocote and they do just fine in ordinary potting mix. Full sun most of the day.

AlittleSalt July 12, 2017 11:17 PM

Sage is a biennial and does like growing in conditions as Linda already wrote about above. It grows best in Zones 8 through 11 planted in ground. It's a plant you can grow without giving it much attention. Sort of like a cactus.

Nematode July 13, 2017 01:49 AM

Made an answer for regular sage, and realized it was not relevant....

greenthumbomaha July 15, 2017 11:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I have a newly purchased moist little seedling in a 4 inch pot, doing great. I was keeping both transplants pictured above on the dry side, and I just read they like consistent moisture. Perhaps the dryness was robbing them of some essential nutrient, but ..

I pulled the dead plant. Roots looked good but the stem and upper branch are suspect. Take your pick of root rots...

Second plant still hanging with yellowing of lower leaves and but no rots at the stem that I can see. Any guesses if it's an excess of nutrients or deficiency?

Tomatoes take priority. Maybe just not enough love or water! - Lisa

greenthumbomaha July 16, 2017 12:01 AM

In better days
1 Attachment(s)
The two pineapple sage plants in the process of kicking the bucket.

AlittleSalt July 16, 2017 12:14 AM

Both too much water and the soil is too rich in nutrients. Treat them like a pepper plant - only water them when you absolutely have to. Sage is a good plant to neglect compared to all the things we do for tomato plants. Sage is like that quite person who doesn't want attention.

I've never seen one shrivel up like that.

Worth1 July 16, 2017 12:19 AM

Looks like my sage I tried to grow.:))

peebee July 16, 2017 01:35 AM

Do you by any chance have a spider mite problem? Those leaves look like my basil after the mites got to them. Seems like herbs with tender leaves are most susceptible. The mites are not as easy to spot as they are on tomatoes.
After the herbs, the mites like to work on my strawberries, bean, cukes, and eggplants before graduating to the tomatoes. Oh, and this year they liked my Swiss chard, blueberries and raspberries too.
The berries all seem to recover after summer, although of course by then I have not gotten much fruit, so it's...fruitless. :x

peebee July 16, 2017 01:38 AM

Forgot to add, in your last pic, the living plant on the right seems to have the light colored yellowing that I see right before the leaves turn dry and brown. It might be just your pic and they are not a light green, but they sure have that mite-y damage tint to me. Hope I am wrong.

greenthumbomaha July 16, 2017 08:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Indeed peebee, I HAVE SPIDER MITES. UGH!

I spent an hour looking at pictures from various .edu sites. I never noticed any webs, nor have any experience with this pest. Peebee's observations motivated me to take a closer look.

The sun was shining on the plant, so I had a good look. I rubbed my fingers on the leaf and didn't feel anything. I didn't see anything at first either. After my eyes acclimated a bit, I bent closer into the foliage. I noticed a faint glisten on the underside of a leaf, about 1/4 inch long. HMMM.. there is something to this. Then I noticed the spider web thread extended a bit further down the main vein. My next thought was they had left, but NO I wasn't that lucky. After staring at a leaf for about a minute I saw the mites, first just one, then a few on the upper side of a leaf. Did not look like a huge infestation, but what damage it did!

My project for when it cools down is to dump the soil in the pots in a leaf bag for the trash, and spray the pots with something (?) tomorrow. I have more reading to do on the mites as I know zero. This is the wicked hottest, dry stretch of weather we have had in years.

I sometimes overwinter indoors the survivors of my patio plants, this year herbs. Here is a photo of the patio mates the pineapple sage was growing near. I still have some hope to overwinter the neighboring herbs indoors by the south window. That is a prized columnar basil which took me years to find locally after reading about it on Tville. The others are different oregano (some bought some seed started) and a purchased lemon thyme. Sweet marjoram and lemon balm is on the other side of the door with the Chef Jeff hottest pepper (carribean) I bought last week.

Thanks for your help everyone!

- Lisa

peebee July 17, 2017 01:46 AM

Good to know you have identified the culprits then. What caught my eye was not only your first pic, with those brown leaves, but the pic under that showing the plant at soil level--you can barely see them but the hairy fuzzy stuff right near the stems on the left look like the mites. Like I said, they are very hard to detect on these smaller-leaved plants. On my basil, they are not apparent but once I get the lighter discoloration that spreads to other leaves, then I know. This year I had about 40 seedlings and they have not thrived and are dying very slow deaths. If you grow beans and see the mite damage, then you will recognize it in your herbs. Bean leaves are thin and tender like herb leaves. Thought this year after the winter rains, the mites might not come back but I was wrong. I am hoping that after a few years they will disappear, just like the flea beatles did. But then something worse might come along. :evil:

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