Pineapple lily, Eucomis, is a striking and unusual flower from South Africa.
The strange, tufted bloom that appears on top of a strong, upright stem looks remarkably similar to a pineapple and gives the plant its common name. It’s an easy to grow bulb, flowering from late summer to early autumn and is perfect for adding an exotic touch to sunny borders or sheltered gardens. Pineapple lilies also make a great feature plant in containers.
Where to plant pineapple lilies
A tender plant, pineapple lilies need plenty of sun, so choose your brightest, warmest spot and add extra grit to the soil to make sure it’s really well drained, whether you’re planting in a border or a container.
How to plant pineapple lilies
Despite their tenderness, pineapple lilies are easy to grow in the right conditions. Plant the large bulbs in pots in spring and move outside once all danger of frost has passed. Add plenty of grit to the soil for added drainage.
How to propagate pineapple lilies
New plants can be propagated by removing offsets from the parent bulbs in spring.
Pineapple lilies : problem solving
Pineapple lilies are generally pest and disease-free.
How to care for pineapple lilies
Keep pineapple lilies well-watered during summer but dry in winter. Pineapple lilies don’t like winter wet, so either dig up your bulbs or move pots indoors in autumn and keep dry until the following spring. Water well through the summer in dry weather. Remove dead leaves and spent flowers.
Great pineapple lily varieties to grow
- Eucomis autumnalis – produces a long thin flower spike topped with a small rosette of leaves
- Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ – has reddish-purple, strappy leaves, from which purple-tinged flowers are borne on an erect, purple stem
- Eucomis bicolor – a ‘two tone’ variety – the pale green flowers have a maroon edging. The RHS has given it the Award of Garden Merit
- Eucomis comosa – this is a tall variety, growing to 75cm, with large leaves with a slightly wavy edge
- Eucomis pallidiflora – is also known as the giant pineapple lily and has an RHS Award of Garden Merit