The pineapple is a tropical fruit that travels far in our modern age. Whether you live in the fjords of Iceland or the open prairies of Nebraska, chances are there are little pineapple cubes in your fruit cup, frozen bags of it in the freezer section of the grocery store, and maybe (if you’re lucky) heavy, delectably juicy, refreshing fruits on sale at a local market.
It’s a strange looking fruit when you think about it — its rough, textured rind and spiky leaves. If the pineapple wasn’t so commonplace in popular culture and advertising, it might seem as though this unique fruit hailed from an alien planet.
The same forces that make it possible to get pineapple in the far-flung corners of the globe are also part of a process that leads many people, particularly those living in urban areas, to feel separated and ill-informed about how their food grows and where it comes from. Have you recently cut into the tender yellow flesh of pineapple and wondered where it came from? As you slice the rind away, are you struck by a curious whim as to how do pineapples grow? We’ve got some answers for you!
- Pineapple Botany
- Pineapple Pollination
- History of the Pineapple
- Awareness of Pineapple Production
- How Long Does It take to Grow a Pineapple?
- How long does it take to grow a pineapple?
- Lose Excess Weight Easily With Pineapple-How long does it take to grow a pineapple
- Pineapple Will Help with Coronary Heart Disease
- Healthy plant
- The plant’s leaves
- The soil
- Slips and suckers
- Pineapple plant care
- Water the plant regularly
- Final thoughts
- Pineapple Plant Fruiting: Do Pineapple Plants Fruit More Than Once
- How Often Does Pineapple Bear Fruit?
- Top of The Crops – Pineapple
- How To Grow Pineapples
- How to Harvest Pineapples
Pineapple, or Ananas comosus, is a tropical, edible fruit. It is an herbaceous perennial. The plant grows stocky and close to the ground. Its leaves are thick, waxy and tough. A pineapple plant can produce up to 200 flowers (and sometimes more) in its effort to create one fruit. When the plant flowers, its flowers join together to create a multiple fruit. A multiple fruit, or collective fruits, is defined as a fruiting body formed by a cluster of flowers. Each flower produces a fruit, and then the fruits combine into a single mass.
While many people seem to think that pineapple grows on trees, that’s not the case. Imagine a tough, spikey shrub with a treasure growing at its center – you’re probably not far off from how the pineapple looks when it is ripe for the picking.
In cultivation, pineapple plants form from the offset of the fruit. An offset is nearly-complete daughter plant that has been asexually produced by the mother plant. The plant will flower in five to ten months and the fruiting over the following six months. Pollination is done by hand since the development of seeds reduces fruit quality.
However, in the wild, pineapples are pollinated by hummingbirds and bats.
History of the Pineapple
Native to South America, indigenous groups of southern Brazil and Paraguay domesticated the fruit plant and spread it throughout the continent, into the Carribean and Central America. Eventually, the Spanish brought the plant to Hawaii, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Guam.
Somewhere along the way, the pineapple became part of European iconography. It is a symbol of warmth and hospitality. Christopher Cumo, a food historian, explains how Pineapple was similar to sugar in that for a long time, it equated wealth and resources. Eventually, it became accessible to the masses. Cumo says that “Pineapple is the fruit of colonialism” due to the way colonial powers established plantations across the world for the delicious fruit.
Awareness of Pineapple Production
Today, the Philippines remain as one of the largest exporters of the fruit. Costa Rica grows three-fourths of all the pineapples exported to Europe and it is not without an environmental and human-rights cost. Immense amounts of pesticides are used, affecting the soil and air quality and biodiversity in the region. There are studies that link these pesticides to carcinogens and possible birth defects as well. Additionally, workers are paid extremely low wages.
Now that you know a bit more about how pineapples grow and where they come from, do you feel differently about this fruit?
How Long Does It take to Grow a Pineapple?
Christopher Columbus is credited with taking the first pineapple back to the old world from its native home in South America. The world’s most popular bromeliad, pineapples are considered herbaceous perennial plants. However, their growth habit is a bit more like a bi-annual.
