How to grow and care for Ornamental Pineapple Indoors

Bromeliad, Ornamental Pineapple

Botanical name: Ananas spp
Family: Bromeliaceae

Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) Bromeliads are popular houseplants which produce a colorful flower-head followed by small aromatic fruits if grown under warm and humid conditions. They are native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. They can grow to about 2 ft high and 4 ft wide. The leaves are sword-shaped and sharp-pointed, growing in a rosette. Ornamental Pineapples are generally grown for their foliage and beautiful flower-heads. The ordinary pineapple Ananas comosus is a member of the Ananas group but it is too large and dull to be grown indoors. The smaller and more colorful Ananas comosus variegatus is more preferred. The most popular Ornamental Pineapple is Ananas bracteatus striatus commonly called Red Pineapple with brightly-striped 1-2 ft arching leaves in green, cream and pink.

How to Grow Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp)

Light for Ornamental Pineapple

Ornamental Pineapple prefer bright light but away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering Ornamental Pineapple

Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Ananas Bromeliads require the central 'vase' to be filled with water at all times. Empty and refill the 'vase' regularly to prevent growth of bacteria which may cause the water to become smelly. Use only chlorine-free water as they are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water. Water the soil only when it dries to keep the roots moist; avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Allow good air circulation to prevent pests and disease infestation.

Temperature for Ornamental Pineapple

Average warmth with between 18-270C is ideal for Ornamental Pineapples.

Humidity for Ornamental Pineapple

Ornamental Pineapple require a humid enviroment. Employ these techniques to raise humidity. Allow good air circulation to prevent pests and disease infestation.

Feeding Ornamental Pineapple

Feed Ornamental Pineapple with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) once every month during the growing season. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal.

Repotting Ornamental Pineapple

Repot Ornamental Pineapple during the growing season only when it has outgrown its container. Use a container 1 size larger as they grow slowly. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Ensure the pot has drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to rooting. Pot these Bromeliads in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent them from toppling over as they can become top-heavy. Also provide support to help keep the plant upright.

Pruning Ornamental Pineapple

Pruning Ornamental Pineapple involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.

How to Propagate Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp)

Ornamental Pineapple are propagated from offsets appearing at the base of the plant. When the offset is several months old, remove it with some roots attached and plant shallow in free-draining bark soil. Place the set up in a warm shaded place until the plant is well established. Ensure the plant is well supported; to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy. Pot in a shallow, heavy pot.

Common Problems in Growing Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp)

  • Brown leaf tips
  • Growing Ornamental Pineapple where the air is too dry will cause brown leaf tips. Employ these techniques to raise humidity.

  • Pale brown patches on leaves
  • Exposure to direct sunlight is the reason. Ornamental Pineapple does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.

  • Dark, soft, drooping, long leaves
  • Inadequate light for Ornamental Pineapple is the cause of dark, soft, drooping, long leaves. Move it to a brighter spot; it prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Ananas Bromeliads are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat appropriately.

  • Plant death
  • Root-rot Disease due to waterlogging is the reason if Ornamental Pineapple has not flowered. If it has flowered then rotting and death of rosette which bore flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.

Toxicity

Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors. However, the leaves bear short spines which may cause physical injury if handled with bare hands; always handle with gloves to prevent injury.

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