Although it has been introduced abroad, the pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a native of tropical and subtropical America. The fruit has become a recognizable component of rice, fish, vegetables, and meat meals. Pineapples are tropical fruits that are loved by many. They are sweet and juicy and have a unique flavor that many love.
Although growing pineapples is not difficult, it does require patience; based on the method, it may take many years for the plant to blossom and bear fruit. It takes about 16 to 24 months to grow a pineapple. The plant flowers, and the fruit grows and ripens on the stem. It takes about two to three months for the fruit to mature and be ready to harvest. Pineapples are typically harvested by hand, and it can take up to six people to harvest one crop.
How to grow a pineapple?
There are two ways to start growing pineapples if you wish to. Start with the green top of a fresh supermarket pineapple for the first and least expensive approach. The second option is to grow the pineapple plant from seeds.
Growing store-bought pineapple:
- Take off the pineapple’s crown. To remove the pineapple’s crown or stem, grasp the top leaves and twist. Given that pineapple leaves can be sharp, it may be beneficial to wear gardening gloves.
- Remove any extra fruit flesh. After removing the crown, remove any extra fruit meat, bottom leaves, and suckers—the little growths in between leaves—using a sharp paring knife.
- Trim the stem’s bottom. Next, cut a few tiny cuts into the stem’s base to trim it. The root primordia can be found as a ring of small brown spots. The pineapple plant’s roots will start to show here.
- Dry off the stalk. Depending on the humidity, drying the stem may take a few days. Put the stalk in a warm, well-ventilated environment that is sunny and warm. This will enable any surplus moisture to drain away, preventing rot from developing.
- Put the crown in a glass container. Place the pineapple’s crown inside a jar with warm water at the bottom of the stem submerged. It shouldn’t fall into the jar because of the leaves. Some farmers omit this step and simply plant the pineapple crown immediately in the ground; however it is optional for root development.
- Occasionally change the water. You should see little root sprouts coming out of the stalk’s base after about a week. It’s time to pot your pineapple once these roots measure approximately three inches in length, which could take several months. As long as part of the leaves are still green, your pineapple is healthy even if the lowest leaves start to turn brown.
- Put the pineapple in the pot you have prepared. After adding some soil to the pot’s bottom, put your pineapple inside. So that the pineapple crown protrudes from the top, bury the plant’s surrounding dirt. Place the plant in indirect light for the first several weeks and water it when the soil seems dry. You’ll eventually notice some fresh leaves emerging from the plant’s center.
Growing pineapple from seed
- Buy pineapple seeds. Commercial fruits, like those you buy at the grocery store, are developed not to contain seeds. Therefore, pineapple seeds are rarely seen within. It’s possible that you’ll need to buy pineapple seeds, which are little black or brown flecks that resemble flaxseeds.
- Remove seeds from the pineapple plant. If you are extracting the seeds from the pineapple fruit, it is advised to try rinsing your pineapple seeds in water to get rid of any remaining sticky residue. Afterward, you can start the seeds to sprout by wrapping them in a wet paper towel. You can read more about how to sprout pineapple seeds here.
- Store the seeds. You can keep them in a plastic bag or an airtight container because this procedure can take around six months to complete. You will have brand-new seedling pineapples in your possession once the seeds have sprouted.
- Plant the seedling. Simply put the plants in a container filled with soil to start the growth process, and keep that pot in a warm area with a minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Give your plant lots of water and sunlight. Do not allow your young pineapple to sit in still water.
Why does it take 2 years for a pineapple to grow?
Pineapples take so long to mature because it takes 200 blossoms to produce one fruit. That implies that each section of a pineapple’s skin was once a flower. The pineapple you see was eventually created when it combined with other berries from blossoms on the same stalk. It first transformed into a berry.
The growth of your pineapple can also be affected by your local climate. Because they are tropical plants, pineapples do not perform well in cold climates. They must be taken inside throughout the winter in cooler locations. Pineapples can perish in subfreezing conditions. You can put your pineapple plants outside all year long if you reside in a warm, humid climate.
How can I make my pineapple grow faster?
Pineapples are tropical fruits that are grown in warm climates. If you live in a cold climate, you can still grow pineapples by keeping them indoors. Here are some tips to make your pineapple grow faster:
- Keep your pineapple plant in a warm place. A sunny windowsill is ideal.
- Give your pineapple plant plenty of water. Water it every day if possible.
- Apply a high-quality fertilizer to your pineapple plant once a month. This will help it to grow faster and produce more fruit. You have two options for fertilizer: a citrus fertilizer or one with an NPK ratio of 6-6-6 to 10-10-10 and a magnesium content of 5 to 6 percent.
- Prune your pineapple plant regularly to encourage new growth. Cut off any dead or dying leaves or stems.
- Check your plants periodically for scale insects and mealy bugs. Additionally, keep an eye out for ants, as they occasionally herd mealybugs onto plants to harvest them. All it takes to get rid of these bug pests is a quick burst of water from the garden hose.
- By putting a few ripe apples next to it and gently wrapping them in a clear plastic bag for a week, you can force a mature pineapple plant to flower. Keep the bag out of direct sunlight when it is on the plant. Remove the bag and the fruit at the end of the week. A blossom should appear in approximately six weeks.