Pineapples grow to heights of five to seven feet. Long sword-like leaves protrude from a central stem. Eventually, the stem produces hundreds of red and purple flowers. Some large varieties have more than 200 blooms. Each flower bears a segment of the pineapple fruit.
Nature’s pollinators of pineapple are hummingbirds. Commercial growers do not want seeds in the fruit so they avoid pollination. Selective breeding is done in controlled environments. Pineapple production in Hawaii one prohibited the presence of hummingbirds on the islands.
Perennial or not?
Gardening magazines across the globe will call pineapple plants herbaceous perennials. They will also claim that each plant produces just one fruit before dying. These statements seem to be at odds. Perennial plants live and produce for years. Annual plants die after one productive year.
Some gardeners claim to get multiple fruits from one pineapple plant. What is going on? It’s a bit of everything combined into one uniquely fruiting plant.
A pineapple plant produces its first fruit on a central stem. Technically, this is the only fruit belonging to this plant. After harvest, the roots of the plant will live on and produce new shoots. Each of the shoots can produce an additional pineapple.
The shoots are considered the propagational growth of the original plant, and not a part of the plant itself. Whether left in place or transplanted to a new location, the shoots will produce fruit. A plant will live for up to four years producing shoots.
How Long To Flower?
Days to maturity can drastically differ between varieties, climates, and growing conditions. Dozens of pineapple cultivars exist.
- Smooth Cayenne – World’s most popular pineapple. Originally from Venezuela, it’s low fiber, sweet flavor, juice, and absence of spines it gained popularity among growers.
- Hilo – A smooth cayenne variant grown in Hawaii. Small crown, large fruit
- St. Michael – a large 4-5lb fruit with such sweetness it isn’t preferred when ripe.
- Giant Kew – Grown in India, known for producing a 22lb fruit. Fruits average 6-10lbs. The core is too large to produce canned slices.
- Monte Lirio – Grown in Mexico and Central America, this is a white-fleshed pineapple. Popular European export.
It also depends on how the plant started. A slip is an offshoot of the original plant. A top is the top of a pineapple fruit. Both can be used to propagate pineapples. Plants started from tops take several weeks to a month longer to become established then plants started from slips.
From planting, pineapples will take approximately 10-15 months to flower. Plant from seed will take an additional 15-18 months to becomes established and transplanted into the field. This is largely why pineapples are mostly propagated vegetatively.
How Long To Fruit?
The general rule for pineapples is 24 months from propagation to fruiting. Once the fruit reaches full size, it takes three to five weeks for it to ripen. Pineapples can be picked before they’re ripe but they won’t be better for it. They will sweeten on the counter but not develop good flavor. Pick a pineapple when it is 1/3 or more yellow.
A pineapple is ripe when the spines flatten out, and the fruit turns from green to yellow or bronze. This process begins at the bottom of the fruit and works upward.
The best propagative materials on a pineapple plant are medium-sized slips. These will establish and produce the fastest. Once commercial growers valued cultivars that produced abundant slips for propagation. Today, they realize that plants which put energy into lots of slips produce smaller fruit. Plants with fewer slips are now preferred commercially.
How long does it take to grow a pineapple?
How long does it take to grow a pineapple?
Pineapples are fairly slow growing Bromeliads. From slips, they take about a year to mature enough to form a flower for fruit. From suckers about 1 1/2 years to form flowers and from cuttings they can take 2 1/2 years to mature enough to flower. As soon as they flower it takes another 6 months for the fruit to develop.
Pineapple is a popular and extensively used fruit, which you should recognize with currently. It is used in cocktails, cakes, non-alcoholic beverages and as part of fruit salads, but lots of people are unaware of the fact that the tree is in fact so easy to grow they will have success with it even if they do not strive.
Growing a pineapple tree is rather of a stretch, as pineapples don’t grow on trees. I used to think they do, and people climb to 30-40ft using some sort of climbing up belt to gather them with a machete, I guess it’s a common mistake because when I asked my sweetheart she stated she thought the very same. Pineapples grow on bushes. This bush has to do with 3-5 feet tall and about the same in diameter. It looks like as if the leaves in the top of a pineapple grown 3 feet long. Which is actually a rather precise assumption as these leaves are precisely that.
