Aloha Lily Eucomis – How To Grow Aloha Pineapple Lilies
By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
While adding flower bulbs to the garden may require some initial investment, they reward gardeners with years of beauty. Aloha lily bulbs, for example, bloom on short compact plants. As their name would imply, these flowers are able to add an elegant touch of tropical flare to any yard space.
What are Aloha Lily Plants?
Aloha lily Eucomis refers to a specific series of dwarf pineapple lily cultivars – Also known as Eucomis ‘Aloha Lily Leia.’ During the summer, Aloha pineapple lilies produce large flower spikes that usually range in color from white to pink purple. Aloha lily plants are also prized for their glossy green foliage which grows in low mounds.
Though Aloha lily plants thrive in hot weather, the bulbs are only cold hardy to USDA zones 7-10. Those living outside of these regions are still able to grow Aloha lily bulbs; however, they will need to lift the bulbs and store them indoors during the winter.
Dwarf Pineapple Lily Care
Learning how to grow Aloha pineapple lilies is relatively simple. Like all flowering bulbs, each bulb is sold by size. Choosing larger bulbs will yield better first year results in terms of plant and flower size.
To plant pineapple lilies, choose a well-draining location that receives full sun to partial shade. Part shade during the hottest hours of the day may be beneficial for those growing in excessively hot regions. Make certain to wait until all chance of frost has passed in your garden. Due to their small size, Aloha lily plants are ideal for planting in containers.
Aloha lily plants will remain in bloom for several weeks. Their flower longevity makes them an instant favorite in the flower bed. After the bloom has faded, the flower spike can then be removed. In some climates, the plant may rebloom towards the end of the growing season.
As the weather becomes cooler, allow the plant foliage to die back naturally. This will ensure that the bulb has the best chance of overwintering and returning the next growing season.
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Pineapple lilies are deciduous bulb plants that grow 2 to 3 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The focal point of the plant is a pineapple-shaped inflorescence of star-shaped flowers topped with small leaves. The inflorescence is atop a long thick spiky stem that rises above a rosette of wide, glossy, strap-like leaves. Flowers of the plant are hues of cream, green, yellow, pink or purple, and may have striped red or purple edges. The tree also produces triangle-shaped fruit. Cultivars of pineapple lilies include the “Sparkling Burgundy,” which has leaves that stay purple for about two months. The “Tugela Ruby” also has dark foliage but is larger than the “Sparkling Burgundy.” The “Can Can” is a small cultivar that only grows up to a foot and has pleated leaves.
Pineapple lilies can grow in several climates, including U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 to 10. Since it is native of damp areas of southern Africa, it needs enough water to keep soil moist. It adapts to a wide range of soil types and thrives in full sun to partial shade. The plant is great in large containers, as borders, in beds and as a focal point of gardens. Bulbs go dormant during the colder months and stay healthy as long as there is no frost.
White Pink Purple Burgundy Pineapple Lily
Commonly referred to as Eucomis, Pineapple flowers or Pineapple Lily plant, these certainly look good grown in clumps, mass plantings or in a garden pot, extra care can be given if brought indoors while in full bloom. Even though the Eucomis originated from South Africa, this class of lilies has started to become a popular flower, with gardeners in Australia using the flowers for a wide range of aesthetic purposes including landscaping and indoor decorations. The pineapple lily can also contribute to romance because they are in full flower on Valentines Day. It is the unique formation and behaviour that makes this plant one of the most spectacular flowers in the world. You too can use these wonderful perennial lilies to give your garden a facelift during late summer. But like any other flower, you will need to fully understand the pineapple lily, to be able to maximise its full potential.
What Is Pineapple Lily?
Pineapple Lilies are hardy flower bulbs belonging to the hyacinth family. This unusual flower grows above many straps of long wide leaves, with clusters of one hundred or more waxy star shaped flowers per stem each flower is accompanied by six petals and six stamens. What makes this bulb resemble a pineapple lily? Is by having a bundle of short leaves placed on the very top of the flowering stem, this resembling or reminding you of a real pineapple (Amamas Comosus), hence the nickname pineapple lily.
