Eucomis / Pineapple Lily Planting Guide

Pineapple lilies, take a bow! These tough plants deliver a good three months of glory, from flowers to cool-looking spikes dotted with shiny round seeds. Eucomis are outstanding additions to mixed containers where they add floral and foliar color, often with speckles. The Dr. Seuss-like puffs atop the flower spikes and wavy edged leaves are icing on the cake.

Bonus points: eucomis are easy peasy and make excellent cut flowers. And for those in deer ravaged areas, eucomis are delightfully unappealing to deer. If you haven’t yet tried them, do yourself a favor and experiment this season.

Choosing a Site

Eucomis prefer full sun sites in most of the country, but do appreciate a bit of afternoon shade in the hottest regions. These plants thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Most pineapple lilies grow 18-24” tall and about 15”in width. This makes them well suited to path and walkway edgings and fun accents in mixed borders. Eucomis also grow very well in containers.

Soil Prep

Average, moderately fertile soil with medium amounts of moisture will support eucomis. Adding a slow release fertilizer when you plant can be helpful if your soil is a bit lean or if you’re planting in a container.

When to Plant

Plant eucomis bulbs outdoors when frost danger has past. To get a head start, plant indoors about a month before they can be moved outside. A sunny window will be fine for those first few weeks.

How to Plant Eucomis Bulbs

Plant with the points facing upwards. Dig holes and place the bulbs so 6” of soil cover them in garden locations (this deeper location provides a bit of extra protection in winter). Cover with 3” of soil in containers. In tightly planted container plantings, space four bulbs per square foot. In garden sites, space 12-15” apart. Water well to settle the soil around the bulbs.

During the Season

Pineapple lilies are very easy to grow and require little care during the growing season. If you choose to cut flower spikes for bouquets, snip when the bottom quarter of the starry blossoms are about half open.

Insider Tips

  1. While some sources list pineapple lilies as fragrant and most varieties do have a scent, the olfactory varies by cultivar. The smell is sometime pleasing, but not always. For instance, the dwarf Aloha series has a lovely coconut scent. We have researched smell and can recommend the varieties here for planting near walkways, seating areas, etc.
  2. One of our growers has been working with Cornell University scientists, trialing and gathering hardiness data for pineapple lilies. Cornell trials indicate that the following comosa varieties are winter hard to zone 7 and with a thick layer of protective mulch, to zone 5b: Sparkling Burgundy, Tugela Jade, Tugela Ruby, Reubens and Meguru. We are doing some tests of our own and would be grateful for any information your experiments might yield.
  3. Deer aren't fond of eucomis. Another bonus point for pineapple lilies.
shop pineapple lilies
shop pineapple lilies

Success Snapshot

Light: Full sun to 3/4 day sun

Soil: Average

Depth: Cover with 4" of soil

Water: Average moisture

Uses: Beds, borders, edges and containers

Tip: Super easy to grow and great for cutting

GUIDE: Eucomis/Pineapple Lily Planting Guide

They Start Out Looking Like This:

How Many Bulbs per Pot?

Standard Size Eucomis 16-18cm bulbs

Pot size – 8" Bulb - 1
Pot size – 10-12" Bulb - 1
Pot size – 14" Bulbs - 2

Aloha Dwarf Varieties 18-20cm bulbs

Pot size – 6" Bulb - 1
Pot size – 8" Bulbs - 2
Pot size – 10-12" Bulbs - 2-3
Pot size – 14" Bulbs - 3