Growing a “tree” like that is really easy once you understand how to avoid the typical errors associated with it.
1. First and crucial is to know how these plants grow, and how you need to navigate to growing them. There are no seeds or branches to graft. The common mistake here is to believe you’ll need the entire pineapple to grow a tree. You don’t use just the leaves and about an inch of the fruit still one it.
2. Excessive water. While pineapples grow on essentially any environment, it’s best kept away from excessive water. If you live where it rains a lot you’re most likely better off trying an indoor garden pot, a huge one, to grow it. When you initially try to grow the plant. let the cut leaves and a piece of fruit dry for a while to prevent fungal problems, which is the most typical issue striving garden enthusiasts encounter. When you plant it water regularly, but not frequently. As soon as a week is most likely around ideal, consider it as some sort of a cactus.
3. Harvested too early. Unripe pineapple is dangerous and will trigger a couple of side effects explosive diarrhea and mouth burning just to mention a few. Do not pick it when it’s green since you will have major issues. Wait until the outside of the fruit is a brown or golden color and take it then. It will remain in the second year of planting the pineapple “tree”, due to the fact that the species is biannual. Initially, it grows the leaves and the second year it pops the flowers and the fruit, which is the substance of fertilized flowers by the way.
When you master it, and if you avoid the most typical mistakes you will be able to grow your own pineapple tree without a hitch. It looks quite plain in the first year but in the second year your guests will have something to talk about for sure, the flowers are plenty and absolutely stunning in appearances.
Lose Excess Weight Easily With Pineapple-How long does it take to grow a pineapple
There are most likely as many diet plans and weight-loss rip-offs in the world today as there are people.
Everybody wishes to be quickly, magically, by eating whatever they want, whenever they want and doing nothing.
Nevertheless, there is a distinct chance out there that will help you drop weight, supplied you take extremely small steps and implement this basic strategy into your everyday life.
Most people diet plan and workout feverishly for a few weeks and lose a couple of pounds.
The issue is, they put that weight right back on since the majority of people just can not make such drastic modifications in their lives and stick to them.
Instead of completely overhauling your life and expecting these new and much better habits to stick, take small actions, make it easy and gradually alter your life for the better.
Not surprisingly, there is a connection between yogurt and weight reduction.
Yogurt offers the body a number of benefits, by increasing the variety of great bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
This includes your stomach and intestines, and these good bacteria directly impact your body’s regular functions, including those for resistance and food digestion.
What is even more amazing is that when you include yogurt to pineapple, you will experience success.
Why? The factor is that pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain.
Bromelain is vital in helping your body absorb the proteins that you give it far more efficiently, and also helps your body with symptoms of sinusitis, arthritis and can also rid your body of digestive worms.
Merely stated, when you decide to be a couple of pieces of pineapple instead of a sweet bar or a doughnut, you will have the ability to benefit from some weight loss.
There are numerous rip-offs readily available, both on TV and on the Internet, that it is difficult to learn which ones in fact work and which ones are merely thinking about taking your money and running.
Instead, you can make basic changes in your life, and begin by including yogurt and pineapple to your day-to-day diet and making the most of natural and reliable weight loss.
In addition to snacking on pineapple versus sweet or pastry, once you are ready, you can affect your health and your weight loss by eliminating artificial sweeteners, unhealthy foods and more in your home, and filling your fridge and kitchen with much healthier food choices.
You wish to do this really slowly since significant modifications frequently merely do not work. In addition, you do not need to stress over eating less or including excess workout, when you can simply include pineapple.
The connection between yogurt and weight reduction is real, and when you add pineapple, your body will naturally work more difficult for you, and remove excess fat and weight.
This is not a wild and crazy weight-loss development, this is based upon experience, and if you are interested in learning more about how you can use pineapple and yogurt to lose weight, you can rapidly and easily do so online with help from Bob Miller.
Pineapple Will Help with Coronary Heart Disease
Pineapple is not a single fruit but a lot of seedless fruits fused together under a typical stem.
The world relishes pineapple as fresh fruit and the very best flavor is attained by enabling the fruit to mature on the plant before harvesting.
Once a pineapple is selected it will not ripen additional nor will it increase its sweet taste but kept at room temperature it will decrease its acidity.
The starch in the fruit’s sword-like leaves converts to sugar and passes it on to the fruits. On getting rid of the fruit from the plant this sweetness link is severed.
A good deal of pineapple is marketed as packed pieces, pieces, and finally the juice.
Canned pineapples lose about a 3rd of its vitamin C content and the bromelain is entirely lost while processing.
However, Bromelain tablets/ capsules are available as a dietary supplement.
Discovered in 1957 bromelain is a group of proteolytic enzymes. It is drawn out from the plant stem and believed to be a natural blood thinner and for that reason perfect to combat heart disease, arthritis and other health problems.
Bromelain is suggested in the treatment of sinus problems and wound healing.
It is an anti-inflammatory agent and is equally practical in burns and sports injuries. In fact, it helps in muscle aches, joint discomforts, and sprains by blocking the production of compounds that trigger swelling and pin.
Pineapple is used in a variety of dishes and its worldwide existence can be seen in Indian chutneys, Indonesian rice, Latin American flan, and so on.
Pineapple comes packed with vitamins A, C and littles B. it is a good source of natural sugar and is 85 percent water.
It is low in fact and cholesterol but high in fiber and minerals like potassium and sodium. However, the fruit is best known for its protein absorbing enzyme, bromelain.
Columbus was similarly impressed by its medical practices in vogue – healing injuries sustained in battles, a digestive drink, specifically after heavy banquets abundant in nonvegetarian dishes. Women used it as a cleaning agent. Caribbean youths were required to run barefoot on the pineapple plantings to show their daring machismo.
Today the proteolytic enzyme is drawn out from the stem and put to different usages in the foot actions of ancient practices. It lowers the danger of coronary cardiovascular disease as it inhibits clot development and breaks down the plaque build up in the arteries.
Bromelain minimizes pain, swellings, rheumatoid arthritis, joint inflammations. It functions as a digestion enzyme, heals gastric ulcers and functions as a cravings suppressant; it aids the absorption of drugs and enhances the access of various prescription antibiotics.
Bromelain helps clear bronchial conditions and offers relief in sinusitis and headache. It works in swellings, discomforts, burns, and injuries and this leads to the cosmetic use of breaking down the dead layers of skin and promoting the softer inner layers. The juice is an ideal ingredient in different skin care items. Bromelain is ideal for eliminating warts and the natives of Guadeloupe used the juice concentrate to eliminate body hair. The enzyme is so effective that plantation employees are required to use gloves or else they risk their hands being eaten away.
Besides medicinal advantages, bromelain makes an excellent marinade, tenderizes meat, helps preserve pastry shop products, chill proofs beer, recuperates silver from photographic and X-ray movie.
The outside peel and the main core of the pineapple are recycled and used for livestock feed and vinegar.
Pineapple leaves yield a strong white smooth fiber used in producing a semi-transparent fabric in the Philippines. It is generally embroidered and used as a table fabric.
The Chinese mix straw and bamboo to the pineapple leaf fibers to produce paper suited for their paintings.
Prefer pineapples that are slightly soft with crisp green leaves and an attractive fragrance. It ought to be heavy for its size.
Usually, yellow pineapples suggest that they were allowed to ripen longer.
Really ripe fruit can also be ascertained by its leaves that can be easily pulled out from the top. However, color is no sign in the long list of pineapple varieties.
Here are a few recipes to try.
Drop the frozen pineapple into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Separate the pineapple into single portions or freeze a few gallons at a time.
Squeeze out as much air as you can– or draw it out with a straw– to help avoid freezer burn.
Write the date and the amount of pineapple on beyond container with a long-term marker.
Place pineapple back in the freezer and store for as much as 10 months.
Defrost pineapple in the fridge overnight or throw frozen chunks right into your preferred smoothie or cooled reward.
