Pineapple is a healthy tropical fruit that is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay and the botanical name is Ananas comosus. Pineapple can be grown in tropical or near-tropical gardens. They can easily grow indoors if it is warm and there is plenty of light.
They are actually short and stout. Pineapple plant grows 2 ½ to five feet tall and three to four feet wide at maturity. Pineapple plant has strap-like leaves that are serrated with needle tips.
Pineapple stem elongates at flowering time. A small head of red or purple flowers forms at the tip of the Pineapple stem. The flowers of Pineapple plant are pollinated by hummingbirds. Individual fruits normally form from each flower; the flowers will now join together to form a conical-shaped compound fruit that can be as large as twelve inches long and nearly as wide in circumference. Pineapple fruit can weigh from one to ten pounds or more. Pineapple fruits are normally harvested with a sharp knife, the pineapple fruit is cut away from the stalk and plant below.
The Best Climate and Site for Growing Pineapple Fruit
Like I said earlier pineapples are tropical plants. Pineapple as a tropical fruit grow best where the temperature averages are between 65° and 95,° they can actually tolerate cool nights but the growth will be slowed. A prolonged cold and freezing temperature will delay maturity and make the Pineapple fruit more acid. Pineapples fruit can be severely damaged at 28°. This fruit are grown outdoors in southern California, southern Florida and Hawaii in the United States of America.
Pineapple fruits need to be planted in full sun, they don’t ripen well in partial shade. Make sure you plant them in compost-rich, sandy loam soil. The soil for planting must be well-drained, pineapples fruit cannot grow in soggy soil. Pineapple also prefers a soil pH of about 4.5 to 6.5.
Spacing Pineapple Plants
Pineapples need to be space according to their size at maturity. Pineapples can grow to about 2 ½ to five feet tall and three to four feet wide. Pineapple leaves are spiked so give the plant room.
Planting Pineapples Plant
Make sure you prepare the planting site in full sun that is sheltered from a prevailing breeze or wind. You have to work a well-rotted compost or manure into the soil. You can mound the soil if it is not well-drained. You have to set a ground cover of black plastic over the planting bed, and then cut an X in the plastic to plant the pineapple plant. The plastic groundcover will warm the soil, also conserve soil moisture, and reflect heat up to the pineapple plant.
You have to dig a hole half again as deep and twice as wide as the pineapple plant’s roots. Then add a cupful of all-purpose fertilizer to the bottom of the hole.
Set the pineapple plant in the hole so that the soil mark from the nursery pot on the stem is at the surface level as the surrounding soil. Then spread the roots out in all directions.
You have to re-fill the hole with half native soil and half aged compost or commercial organic planting mix, then firm in the soil so that there will be no air pockets among the roots. You have to water in the soil and create a modest soil basin around the base of the pineapple plant to hold water at watering time.
After planting the pineapple water thoroughly and then fertilize with a high-phosphorus liquid starter fertilizer.
Growing Pineapple in a Container
Pineapple Plant Care
For best fruit production keep the soil evenly moist. This plant can withstand drought, but the fruit yield will suffer. Make sure you feed the pineapples every 4 months with a high nitrogen fertilizer. A fertilizer formulated for citrus can also work. Magnesium will help increase the pineapple fruit weight. Pineapples plant can take nutrients in through their leaves, you can use a dilute fish emulsion or seaweed extract foliar spray. You have to mulch around the pineapple plants with aged compost to conserve soil moisture and to protect the shallow roots.
This plant are frost-sensitive, cover the pineapple plants with a plant blanket or erect a frame around the pineapple plant and then cover the frame with clear plastic sheeting if frost threatens.
Harvesting and Storing Pineapple Fruit
It takes about eighteen to thirty-two months for a pineapple plants to bear mature fruit. It is actually very difficult to tell when a pineapple fruit is ripe. The size and color change of the pineapple are not reliable indicators of ripeness. The eyes or scales that run down the length of the pineapple plant will actually turn a light pale green color when the pineapple fruit is ripe.
The ripe pineapple fruit will make a dull, solid sound when thumped by a finger, why the immature pineapple fruit will make a hollow thud. They can continue to ripen after harvest. You can cut the ripe fruit from the plant with a sharp knife, although some fruit can break away from the plant with a twisting jerk.
Pineapple Pest Control
Mealybugs can feed on the sap of the pineapple leaves. You can easily wash the plant with a strong spray of water or spray with insecticidal soap several times. Reddish or purple leaves actually indicate that the plant needs feeding.