Pineapple Lilies Eucomis Plant Varieties
The pineapple lily flowers from late summer continuously to autumn boasting its shiny flowers on strong thick bloom spikes which start to open from bottom up. The true Eucomis pineapple lilies are usually seen in lime green citrus tones but new varieties come in many more mixed colours. There are many popular and new varieties such as:
Pineapple Lily Sparkling Burgundy – burgundy pineapple lily with burgundy foliage that changes to green as they age.
Pineapple Lily Tugela Ruby – Pictured has green foliage with hues of red seen in the sun with beautiful rose spikes and contrasting ivory flowers that develop into ruby red seedpods.
Pineapple Lily Can Can – have green foliage and tiny pink flowers on burgundy stems.
You can also buy dwarf varieties, pineapple lily tiny piny ruby and pineapple lily tiny piny pearl or pineapple lily mixed Eucomis hybrids of white pink, purple and the most popular shade of burgundy red that are a sight to see. The deciduous bulbous perennial leaves grow up and out to 2ft wide while the height of the Eucomis flowers can grow up to 3ft tall that has a tropical look.
Pineapple Lily Plant Care
The Eucomis hybrids are highly resistant to common insects and diseases. Therefore, they are pretty laid back and can be grown in almost any environment in well drained soil but best grown in a sheltered position especially in cold climates, expose them to morning sun or filter light all day. They do not require a lot of care or even much fertilising, the pineapple plant should be given enough water during their growing season leading up to flowering during late summer to retain the flowers till autumn. Once the bulb dies down in autumn there is no need to remove the bulbs from where they are planted to be stored, this is not what pineapple lily flowers like, Eucomis bulbs do not like to be disturbed, upon first planting these bulbs don’t expect them to flower the first season they will only flower when they are established in their new home.
When the winter comes, allow the foliage to die back naturally and be wary of slugs and snails that are likely to destroy the bulb or new foliage as it emerges in spring, it is best to make sure the bulb is just covered with soil at all times. These wonderful flowers produce a sweet scent that will keep your room smelling fresh and natural and long lasting as they can remain, in a flower vase for weeks without drying out, these make the best indoor and outdoor decorating flowers, one way to see this is try them.
Planting Pineapple Lily
Even though the Eucomis lily is native to the damp eastern parts of South Africa, where they receive summer rainfall, I grow them in pots and in my garden and water them only weekly when in flower and bi weekly or longer other times of the year if it doesn’t rain with other perennials in my garden. The pineapple lilies are tough bulbs and should not need lifting each year.
To propagate these lilies they can be started from multiplying bulblets, seeds and leaf cuttings. When planting Pineapple lilies bulbs plant them just under the soil. Dividing these bulbs are best done in the winter.
Propagate Pineapple Lily Eucomis by Leaf Cuttings
Firstly wear gloves when you are propagating with any potting soils – For cuttings, prepare quality soil mix and start by growing the cuttings in containers. If possible, plant your Eucomis cuttings in spring or summer, leaf cuttings taken other times of the year will not form bulbs and the leaf cuttings will only rot. Water your plants well then take off a leaf from the mother plant to make leaf cuttings by cutting that leaf into horizontal strips of 3 inches wide, let these cuttings dry before planting as there will be gel coming away from the cuttings, after an hour or even a day you can dip the cuttings in hormone rooting powder and insert the cuttings into sharp sand mixed with perlite with bottom heat. This can be on top of a hot water service, floor heating, I am sure you will find somewhere similar. These type of cuttings do not need plastic covers over them to strike this will only make these type of cuttings rot, only water the cutting when completely dry. After a few weeks, these cuttings will have produced small bulbs.
Dwarf Pineapple Lily Care: Learn About Growing Aloha Lily Plants - garden
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Aloha Lily Eucomis are exotic, fragrant, drought tolerant once established, are nearly disease and pest free, are low input and have an extended shelf life. There are currently three main varieties: Leia, a burgundy-purple Maui, a pure white and Nani, a soft pink.
It is called the Pineapple Lily for its unusual flower heads that either resemble pineapples or are perfectly cylindrical. The leaves are thick and lance shaped and make up a full basal rosette. Pineapple Lilies like rich, loose soil and full sun. They will grow in partial shade, but will have fewer and smaller flowers.
Aloha Lily Eucomis do well over a wide range of environmental conditions and can be grown as potted plants or in-ground. Cold hardiness to USDA Zone 6.