Eucomis plants are deciduous, summer-growing bulbs. There are 11 species of Eucomis, all growing in
Southern Africa and one growing only in the Fynbos area around Cape Town.
Eucomis is part of the hyacinth family, which includes English bluebells.
Three of the 11 Eucomis species are
generally grown in the UK:
Check our shop for seeds when we can find them and for Eucomis bulbs - generally for sale in the spring.
All are known as Pineapple Flowers
after the unusual shape of the flowerheads. All Eucomis flowerheads have a
crown of leafy bracts, mostly commonly white or pale yellow in colour, and
looking uncannily like a pineapple. These plants are all half hardy and can
tolerate frost to around -7°C. As these are summer growing plants which die
down in the late autumn, in warmer parts of the UK the bulbs can be left in the
soil and covered with a thick mulch of leaves or straw in winter. Otherwise
grow in pots to bring indoors or lift the bulbs in late autumn when the leaves
have died down and replant in spring (March – April).
- By division: New plants can be created by removing the offsets from mature
bulbs during the dormant period in late autumn/winter. Offsets can take
some time to form. Once removed, keep the offsets in a cool dry
place over winter and plant out in spring, generally March – April. When planted, the tips of
the bulbs should be level with the surface of the soil.
- By seed: Eucomis
plants are easy to raise from seeds, although they can take a while to
germinate. They can be sown anytime using a heated propagator set at
20-24°C. Otherwise sow in late spring/summer in the UK. Sow in deep containers
with space for the young bulbs to develop. The seeds take 4-6 weeks to
germinate (sometimes longer in my experience, so don’t give up) and should
be planted out in the third season when they generally start to flower.
- By leaf cuttings: In summer, remove an entire leaf and cut
into five sections. Plant the sections in a well drained seed mix and keep
in a warm humid environment. Tiny new bulbs form in one to two
Eucomis plants grow best in sun and
fertile well drained soil. They flower best if composted in spring and kept
well watered during the summer. They are low maintenance plants once