Lava Flow Pineapple plants grow striking, bright red leaves that form stiff, upright fountains of foliage. The plants like full sun, quickly draining soil, and they grow adorable, red, lemon-sized, ornamental, pineapples. While the fruit is edible, the taste is described as more acidic than larger pineapples. But the tropical look of intrigue created by a row of fire-red plants holding up their tiny red pineapples more than makes up for any edible shortcoming. Lava Flow Pineapples can be grown in the ground within USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, and in containers in Zones 4 to 11.
Potted Lava Flow Pineapple Plants, with their red leaves and cute little red fruits, add a sophisticated touch of tropical style to any patio or sunny deck. The Lava Flow Pineapple Plants can also be grown indoors in a sunny window and admired all year long. Add a bed of Lava Flow Pineapple Plants to your edible landscape for color, decoration, and an exotic touch that will thrill everyone who sees the red plants and their baby pineapples.
Lava Flow Pineapple Plant Care
There may be no gardening project that returns so many smiles and compliments for so little effort and maintenance, than growing a row of Lava Flow Pineapple Plants. The three foot tall plants have an upright form with arching leaves that turn deep red and are an ornamental triumph in their own right. The tiny red pineapples held aloft on slender stems create a stunning tropical arrangement. Full sun and well-drained soil of almost any type provides a foundation to grow this unique plant.
Plant in the ground in USDA Zones 9 to 11. When planting, pick a spot that gets at least six hours of direct sun per day. Lava Flow Pineapple Plants will grow in partial shade, but the deepest red leaves and the most blooms and fruits are produced in full sun. When planting, clear the ground of all weeds and grass, and plant new plants so their rootball top is even with the ground level. Mulch with four to five inches of shredded wood mulch to prevent weeds until the plants become established.
Pineapple Harvesting and Uses
Lava Flow Pineapple plants grow sturdy flowers on slender, but strong stems that rise from the centers of the mature plants. The flowers go through the same process of coalescing their berries to form a segmented pineapple. But the Lava Flow Pineapple starts out and remains quite small. The tart fruit can be eaten, but you are only likely to get a bite or two at most. The value of Lava Flow Pineapple Plants is much more centered on their ornamental appeal. The dazzling red plants and their little red pineapples are a source of delight, conversation, and decorative flair that those who love the tropics find irresistible.
The demure Lava Flow Pineapples can be allowed to remain on the plant much as you would a Bromeliad flower, since in fact, that is exactly what they are. Also, the “baby” pineapples are great for garnishing tropical dishes, decorating luau tables, and adding charm to the kitchen fruit bowl. Lava Flow Pineapples can even be used in flower arrangements, wreaths, and other seasonal décor. Once you have these fascinating Lava Flow Pineapples growing and making fruit, they are sure to fire your imagination.
Fertilize Lava Flow Pineapple Plants with liquid fertilizer by overhead spraying once every three months. Water by spraying once per week, or twice per week when rainfall is scarce. Inward-curling leaves are a sign that the plants need more water. Limp and yellowing leaves may mean the plants are getting too much water. In most Zone 9 to 11 areas, established Lava Flow Pineapple Plants that are a year old or more can live pefectly well on normal rainfall.
Lava Flow Pineapple Plants are a great choice for growing in containers. Their bright red foliage contrasts artfully with blue or grey pots. Choose a pot that is about three times the size of the new plant’s root ball. Three-gallon to seven-gallon pots are fine for the first year or two. Use a potting mixture made up of one part peat moss, one part vermiculite, one part composted manure, one part coarse sand, and one-half part perlite. You can also use premixed potting soil that contains perlite, and add about one gallon of compost for every three gallons of potting soil.
Are Lava Flow Pineapple Plants really just ornamental?
The tiny Lava Flow Pineapples are actually edible but are mostly grown for decoration since the fruit is so small, and full-sized pineapples can be grown with much the same care as Lava Flow Plants.
How big are Lava Flow Pineapple Fruit?
The red fruit produced by Lava Flow Pineapple Plants is between two and three inches long, not including their leaf crown.
How quickly will a new Lava Flow Pineapple Plant take to bloom?
Lava Flow Pineapple Plants growing in full sun and in their recommended Zone of 9 to 11 will usually bloom in one to two years after planting.
Do Lava Flow Pineapple Plants have thorns?
Lava Flow Pineapple Plants don’t exactly have thorns, but they do have serrated teeth along the edges of their leaves. The little pineapples also have persistent spines at the tops of each segment.