Fruit of the Ananas plant.

What You Need to Know About the Ananas Plant

Two types of pineapple are com­monly grown, although all pineapples will eventually grow into very large plants and are only really suitable for use indoors for a few years. In a heated conservatory, however, they will last until their allotted space is outgrown. A. comosus variegatus, the species, originating from Brazil, is used commercially.

It is a dramatic plant with a rosette of long, sharply- toothed leaves. The fruit forms on a 12-18 in. (30—45 cm) stalk and is green-brown, surrounded by red bracts. There is a red form, A. bracteatus var. tricolor, with leaves striped cream and flushed and edged with pink.Unless the growing conditions are ideal, it may not be edible.

Size: Height 3 ft. (90 cm), spread 3—5 ½ ft. (1—1.6 m).

Light: Direct sunlight.

Temperature: Needs to be constantly warm to produce edible fruit.

Moisture: Keep moist at all times, but not wet.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer at every watering.

Propagation: Detach offsets when they are 4—6m. (10-15 cm) long. Rooting should take about 8 weeks.

Special needs: Pineapples like high humidity, so place the pot on a tray of damp pebbles and mist on a regular basis.