Pineapple smoothie with yogurt
Pineapple smoothie with yogurt recipes
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 medium banana
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
- 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (or greek vanilla yogurt)
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk OR coconut milk
Include pineapple, banana, yogurt, and ice to a blender. Include 1 cup of the milk. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Include more milk about 1/4 cup at a time up until desired consistency is reached Pour into a glass and drain!
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
Pineapple teriyaki chicken bowl
- 1 small pineapple 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce 3 tbsp. brown sugar 1 tbsp. pineapple juice 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger 1 tsp. sesame oil 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped 2 tsp. cornstarch 2 tsp. water 2 c. cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
Baked Pineapple Chicken Recipe
Whether it’s for a treat that leaves you dripping at the mouth or a significant side dish for dinner, you will find baked pineapple chicken a worthwhile item for both. This meal is still easily quite the underrated one on the lunch table but is easily one that when well prepared, can really make your culinary experience a great one.
You may find the dish preparation a pretty cumbersome affair but at the end of it all, when you put the first bite into your mouth you are bound to feel your palate getting all fired up and your stomach practically yearning for more with every passing second.
The dish has numerous variations you can aim to when you prefer a meal of its nature to comply with your taste buds but there is nothing like the original recipe for a sweet meal of baked pineapple chicken
Preparation Time for baked pineapple chicken.
· Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
· Serving time: 70 Minutes
Components to prepare baked pineapple chicken
· All-Purpose Flour – 2 Teaspoons
· Canned Pineapple Rings – 20 Oz.
· Cubed Carrots – 6
· Sliced Spring Onions – 1 Bunch
· Cubed Potatoes – 4
· Ground Black Pepper – 1 Teaspoon
· Boneless Chicken – 4 Big Pieces
· Salt – 1 Teaspoon
Instructions to prepare baked pineapple chicken
· In a big oven roasting bag, include some flour and pump up the bag.
· Shake the bag in order to even out the distribution of the flour inside it.
· Add the pineapple, carrots, potatoes, spring onions, salt, and pepper inside the bag.
· Wash the pieces of chicken and without drying add the pieces to the bag. Shake to mix the active ingredients well.
· Tie the bag up at the top and place on a baking sheet.
· Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
· Bake the chicken, pineapple and other vegetables in the oven for around 50 minutes to decrease the pink pigmentation of the chicken Make sure that the juices of the chicken run clear.
· Once the chicken is well baked, you now have your baked pineapple chicken all prepared to be served.
Nutrition Value of baked pineapple chicken.
Significant Nutrition Content for Baked Pineapple Chicken:
· Dietary Fiber
Overall Calorie Value per Portion: 532 Calories
Overall Portions: 4
If you do not mind the additional calories all that much then you may wish to contribute to the sweetness of this meal in a more literal sense. Use sugar syrup after it’s ready as a garnish although the amount used might need to be inspected with care. If you have your own ideas, dishes and concepts for baked pineapple chicken then feel free to talk about it here but do experiment with the original dish a minimum of once.
5 minute read
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Continuing my article on how to plant a pineapple, It is now (5/2018) has been 3 months since I first rooted and planted my pineapple plant.
Previous read: How to grow pineapple – PART 1
I would like to share an update with pictures of the pineapple. I will also share some key takeaway point. Read more to find out how long does it take to grow a pineapple and how to process looks like in pictures.
Here is the plant in its current state.
The plant is healthy and growing well.
The container is big enough and there is plenty of room for the pineapple plant to grow.
The plant is located in a well-exposed area and gets as much sun as it needs.
The plant’s leaves
On the plant, there are the old leaves. Those have a dry brown tip.
Notice how the dry part didn’t expand any further down the leaf, meaning the plant is not suffering and growing well.
On the other hand, notice that there is a lot of new growth.
This is a good sign, naturally.
New leaves are growing well, strong and with fresh green color.
The new growth is less noticeable on the old leaves, they barely grow, but stay in good shape. The new growth is emerging from the center of the plant.
Look for new leaves in the center of the pineapple, the place where the flower will eventually grow out of.
