Gerald L. Klingaman
Plant Common Name
These terrestrial, evergreen perennials from South America are grown for their handsome foliage, striking flowers, and edible fruits. Ananas comprises some 8 species including the pineapple, A. comosus.
Plants form basal rosettes of tall, sword-shaped, saw-toothed leaves which give rise in summer to stout erect flower stems. Borne in a terminal spike, the three-petaled, red or blue flowers have prominent, often colorful basal bracts. Pulpy fruits follow the blooms, merging to form a large cone-shaped composite fruit, which is often edible. Plants typically flower and fruit well for several years, dwindling thereafter. Container-grown plants usually produce smaller fruits than those grown outdoors in tropical conditions. When not in flower, plants provide ample ornamental interest through their architectural and often colorful foliage (several variegated Ananas are commonly available).
Besides pineapple, other commonly grown Ananas include red pineapple (A. bracteatus), named for its rosy flower bracts, and A. nanus, which resembles a scaled-down A. comosus.
These bromeliads need warmth and well-drained soil with ample organic matter. Give them a sunny to partly shaded site in a warm room or greenhouse, or use them in the landscape in tropical gardens. Pineapple sometimes succeeds in southern California and Florida in warm microclimates. Keep soil relatively moist while plants are in active growth; water sparingly at other times. High humidity is not required. Propagate plants by detaching and potting up offsets, or by severing and rooting the composite fruit's leafy "cap."
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
11 - 15
H1, H2, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
18"-72" / 45.7cm - 182.9cm
18"-60" / 45.7cm - 152.4cm
Container, Cutflower, Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns