Pineapple bracteatus is an epiphytic plant native to South America, in particular Brazil and the Amazon forest; it is cultivated as an ornamental plant, but also, in tropical countries, as a fruit plant. The pineapple produces wide rosettes, tall up to one metre and even 120-150 cm broad, formed by long leathery leaves, slightly succulent, rigid and thorny at the edges and at the apex; the colour of the foliage is various: from the bright green to the green, striated of yellow or white.
In summer, between the leaves stands a fleshy stem, which supports a large panicle-like inflorescence, surmounted by a rosette of leaves similar to the one below, but in miniature; the flowers will be followed by the fruits, which will form a single infructescence from the yellowish pulp. In apartment they cultivate small species, which hardly produce edible fruits or of considerable size; there are several hybrids, with coloured foliage and with reddish flowers or with violaceous striae.
The specimens of Ananas bracteatus are cultivated in a nice luminous position, but far from direct rays of the sun, especially during the summer period; they fear the cold, therefore in winter they are cultivated in places having a minimum temperature over the 12-15°C. If they are cultivated in a poorly luminous zone, the leaves will tend to lose their mottling.
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The pineapple is watered constantly but in moderation, trying to keep the soil not too moist; usually you provide water every week, filling the hollow between the leaves. Thin watering during the winter months. It is important that no water stagnation is formed which can result in a lot of damage and cause rottenness.
These plants love environments with a good degree of humidity; in order to maintain it, especially in hot weather, you can place the pot in a saucer where there is material, such as pebbles or expanded clay, on the bottom, to prevent the roots from remaining in contact with the water.
To cultivate the pineapple we use a soil recommended for all epiphytic plants, consisting of a part of peat, a part of perlite and a part of chopped bark; we repot every 2-3 years. It should be checked that the chosen soil allows a good degree of drainage, as the stagnation of water are very harmful to this type of plant.
The Pineapple bracteatus propagates through the suckers which form at the base of the mother plant, taken in spring and planted in pots. The new plants, kept warm (23°C), bloom after two years. For those who want to try, it is also possible to get a new plant by planting the tuft of leaves taken from a pineapple, To perform this operation, you must remove the first leaves from the base and place the tuft in a container with water, making it touch with the base.
The roots will start to sprout after a couple of weeks; when they reach at least 2 cm, the tuft can be planted in the ground. It is also possible to proceed by drying the base of the tuft for a few days, and then place it on a layer of moist soil, without burying it, keeping everything at a temperature of about 22 ° C.
Pineapple – Pineapple bracteatus: Diseases
The Pineapple bracteatus is not a plant very susceptible to attack by pests and diseases, but it fears radical rottenness and cochineal, which can sometimes occur on its leaves. To eliminate the problem it is possible to intervene manually with the use of a cotton ball with alcohol.
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