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Botanical name: Ananas spp
Ornamental Pineapple Plant (Ananas) are popular plants which produce a colorful flower-head followed by small aromatic fruits if grown under warm and humid conditions.
Ornamental Pineapple belongs to the Bromeliaceae family (bromeliads group of plants). The leaves are sword-shaped and sharp-pointed, growing in a rosette around the stem.
Like other bromeliads, Ornamental Pineapples are generally grown for their foliage and beautiful flower-heads.
Ornamental Pineapples will mature at the age of 1-2 years and it is at maturity when they flower.
The display of the flower head is due to the presence of long-lasting showy bracts; true flowers are small and short-lived.
Though the Ornamental Pineapple produces a fruit, the fruit may not be edible.
Once the flower-head fades, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets (pups) at the base which grow into new plants.
The Ornamental Pineapple Plant can grow to a height of about 2 ft and about 4 ft wide.
Ornamental Pineapples (Ananas) are native to the tropical regions of Central and South America
The most popular Ornamental Pineapple variety is Ananas bracteatus striatus commonly called Red Pineapple which bears a red fruit.
Another common variety is Ananas comosus variegatus which bears green and creamy-white stripped leaves and a pinkish-variegated fruit.
The ordinary pineapple Ananas comosus may be too large and dull to be grown indoors.
If you are looking to add this delightful plant to your collection, Ornamental Pineapples are readily available online at Etsy. Buy Ornamental Pineapple Plants (Ananas) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: feedipedia.org
Ornamental Pineapple Plant (Ananas) thrives in very bright light with some direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile well-drained soils coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.
Ornamental Pineapple requires regular pruning of the dead leaves to provide adequate space for the pups growing at the base of the plant. Repotting is only necessary when it outgrows its pot. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) grows best in very bright light with some direct sunlight to promote flowering.
However, protect it from too hot direct sunlight as it may cause scorching of the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
If the natural lighting is not adequate, consider investing in a grow light to supplement it.
Water Ornamental Pineapple Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do let it dry out completely.
Use only chlorine-free water as it is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water.
Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.
Ensure there is good air circulation for Ornamental Pineapple to prevent pests and disease infestation.
The best temperature for growing Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas) indoors is an average warmth between 18-270C. Temperatures outside this range will negatively affect growth of the plant.
Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas) requires a humid enviroment inorder to thrive. If the humidity is too low, the plant will respond with brown leaf tips.
To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Feed Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) every 2 weeks during the growing season.
Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal and it can lead to fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.
Repot Ornamental Pineapple during the growing season only when it has outgrown its pot. Use a pot 1 size larger as they grow slowly.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.
Pot the Ornamental Pineapple in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy and provide support to help keep it upright.
The best soil for Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most orchid potting mixes are ideal for these plants. Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix for Ornamental Pineapple online from Etsy.
Pruning Ornamental Pineapple involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants (pups) to grow.
Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean, sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) are propagated from offsets (pups) appearing at the base of the plant.
When the Ornamental Pineapple offset (pup) is several months old or 1/3 to 1/2 the height of mother plant, seperate it from the mother plant.
Ensure the offset (pup) has some roots attached to it. Plant the offset (pup) shallowly in loose, free-draining bark soil.
Pot it in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy.
Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place until the new plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.
Make sure that the Ornamental Pineapple is well supported to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy.
Photo Credit: alohatropicals.com
Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas spp) problems indoors are brown leaf tips, drooping leaves, leaf patches, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, theier remedies and solutions.
Ornamental Pineapple Plant brown leaf tips are due to growing it where the air is too dry (too low humidity) as the plant grows best in a humid environment.
To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier or grow the plant in a bathroom, laundry area, kitchen and other moist areas in the home if the lighting is adequate.
Ornamental Pineapple Plant pale, brown leaf patches are sunscorch marks due to exposure of the plant to too hot direct sunlight.
Shield the plant from hot direct sunlight by instaling a light curtain or move it to a shadier spot away from hot direct sunlight.
Ornamental Pineapple Plant dark, soft and drooping leaves is caused by inadequate light (too low light) as the plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight.
Position the Ornamental Pineapple in a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Ornamental Pineapple Plant dying is caused by two reasons. One reason; if it has flowered, then rotting and death of rosette which bore flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants (pups) which grow at the base of the plant.
Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors to create room for the growth of the pups.
The second reason; if the Ornamental Pineapple has not flowered, then root-rot which is enhanced by soggy soil is the cause of its death. Check out this guide on how to treat root-rot disease in houseplants.
Common pests in Ornamental Pineapple Plant are scales and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil to get rid of the pests.
Ornamental Pineapple Plant (Ananas) is 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 wear gloves when handling the Ornamental Pineapple to prevent injury.