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Pineapple lilies: How to add a touch of the tropics to your garden with Eucomis

Eucomis comosa, also known as the pineapple lily or the pineapple flower, is a stunning plant native to Southern Africa with a tropical flair.

The common name of Eucomis comosa comes from the resemblance of its floral stem during development to a pineapple when it is in bloom.

The pineapple lily is a bulbous perennial plant that grows up to 2-3 feet tall and produces a striking inflorescence of greenish-white flowers that resemble small pineapples. This plant is part of the Hyacinthaceae family.

The flowers bloom in late summer and early fall, and they are held on sturdy stalks that rise above the plant’s broad leaves.

One of the unique features of the pineapple lily is its foliage. The leaves are long and wide, with a deep green color and a wavy texture. They are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant and create a beautiful contrast to the flowers.


Pineapple lily

It is essential to plant pineapple lilies in well-draining soil and full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. They are drought-tolerant and do not require much maintenance, making them an excellent choice for busy gardeners.

When planting pineapple lilies, it is essential to ensure that the bulbs are planted at the right depth. They should be planted about 4 inches deep, and the soil should be kept moist until they are established. Once established, they require little watering and can be left to grow on their own.

Pineapple lilies are also perfect for containers, adding a touch of exotic flair to any patio or balcony. They look stunning when planted in groups and can be used to create a tropical-themed garden or as a focal point in a mixed border like mine.

Hardiness and overwintering

Pineapple lilies are not hardy in USDA zone 5 where I live near Montreal, Canada. It is only hardy in zones 7-10.

If in warmer climate, it is still important to safeguard the bulbs in your garden during winter. You can do this by covering them with a layer of dry mulch, which should be around 2-3 inches thick. Bark or leafmould can be used as mulch. If you prefer, you can remove the bulbs from the ground, let them dry, and store them in a place that is free from frost, such as a greenhouse or shed. If you have bulbs in containers, you can move them into a frost-free place in October.

In cooler climates, pineapple lilies can be grown as annuals or overwintered indoors in a cool, dry space. To overwinter, cut back the foliage and transfer the whole clump to a plastic bulb basket, keeping it in the same place as your dahlias. The clump can be divided during this period or in the spring, separating the bulbs and replanting them and then replanted in the garden, when the risks of frost have passed.

Pineapple lilies as a cut flowers

Pineapple lilies make excellent cut flowers for arrangements. The tall flower spikes, which can reach up to 2-3 feet in height, create a dramatic display in a vase. The flowers themselves are small and greenish-white, but they are held in a dense cluster that resembles a pineapple, giving them a unique and exotic appearance.

Pineapple lily flowers are long-lasting, often lasting for up to two weeks in a vase. They are also versatile and can be paired with a wide range of other flowers and foliage to create stunning arrangements. For example, they look lovely when paired with pink or purple blooms, like dahlias, or when arranged with ornamental grasses and other foliage plants.

When using pineapple lilies as cut flowers, select stems that have just started to bloom, but are not fully open. This will ensure that the flowers last longer in the vase. To prolong their vase life, change the water frequently and trim the stems at an angle every few days.

Pineapple lilies have a strong odor that some people find unpleasant. The odor is often described as similar to that of fermenting pineapples, and it can be quite strong when the stems are first cut. However, the odor usually dissipates within a few hours, leaving behind a lovely display of flowers.

If you have pineapple lilies in your garden, try cutting a few stems to create a stunning display in your home!

In conclusion, the pineapple lily is a beautiful and unique plant that is sure to turn heads in any garden setting. Its striking inflorescence, beautiful foliage, and perennial nature make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike. So why not planning to add a pineapple lily to your garden and enjoy the beauty it brings for years to come!

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