Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pineapple plant: Better than pineapple pizza, I think

I guess it was inevitable that a show with a Hawaiian theme would bring forth a wave of pineapples. They're here, all right - pineapple pizza (with tomatoes and peppers), pineapple art, pineapple jewelry, pineapple everything. But nothing beats the real thing - a pineapple plant, such as the one Gracia Nothstein of Harrisburg decided to buy for $12. It's a dwarf variety, and the actual fruit will likely be too small to eat. But it sure is cute, isn't it? There's a larger, $20, version, too, but I'm with Gracia. This one's the best.

Pineapple plant: Better than pineapple pizza, I think

I guess it was inevitable that a show with a Hawaiian theme would bring forth a wave of pineapples. They're here, all right - pineapple pizza (with tomatoes and peppers), pineapple art, pineapple jewelry, pineapple everything. But nothing beats the real thing - a pineapple plant, such as the one Gracia Nothstein of Harrisburg decided to buy for $12. It's a dwarf variety, and the actual fruit will likely be too small to eat. But it sure is cute, isn't it? There's a larger, $20, version, too, but I'm with Gracia. This one's the best.

Gracia plans to put it in a room of her house that has a palm tree theme. No real palms, mind you, just the suggestion of tropical escape. "No palm trees yet," she says by way of amending her answer.

Casey Combs, senior plant buyer at PHS' Meadowbrook Farm, whose store at the show is selling tropical plants and lots of others, says the pineapples are a big seller, as are anthuriums, Alpines and air plants. How come they all start with A??

Air plants are the most curious of them all. They need no soil and no actual watering, just a misting twice a week or a run under the faucet once a week for 30 seconds. They're popular for bathrooms, where the shower does the misting for you. How lazy can you get, people?

"They're pretty cool, very other-worldly looking," says Casey of the plant officially known as tillandsia, in the bromeliad family, along with pineapples (there they go again) and Spanish moss.

Air plants got very popular after the movie Avatar came out in 2009 - whoever said plant greeks aren't au courant? Actually, I can't blame people for being intrigued. Who wouldn't be by a plant that pulls moisture and nutrients, just about everything it needs, from the air around it? In fact, wouldn't it be great if people could do that? I take that back. Eating is too much fun. But not, I'm afraid, pineapple pizza, which is being sold at the show, too.

That I'd prefer to absorb from the air, bypassing my plumbing - and the experience - altogether.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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