Eucomis or Pineapple Flower
In the doldrums of summer along comes one of my favorite summer blooming bulbs. No, it is not Gladiolus, but instead,Eucomiscomesa, commonly called a Pineapple Lily.
I have been growing these bulbs for about 10 years, I started with one bulb and now have 5-7, so they do not increase in our area very quickly. I have never grown them in the ground as they like plenty of humus in rich soil. I have always kept them in pots where that requirement is easily provided. I have lifted, divided and given them fresh potting soil about every 3 to 4 years.
Like most bulbs, they only need watering while they are actively growing and blooming. So, their pot goes to the back of the garden while they are not growing. For several years I grew Lobelia erinus in the same pot to take up the spare space, but eventually the Pineapple Lilies increased their own leaf production enough to shade out the Lobelia. Natives of the Southern regions of Africa, they tend to like our Mediterranean climate.
In looking back at my prior “Under The Solano Sun” blog posts, almost half are about bulbs or corms. I love how I can plant these sometimes dry, sometimes papery, always mysterious items in soil, then wait a few weeks or a couple months and get beauty from them. I love the ones that naturalize in my garden, so year after year they multiply and keep blooming. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. But some, Tulips come to mind, peter out and disappear in a year or three. What makes the difference? If you love bulbs and corms, rhizomes and tubers join Jennifer Baumbach (yes, that Jennifer) and myself in a Bulb, Corm, Rhizome and Tuber presentation at Dunnell on Saturday September 10th. If you can't make that, join Jennifer on Thursday, September 15th at 6pm for a recap at the Vacaville Library.