Pineapple plants grow in sunny regions of Central and South America, Hawaii and the Philippines. But did you know that you can plant the crown of a store-bought pineapple and grow a new pineapple plant? If you want to learn how to grow a pineapple, read on as we cover the pros and cons of how to start with a pineapple crown.
Pineapple, a species of bromeliad, makes a lovely tropical addition to your garden. They start indoors in a window as a houseplant and grow to a space of almost 1.5 meters. If you care for this unusual variety long enough, you might end up with a ripe pineapple that will add a sweet, light taste to your meals.
Growing pineapples is a fun way to focus on production. Pineapple fruits are full of nutrients and an excellent food for people who want to be healthy. With patience and persistence, you will grow a beautiful yellow pineapple – and its future tip can be made into another pineapple plant!
Good products on Amazon for growing pineapples:
Brief instructions for care
Once you know how to grow a pineapple, you can have large tropical plants year round. Source: michellerlee
|Common name (s)||pineapple|
|Scientific name||Pineapple comosus|
|Days to harvest||970 to 1400 days or 32 to 46 weeks|
|water||1 inch per week|
|ground||Well-drained sandy loam|
|fertilizer||Balanced dry fertilization every two months|
|Pests||Mealybugs, scales, nematodes|
|Diseases||Rot, leaf spots, marbling, root rot|
Everything about pineapple
A close-up of the center of the plant where the pineapple is forming. Source: d_flat
The pineapple we know was previously divided into five different types. Today we know them as five varieties within a species: Ananas comosus var. Parguazensis, Ananas comosus var. Ananassoides, Ananas comosus var. Bracteatus, Ananas comosus var. Erectifolius and Ananas comosus var. Komos. Ananas comosus var. Comosus is the variety that is sold in stores.
Pineapple comes from river drainage between the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. Natives in parts of South America cultivated this wild plant. Eating pineapples became popular further north in Central America. Christopher Columbus brought pineapples back to Portugal and attempts have been made to grow pineapples in Europe. Pineapple plants were not successfully grown there until an effective greenhouse growing method was established. Then it was introduced to Hawaii and the Philippines by colonists in the 19th century. Today, Hawaiian farms produce fruit for people around the world.
Pineapple plants grow in a bush-like rosette formation, with spiky leaves branching off a sturdy trunk. These leaf blades protrude directly from the base of a transplanted pineapple crown. Flowers look like segmented fruits. They grow from the stem that emerges from the center of the rosette before fruits form and merge as the flowers grow.
Although pineapple produces 100 to 200 flowers, only one fruit is produced on each plant. It takes almost three years for the fruit to form. Pineapple plants can grow up to 3 to 6 feet tall and wide.
The pineapple fruit is the only edible part of the plant. The leaves, core and stem are too tough to eat without heavy processing. Recently, with the popularization of powerful home juicers and blenders, it has become more common to eat the peel of pineapple for its nutritional content. The peel of the fruit can also be used to season food and then pulled out to eat.
Grasp the fruit and bottom of the top firmly and twist off the top.
Plant pineapples in spring when the last frost is over. There are three ways to plant pineapples: via the pineapple crown, slip or suction cup.
Choose an area of the garden with full to partial sun and slightly acidic soil. Loamy or sandy, well-drained soil is best for a pineapple plant. If you start them in a pot, either make sure the pot is big enough to hold a large plant; or choose to grow in the ground. Since pineapple leaves are sharp and prickly, avoid choosing a spot near a walkway where your ankles and legs could inadvertently be cut. Also note that you need to move the plant to a warm place before the first frost. This determines whether it is possible to keep plants in the garden or in a pot.
Plant a pineapple tip
While some sources suggest that the pineapple crown must be rooted in water before it can be planted in soil, water is not required. Instead, cut off the top of the pineapple you want to propagate. Then remove any remaining fruit, lower leaves, and suction cups on the crown. It is important to remove the fruit as they will rot and cause growth problems such as stem rot. Plant the crown in a small hole in your pot or garden. It takes about six to eight weeks for the roots to form.
Peel back some of the lower leaves to reveal the brown ring and cut away the fruit underneath. The brown is where your roots come from.
Another option is to twist off the top of the pineapple. If you grabbed the base of the pineapple leaves with one hand and the fruit with the other, a strong twist should peel the leafy part off. Peel off the bottom leaves to reveal the brown base of the top of the pineapple from which your roots will develop. Cut off any excess fruit under this brown part and plant the top.
