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Plant Care Guide >> Cactii & Succulents >> Ananas bracteatus (Ornamental Pine Apple)
Pineapple is one of the world's most unique and exotic tropical fruits. The variegated red pineapple is a terrestrial bromeliad. Although the fruit is not as well developed as the commercial pineapple (A. comosus), it is edible. It also makes and exotic house plant because of its colour.
Common name:

Ornamental pineapple, variegated pine apple.

Botanical Name:

Ananas bracteatus `Striatus'

Family:

Bromeliaceae

Foliage:

It has a wide white margin running along the edges of the leaf. When grown in bright light the plant has a pink tint.

Flowers:

Stalk bearing pink bracts and blue flowers rises from the center of the plant. The plant is unlikely to flower or fruit indoors.

Light:

The plant prefers bright direct sunlight. At least 6 hrs full sun needs to be provided daily. In fact, the sunnier the position, the stronger will be the coloring of the leaves.

Temperature:

It requires warm growing conditions.

Soil:

Use a potting mixture that is porous, spongy and almost lime free.

Humidity:

The plant does best in high humidity.

Watering:

Allow the top half inch of the soil/potting mixture to dry before watering again. Avoid over watering in winter.

Pest and Problems:

The pests most likely to attack your plant are mealy bugs, scales and mites. All can be removed by washing the leaves with soapy water, rinsing after with clear water. You could also spray with an insecticide.

Growth habit:

It is slow in growth. When mature it is about four to five feet in diameter and about the same height.

Fertilizing:

Use a water-soluble balanced liquid fertilizer from the top of the plant every month. It absorbs water and nutrients from a watertight reservoir formed where the leaves come together.

Pruning:

The plant needs to be divided every few years to avoid becoming a colony.

Propagation:

The red pineapple propagates itself vegetatively with four types of growth. The plant may grow 'suckers' from between the leaves, send out 'slips' from the stalk below the fruit, grow 'ratoons' from the underground stem, and the 'crown' at the top of the fruit produces roots between the lower leaves.

Special Care:

Red pineapple leaves have stout spines along the edges which tend to shred the arm of a careless weeder.

Landscaping Utility:

The plant is generally used as an accent plant.

Uses:

Container plant, patio plant

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