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Publication #FPS-41

Ananas comosus 'Variegatus' Variegated Pineapple1

Edward F. Gilman2


The 24 to 30-inch-long, stiff, bright green leaves have spiny tips and margins (Fig. 1). Leaves arise from a tight rosette. Pineapples are often planted for their tropical appearance and as a horticultural novelty. The fruit appears on top of a central stalk after a year or more.

Figure 1. 

Variegated pineapple.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Ananas comosus 'Variegatus'
Pronunciation: uh-NAN-us ko-MO-sus
Common name(s): variegated pineapple
Family: Bromeliaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: ground cover; accent; specimen; border
Availablity: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: 1 to 3 feet
Spread: 3 to 5 feet
Plant habit: round
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: spiny
Leaf shape: linear
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches
Leaf color: variegated
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: red

Flower characteristic: summer flowering


Fruit shape: oval
Fruit length: 6 to 12 inches
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: green; yellow

Fruit characteristic: suited for human consumption; persists on the plant

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: usually with one stem/trunk
Current year stem/twig color: not applicable
Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: very sensitive to one or more pests or diseases which can affect plant health or aesthetics

Use and Management

Although the plants will tolerate full sun to fairly dark conditions inside, pineapple is most attractive as an ornamental if given some protection from full sun. Well-drained soil is most suitable for best growth. They can be used as a specimen, or grouped as a groundcover in a mass planting.

Plant on fourfoot centers to allow plants room to spread their foliage. Do not plant in areas where children play because the spines can injure them if they contact the leaves.

The cultivar 'Variegatus' is grown for its striking variegated foliage and is quite popular.

Propagation is by dividing the suckers from the base of the parent plant and also by rooting the leafy top of a mature fruit.

Pests and Diseases

Mites, scales, and mealy-bugs can be serious pest problems.

No diseases are of major concern.



This document is FPS-41, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.