Plant a pineapple slip
Sometimes slips form under the fruit and sharp leaves shoot out from under the fruit area. Remove the slip by twisting it off. To propagate a pineapple plant from this point, remove the fruit that is beginning to form at the tip of the pineapple strip. Then remove the lower leaves and plant the slip like a crown after the other tissues have been removed.
Plant a pineapple teat
Suction cups are additional plants that grow between pineapple leaves. To remove them, use a sharp knife and make a cut at the base of the nipple, leaving a little bit of the base. This will ensure that you don't damage the remaining leaves. Then plant the suction cup like a crown or slip. Always remove the lower leaves to reveal any roots that may be growing there.
This very young pineapple has just finished the flowering phase. Source: sbnx
Once established, a pineapple plant is easy to care for. Since patience is the order of the day when it comes to pineapple fruits, if you give it the proper care, you'll have a beautiful plant with strong green leaves all year round.
Sun and temperature
You need light to grow pineapples. Full sun is best, and partial shade can still help maintain healthy leaf production. Make sure your pineapple plant gets at least six hours of sunlight.
Pineapples grow best in zones 11 through 12, where they grow easily in the soil. Ideal growth takes place in a range of 65 to 85 degrees. The growth of the pineapple plant slows down at 60 degrees.
Frost damage damages the leaf tissue. Avoid planting pineapples in the ground where winter will freeze hard. In fact, it can be easiest to move your plant indoors in winter when you are in a cold climate.
Since pineapples enjoy tropical climates, summer heat is usually not a problem, although plant growth slows at 90 degrees or higher.
Water and moisture
Water pineapples well when they have started over to allow the roots to develop. Start with a good 6 to 8 inch soak. After roots form, water your pineapple plant in the morning every few days. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, but provide at least an inch of water per week.
While it is possible to water your pineapple plant from the top, soaking tubing and drip irrigation are better candidates in areas where water hanging in the leaf crevices doesn't dry quickly. Do not water in the rainy season. Water once a week in cooler times. Avoid as much water as possible.
Prepare a garden bed or pot with loamy or sandy soil that is slightly acidic and drains well. Pineapple roots are flat and don't need a medium that holds a lot of moisture. Although some gardens have acidic soils, prepare with a good mixture of one part sand, two parts soil, and two parts humus. As long as the medium is non-alkaline, has sand in it, and has a pH of 4.5-5.6, you will likely have it easy.
Your plant will need fertilizer to start with when the crown has just been planted. Dry fertilizers are best for pineapples, as high concentrations of leaf food can burn the leaves. Fertilize every six to eight weeks for the first 14 to 16 months of growth. Initial fertilizers should be high in nitrogen so that the pineapple can produce leaves. Reduce nitrogen levels after 16 months. The best level of NPK to start fertilizing should be 6-6-6 to 10-10-10.
Bromeliad or fish emulsion fertilizers are great for pineapples as long as they are heavily diluted. Micronutrient fertilizers work too, especially when they contain concentrations of iron and magnesium, which pineapple loves.
Pineapple leaves are damaged by insects or bruises from brushing. Since leaf production is so important to flower production, avoid removing leaves as much as possible. However, you can cut off any dead or brown leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. Be careful not to pierce the stem. If suckers and slips occur, remove them. If you wait to remove the ripe fruit, you will get more delicious products.
To propagate your plant, see the planting section of this article. Remember that any fruit should be removed from a pineapple tip before you plant it. Slips are best removed with a twist, and suction cups are best removed with a knife.
Harvest and storage
Pineapples sticking out of their individual plants. Source: vic15
Pineapple is easy to harvest and easy to store. And the crown can be planted back to bloom or kept in a pot as a houseplant. Add it to your favorite food when it's ripe, or freeze in a plastic bag or container for later.
A ripe piña looks like it's about a third yellow and sounds solid when you tap it. The rest of the skin will be a light brown color. Ripe pineapple also smells fresh. To harvest, simply cut the fruit off at the base where it connects to the stem. Since the stem can be tough, it's best to cut it off from yourself to be on the safe side. Pineapples do not ripen indoors after they are harvested, so it is best to let them ripen on the plant. Green fruits always stay green and have an underdeveloped taste.
