Thursday’s Feature: Eucomis ‘Freckles’

Eucomis ‘Freckles’ sounds more like a health condition than a cool plant, but I can assure you when it grows on you there’s no need for a doctor’s visit.  Mine was an impulse buy a few years ago and the fact it’s still with me should say something about its ease of growing.  Dormant and dry in a frost free spot for the winter, plant outside when it gets warm.  It forms a bulb, it likes it sunny, and it does just fine in regular garden soil.

Eucomis Freckles

Eucomis ‘Freckles’ in a pot on top of another pot. I can water both at the same time which is so much more efficient than single pots 🙂

I don’t think anyone can accuse me of overcomplicating this post with over-the-top growing instructions but it really is that easy to grow.  ‘Freckles’ is a hybrid version of the Eucomis species E. vandermerwei and as you might guess from the flower heads these plants are part of the group commonly referred to as pineapple lilies.  I keep mine potted, but you don’t have to, they grow just fine in the open garden.  ‘Freckles’ is a little on the small size and would likely get lost in the mess around here but someday the open garden might be worth a try, since rumor has it these are much hardier than you might think.  Some reports even have them overwintering with no problem up into zone 6.

As a regular reader might guess I’ve got a few seedlings coming along as well since they’re relatively easy from seed.  I’ll spare you the pictures but there’s a good chance you’ll see more and more pineapple lilies in the years to come 🙂

So there you have it, a short and sweet Thursday’s feature.  Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome hosts each week and it’s always nice to focus on one of the plants making you happiest each week.

13 comments on “Thursday’s Feature: Eucomis ‘Freckles’

  1. Cathy says:

    I think the simplicity of this plant is its appeal – just pretty foliage and no tall bits that can topple over in a storm. (It’s been windy here and I have been tying things up all morning!) Like the idea of a pot in a pot too. 😉

    • bittster says:

      The simplicity of this plant had me confused for a while. I couldn’t quite match it with anything until I finally just left it in its own pot. Like you said, pot with pretty foliage and that’s it!

  2. Chloris says:

    I have a few Eucomis and as you say, they are easy. I don’ t have Freckles, it is lovely. I never thought of growing them from seed, do they come true?

    • bittster says:

      I have yet to see if the Eucomis are true from seed, they haven’t bloomed yet, but the ‘Oakhurst’ seedling which is doing well has quite dark foliage and I expect it to be close to the original. The others are green foliaged, and look quite green 🙂

  3. When I visited gardens in Quebec, there was one garden where they wintered Eucomis in the ground. Quebec is USDA Zone 4 but they usually get deep snow cover before the ground freezes and snowmelt usually happens fast in the spring and the bulbs do just fine.

    • bittster says:

      Zone 4! Now that is unexpected, but as you said the snow cover is likely a big part of that. I expect that a thick mulch could do the same here, but I rarely get around to all the little things before it gets too cold, and a good thick mulch is hard to find in my sparsely forested garden.

  4. Indie says:

    Oh how cute! I love that one! My mother-in-law has tried growing pineapple lilies up here (zone 6a), but sadly none have survived the winter so far.

    • bittster says:

      Cute is a perfect word since it’s so small an compact. With better care it will surely bulk up into a more respectable plant, but I was lucky it looks as good as this considering my on gain off again care. I’ll have to see which types are more hardy and less hardy. Usually the ‘Plant Delights’ website is a good rule of thumb.
      -btw I will hopefully be digging daffodils some day soon!

  5. I was gifted a pineapple lily from another gardener and mine’s in a pot, too. Does yours get full sun? I love those freckled leaves. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      Hmmm. I’m a little disappointed no one has ever gifted me a pineapple lily. I’m seriously thinking of trading in a few of my friends.
      This one is in full sun until about one and then it’s in the shadow of the house. I’ve had it in all day sun though and it seems just fine.

  6. Zone 4, huh?! But then I would have to wish for more snow than I want to deal with. If only I could get heavy snow cover on the garden and not the driveway or the roads. I have more pots than usual this summer so I need to be careful not to be seduced by a freckle-faced babe.

  7. sueturner31 says:

    Brilliant. I also grow E’Freckles and find it bone hardy here in the midlands of the UK, along with this I have many other varietys and they all come through the winter well. Seeds grow well but I have known some take many years to flower but as you know, well worth the effort. Sue. 🙂

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