Notice in the following image how new leaves are forming in the center.
The soil should be good quality soil.
It should have good drainage. When you water the plant, make sure there are no pools of water remaining in the top layer of the soil.
The soil should retain moisture. Good quality soils usually posses those 2 characteristics.
The soil shouldn’t show any signs of diseases and fungi growing on it. Those cause root problems and will make it hard on the pineapple plant to grow well.
If the soil is new, no need for a fertilizer for the first few months. Older soils may require some fertilizer.
Slips and suckers
I don’t see any sign yet for growing suckers.
They don’t always immediately grow. Maybe they will in the future.
I recommend removing any slip or sucker and replanting them separately if you want to grow more pineapples.
Leaving them on the plant may cause a slower growth of fruit and a large increase in the size of the plant.
Pineapple plant care
As part of the update, it is important to address plant care.
One common way of taking care of your pineapple plant is to feed it. Give it some pineapple plant food. No matter if your plant is outdoors or indoors, a good fertilizer will provide all that is needed for a healthy pineapple plant to grow.
If not fed well, a pineapple might develop yellow leaves or brown leaves. Though the lack of fertilizer is not the only possible reason for that.
I feed my plant with water-soluble Miracle-Gro, all-purpose fertilizer. It is good enough for the pineapple. I don’t see any need for a special kind.
How to fertilize
I usually mix the fertilizer in a small container, to make sure all the grains are dissolved. Then I pour the mix into the larger watering can.
Pineapple plant fertilizers contain minerals and elements that may harm the plant if they come in direct contact with the plant. Try to soak the soil without watering the plant itself.
How often should you fertilize you pineapple plant?
Well, according to some fertilizers brands, you can apply the fertilizer every 2 weeks. I think that for one plant is too much. Especially for a slow-growing plant like pineapple.
I recommend applying fertilizer every 6 months or so. In any doubt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Here is a video that describes the process:
When you choose your pineapple plant food, choose a fertilizer with good reviews.
Water the plant regularly
I water my pineapple plant twice a week.
It may change. it depends on the climate and humidity.
I keep an eye on the plant on hot days to make sure it is not thirsty.
Everything seems to be going well so far.
The pineapple plant is growing well, producing new leaves and maintains the nice fresh green color.
The soil looks ok. The plant is taken care of.
Hope it keeps this way in upcoming updates.
If you want to learn more about how to plant a pineapple, check out part 1 in the link below.
Previous read: How to grow pineapple – PART 1
Pineapple Plant Fruiting: Do Pineapple Plants Fruit More Than Once
Have you ever wondered about pineapple plant fruiting? I mean if you don’t live in Hawaii, chances are good that your experience with this tropical fruit is confined to purchasing it from the local supermarket. For instance, how often does pineapple bear fruit? Do pineapples fruit more than once? If so, does the pineapple die after fruiting?
How Often Does Pineapple Bear Fruit?
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a perennial plant that flowers once and produces a single pineapple. So yes, the pineapple does die after fruiting, sort of. Pineapple plants do not fruit more than once – that is, the mother plant doesn’t fruit again.
Commercial growers’ favored cultivar is ‘Smooth Cayenne,’ grown for its flavorful, seedless fruit and lack of spines. Commercial pineapple plant fruiting is grown on a 2- to 3-year fruit crop cycle that takes 32-46 months to completion and harvest.
Pineapple plants do indeed die after this cycle, but they produce suckers, or ratoons, around the main plant while it is flowering and fruiting. The mother plant slowly dies once fruiting is completed, but any large suckers or ratoons will continue to grow and eventually produce new fruit.
A member of the Bromeliaceae family, pineapple plants react just as ornamental bromeliads. They die back and produce yet another generation. Since tropical pineapple only grows outside in USDA zones 11-12, most folks grow them as houseplants. If grown outdoors, the ratoons can be left to continue to grow naturally, but those grown in containers will become crowded, so they are usually repotted once the mother plant begins to die back.