If you want to enjoy fruit in your meal right away, just cut it open and toss it in! Nothing beats a sweet local fruit from your garden. Pineapples can also be dehydrated and stored in an airtight container for two to four weeks. They can be put in the refrigerator for five to seven days in a perforated plastic bag. The freezer will keep pineapples for ten to twelve months. For each of these storage methods, cut pineapples into strips or pieces.
Pineapple leaves are attractive, but can have sharp spines on the tips of the leaves. Source: avinashbhat
Pineapples are big, summer-loving, and don't need a lot of fuss to survive. But there are a few things to consider when growing them.
If pineapple too cold or too hot, growth slows down and they don't bloom. Since a pineapple can take several years to form, it is important to watch out for the temperature when it appears to be blooming. If necessary, provide shelter from the climate to allow the flower to develop.
When established pineapple gets too damp, they rot. But if non-established plants don't have a moist area to root through, they won't be tolerated. Instead of taking root, they turn brown and decay. If pineapple doesn't take enough water they dry up. Moisture regulation is difficult at first!
Flower and fruit production is slowed down if slips and suction cups are not removed immediately. Propagate them in a pot and keep them in a window for rooting when winter approaches. They make great gifts for friends on vacation.
The Pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes, is a sap-sucking insect that feeds on the green parts of your plant. They damage leaf substance and roots and spread diseases such as the pineapple wilt virus. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to help the mealybugs loosen from your plant's leaves. If you have a high population of mealworms, applications of insecticidal soap or mykoinsecticides like Botanigard ES can help with their removal. Neem oils or horticultural oils can be effective preventative treatments.
Another Scale insects, Diaspis bromeliae, relies on the juices it sucks from the foliage. These look like small oysters or clams that attach to the surface of the plant and create brown lesions on the skin. Horticultural oils, neem oil, or even just moistening the plant and rubbing it with your hands to rid the scale insects are effective treatments. For stubborn lime that does not respond to these treatments, apply an insecticidal soap 24 hours in advance, then repeat the wetting and rubbing technique. As with mealybugs, apply oils to reduce population growth.
Root node nematodes are microscopic roundworms that feed on the roots of the pineapple growing in the ground and lead to growth disorders in the second phase of life. In doing so, they form small nodules on the roots that prevent the correct absorption of nutrients. To control the populations of root-knot nematodes, introduce beneficial nematodes to feed on them. Alternatively, nematodes are eliminated by solarizing the soil, although this will kill both beneficial and pest forms.
Black rot appears on fruit after damage has occurred during the harvesting process. This fungal disease is caused by the parasite Chalara paradoxa, which penetrates damaged fruits when stored moist. It appears as black rotten spots on the pineapple's skin during storage. To avoid black rot, completely submerge the pineapple in a bath of 122-degree water for at least a minute after harvest.
Something Leaf spot diseases are also caused by fungi and begin as small brown spots that grow into large gray lesions. These mushrooms tend to spread in damp or very rainy areas like Hawaii. Treat them with sprays of Bacillus subtilis, a bacterium that feeds on the spores. For a stronger treatment, liquid copper fungicides are extremely effective. Use clean tools when propagating pineapples to prevent fungal spores from spreading.
Marbling is a disease caused by two bacteria, Pantoea ananatis and Acetobacter spp., which makes the inner fruit tissue lignified and speckled in the last month of development. These bacteria enjoy warm and wet conditions. To avoid these bacteria, use plant-resistant varieties. This disease typically occurs only in tropical lowland regions.
Pythium and Phytophthora are two fungi that do Root rot and occasionally fruit or stem rot in pineapples. To prevent this from happening, plant in well-drained soil at the right time of year. Since there are few organic fungicides that will prevent or eliminate root rot, it is best to make sure that the soil is easy to wick away excess moisture. Sandy soil types are a good choice here. Applying beneficial mycorrhizae or beneficial bacteria can reduce the spread of fungus. Copper fungicide can kill spores on infected leaves.
frequently asked Questions
A pineapple forms in the middle of the plant. Source: Loz Flowers
Q: How long does it take for a pineapple to grow from the crown?
A: It takes between 32 and 46 weeks.
Q: Are pineapples difficult to grow?
Answer: Not at all! However, due to their slow fruit phase, they need a lot of patience.
Q: Are coffee grounds good for pineapple plants?
A: Pineapples like coffee grounds during the vegetative phase of their life when leaf production is key, as coffee grounds release nitrogen during decomposition. Do not apply nitrogen fertilizer after flowering as this can slow flowering.
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