Pineapples or Ananas comosus is one of the edible species of over 2000 that make up the bromeliad family. Originally grown in the warm tropics of the Caribbean, pineapples can be grown almost anywhere there is warm weather.
Many people may think that they are a difficult plant to grow, but in reality they are very hardy and will tolerate little water and care. Should you find a pineapple for sale with a full top, have a go at propagating it.
Steps for Pineapple Propagation:
- Take one pineapple, cut the top off about 2cm beneath the leaves.
- Start pulling the small leaves away from the base of the stem. Keep pulling the leaves until the bottom 2.5cm of stem is exposed, this is were the roots will form.
- Stand the pineapple vertical and cut any remaining fruit away. Leaving fruit behind will cause the stem to rot, resulting in a dead plant.
- Leave your prepared top on the kitchen bench for a day to allow the base to dry, this will help prevent rotting.
- When planting out, dip the stem in water and then into rooting hormone powder, this will help the base callous up and roots to form. Insert the stem into potting mix on an angle with part of the stem exposed at the top so as to reduce the chance of rot.
- After 3 weeks check to see if any roots have formed, if not leave the pineapple stem for another two weeks. Once roots have formed the plant can be repotted into a vertical position for the roots to form.
Where to plant Pineapples:
When planting out into the garden pineapples prefer a well drained soil that does not get boggy and stay wet, planting the pineapple on mound will help with drainage. Any position in full sun or very light shade will suit your new pineapple, providing that the weather is warm as Pineapples do not like frost.
Fruiting and when to pick Pineapples:
Plants can take up to 24 months to fruit, yet in the meantime you will be rewarded with a relatively large lush green plant.
When your plant has flowered and the fruit has grown, the fruit will begin to turn a slight shade of yellow / orange. At this stage the fruit can be picked and taken indoors to prevent sunburn or pest attack, otherwise the fruit can be left on the plant to ripen.