How to grow pineapple lilies

How to grow pineapple lilies

Find out how to grow pineapple lilies (eucomis), in our detailed Grow guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Pineapple lily, Eucomis, is a striking and unusual flower from South Africa.

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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.

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.

Where to plant pineapple lilies

How to grow pineapple lilies - eucomis flower
How to grow pineapple lilies – eucomis flower

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

How to grow pineapple lilies - repotting young eucomis plants
How to grow pineapple lilies – repotting young eucomis plants

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

How to grow pineapple lilies - removing dead eucomis leaves before digging up the bulbs for winter
How to grow pineapple lilies – removing dead eucomis leaves before digging up the bulbs for winter

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

How to grow pineapple lilies - eucomis varieties to grow.
How to grow pineapple lilies – eucomis varieties to grow.
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  • 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