These ratoons are little plantlets that grow between the leaves of the mature pineapple plant. To remove the ratoon, just grasp it at the base and twist it gently from the mother plant. Plant it in a 4 gallon (15 liters) pot filled with moist, well-draining soil.
If the suckers are left on the mother plant, the result is called a ratoon crop. Eventually, this crop will mature and produce fruit, but the plants crowd each other out and compete for nutrients, light and water. The result is a second crop of pineapple that is much smaller than that from the mother plant.
Top of The Crops – Pineapple
What are they? Well, other than your seeds, the most important material you need in order to grow this luscious fruit in the UK is a polytunnel. A polytunnel is almost like a miniature greenhouse that anyone can install in their garden. It consists of an elongated wire frame wrapped with polythene, and it allows you to grow warm weather plants and flowers than would normally die in cooler British weather.
By increasing the heat and humidity under the frame, a polytunnel mimics the weather conditions of the tropics, making it possible for pineapples to not only survive, but to thrive. You can plant your pineapples in spring and begin to harvest them approximately three years later. Admittedly, this is not a quick process! But the novelty factor keeps British gardeners sowing pineapples year after year.
The polytunnel gives you a lot more options than planting in your garden in the traditional way. If we have an unexpected cold snap in the UK, your polytunnel, cloche or insulated fleece will protect your seedlings and prevent them from dying. Polytunnels are available for even the smallest gardens, but for pineapples you do need quite a bit of space.
Ready to invest some time, love and effort into growing these tropical delicacies? Read ahead.
How To Grow Pineapples
The most common way to grow pineapples is to plant the tops of the fruits. After eating a pineapple, you can save the leafy top and pop it into the soil, where it will take root. Do remember that each pineapple plant fruits just once every three years (or even longer), and they yield only one fruit per plant. Don’t plan on a massive harvest!
Here is a brief guide to planting pineapples in your garden:
- Trim and prepare – Cut off the leafy top of your pineapple, approximately an inch under the leaves. Trim and remove the lower leaves, and peel off the outer layer of the pineapple at the bottom of the crown. You should find tiny brown root buds – ensure that these are exposed.
- Dry the crown – Leave your pineapple top to air dry for a few days before planting it. This can help to prevent the incidence of rotting when it is under the ground.
- Plant in soil – Once your pineapple crown is dry, plant it in a light soil mix, and keep the soil level just below the leaf base.
- Water – Once you have planted your crown, water it well and ensure that it is in indirect (but still bright) sunlight. Keep your plant moist and check on it for 6 to 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, pull the soil back gently to ensure that roots are forming.
- Bright light – In order for a pineapple to grow and thrive, it must receive approximately 6 hours of nice bright light every day. In some parts of the country, you will need to add some artificial lighting sources to meet this requirement.
- Do not overwater – Remember, only water as needed. Pineapples are used to hot, dry weather, and so it is a good idea to allow the soil to dry out between watering. Keep the temperatures inside your polytunnel at a minimum of 20 degrees C, and maintain the humidity at around 70%.
- Ethylene can help – Ethylene, a chemical exuded by certain fruits, can help your pineapple to flower. Once it flowers, it will fruit. You can try placing fruits that exude ethylene in a plastic bag with your pineapple plant.
- Try laying the plants on their sides – Some gardeners swear by the method of laying their plants on their sides in order to encourage flowering/fruiting.
How to Harvest Pineapples
Remember, pineapples will take between 2 to 4 years to flower, and from there they still need to fruit. In general, a pineapple will flower as soon as it reaches a big enough size. So, the happier your plants are and the warmer you keep them, the sooner your pineapple will flower and fruit. If you grow your pineapples in a polytunnel, you will find that you have a lot more success, and you will be making smoothies, fruit salad and savoury dishes a lot faster.
To harvest, simply snip your pineapple off at the base using sturdy garden shears. Don’t forget to save the tops in order to start the whole process over again!
Pineapples are an ancient symbol of good luck and welcome, and so what better way to treat your friends, family and neighbours than with a home-grown pineapple? Once they find out that this sweet treat was grown right here in the UK, in your very own garden? They are going to be even more impressed. Aloha!