Like all pineapples, they are a type of bromeliad. Originated in tropical America and the Caribbean, explorers have moved the pineapple to all tropical parts of the world.
Ornamental pineapples are grown just for their looks, while the edible pineapple is a standard fruit appreciated worldwide. It’s prettier relative, the ornamental pineapple, is a true landscape beauty often underutilized, but always appreciated.
Ornamental pineapples can easily be grown here in Sarasota. Either purchase a started plant, or find a friend or neighbor with a vegetative part to share. To start ornamental pineapples, you first need either a crown from the fruit or suckers. Suckers form at the base of the leaves of the old mother plant. The bigger and more developed that all these propagation materials are, the quicker they will develop into a new plant.
Pot the plantlets in clean potting medium to start new plants. Set rooted plants out in full sun to part-shade locations situated in planting beds enriched with compost about 36 inches apart to help develop vigorous plants. Applying an organic mulch will also help maintain moisture and suppress weeds.
Ornamental pineapple plants are in bloom at The Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts. Visit SarasotaGardenClub.org.