Pot up a Pineapple Lily to produce a mass of lush foliage, year after year, topped with intriguing flower spikes; visitors are sure to comment on its bizarre appearance and unusual aroma.
The individualof this intriguing bulb are a bright lime-green with deep burgundy edging and markings, and are borne on dense flower spikes topped with a tuft of leaflike bracts, as in a pineapple -hence the common name. The flower spikes tower above a mass of lush foliage,
Not only is the Pineapple Lily unusual in appearance, but also it has a curious smell. Flies are attracted to the strong aroma of rotting meat, and pollinate the flowers, while seeking out the origin of the smell. Planted in an ornamental pot, this fascinating plant will certainly draw attention to itself.
The bulbs can be found in garden centres in late Winter, and should be potted-up in early Spring and placed in a full sun position for Summer flowering. Water thoroughly when the surface of the compost feels dry. The leaves will die down again for the Winter, but will re-emerge the following Spring.
Pineapple Lilies are not fully-hardy in harsh Winters, so it is a good idea to bring the pot into a shed orfor the colder months.
PLANTING THE TUB
Place a large handful of crocks into the bottom of the pot. Mix a free-draining compost, using two parts of multi-purpose compost to one part of horticultural grit.
Combine the ingredients thoroughly until evenly distributed.
Fill the tub with the compost mixture up to about 15cm (6in) below the rim, firming as you go. Flatten out the surface of the compost, then place the bulb, pointed end up, on top of the compost, making sure it is central in the pot.
Sprinkle compost over the top of the bulb and, when it is covered, firm the compost down lightly around it with your fingers, to make sure there are no air spaces. Continue adding compost until the tub is filled to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim.
Water the bulb in well, using a watering can fitted with a rose. Sprinkle a good layer of bark chips over the compost; this will not only look attractive, but also it will help to prevent the compost in the pot from drying out too rapidly.