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Eucomis bicolor-Pineapple Lily

Eucomis bicolor is commonly called 'Pineapple Lily' because the flowers resemble a pineapple. This bulb is native to Africa and in the US is hardy in zones 8-10. My garden in Chicago is nowhere near the required zones so I grow it and then lift it in the winter and store the bulbs indoors in a cool and dry area.

  Eucomis bicolor- Pineapple Lily

I bought my first pair of these last year at the Menard's garden center because I couldn't resist the exotic looking flower. Apparently a couple of other people couldn't resist the exotic looks of this plant either because a few were stolen from my garden. I bought a couple of extra plants this year to replace the stolen bulbs.

Right now in the garden I have Pineapple Lilies growing in the ground and in pots and don't see a difference in growth rate or flowering. Last year I thought they looked too leggy in partial shade so this year I planted them in full sun and can see a huge difference. The flowers are more compact and the colors are a lot more vivid. Grow this if you want something different for your deck garden because they don't take up a lot of space in a pot.

I haven't noticed any special pollinators being drawn to this flower and the only bugs I see anywhere near it usually the odd fly or two. Even though they didn't attract any beneficial bugs to the flowers I still got plenty of seeds last year. If grown from seed the bulb can take between 2-5 years to reach blooming size. On the plus side I have not noticed these plants get attacked by any garden pests either.

When watering I think it may be best to avoid watering from above before the flower stem emerges. I had one start to rot recently and I think it may have been from water collected inside "the cup" the leaves form as they emerge. Also when storing them if the foliage hasn't died down completely hang it upside down or place it on newsprint or cardboard to absorb any moisture and rotate it. I made the mistake of leaving one in a plastic bag last year before the leaves all dried and I can't describe how horrible the scent of the rotting foliage is.


  1. I have overwintered mine in the ground here in the UK and they are coming through well. Flies seem to be attracted to them and when I had a sniff of the flowers I understood why! They smell awful!!!!

  2. Hey Ruth!

    Glad to know another garden blogger is growing this bulb and I'm envious that you get to grow it in the ground. I've never noticed a scent to the flowers but now that you've mentioned it I'm going to go into the garden and take a sniff.

  3. Ok, I'm back. I don't know if they smelled bad because they did or because you planted the suggestion in my head Ruth. But the smell certainly was not pleasant.

    Thanks for the tip.

  4. Anonymous8:16 PM

    I have about 7-10 of these around my canna bed, and they are thriving. Last year they weren't in full sun and were a little dispirited. I overwintered mine by cutting off the dry foliage and wrapping the bulbs in newspaper, placing them in a cool part of my garage. Any better ideas? Daniel

  5. Hey Daniel that sounds pretty good. I just placed mine inside of brown paper bags when they finally dried out.

    They were in the same conditions as yours and were fine in the spring.

  6. For years, I've moved Eucomis pots into my garage before freeze occurs. Bulbs go dormant as the garage gets cold but never freezing. Leaves dry and shrivel. No water all winter. About mid April, new growth shows and I move pots outside as long as we have no threat of temperature below the low 40s. I repot only when five or six bulbs, which have split from an initial bulb, start to push the plastic pot (12-inch diameter)out of shape.

  7. Strangely enough, here in zone 5, fingerlakes region of NY, pineapple lilies are wintering through in the ground. I started with 2 bulbs, this year had 7, and two of them mature enough to blossom. It looks like I have many seeds developing, so will try growing some from seed.

  8. Rhipsman,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Pineapple lily bulbs. Sorry for the late reply.


    Must be nice to have them overwinter in your garden. I'd try it in mine but I don't have enough of them to experiment with.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  9. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Have grown 3 Pineapple lilies from bulbs in a planter in the sun. Had flowers the first year, all the same chartreuse color.Would have been nice to have different colors. They last as a cut flower, cut one Aug 7th, and just now (mid October) the stem has gone soft but the top leaves still look like a pineapple. I did get seeds from the stem/flowers as they matured. Now an interesting find are root like formations coming from the leaves, also looks like roots are coming from the main stem. I cut the stem up as far as the leaves and placed the top in a rose bowl type container. This morning the roots are longer off the main stem.
    I know it looks like a Pineapple but maybe the top will also propagate like a pineapple. Anyone have this experience?

  10. Anonymous,

    I've not seen that before with pineapple lilies. You should take pictures. I have seen other plants root from stems and whatnot, but never PLs.

  11. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Have photos but not sure how to post them.

  12. Anonymous, If you use a photo hosting site like you could upload your pics there and then just past the url in a comment.

  13. Anonymous6:36 AM

    This is my first time growing pineapple lilly. I been getting brown edges on the leafs.Also one day I noticed that it was wilted. So water it, and came back. It is also plant in the sunny area with mulch around it.

  14. Anonymous,

    Glad you're growing it. One of my favorite blooms, plants and bulbs to grow. Sounds like you did a good thing by watering it.

  15. I have mine in pots in the sun. Flowered years one and two. Years three and four, no flowers. What am l doing wrong?



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