Pineapple plant turning yellow

whats wrong with my pineapple plant?? – Knowledgebase Question

Sounds perfectly normal. There’s not much else you need to do other than to wait until the fruit is ripe and then harvest and enjoy eating it. It is difficult to judge when a pineapple is ready to be harvested. The most common indication of ripeness is when the fruit develops a slight yellowing at the base. After harvesting, the pineapple will continue to ripen at room temperature so you can allow it to yellow even more and become aromatic. At that point the sugars will be at their highest level and the acidity will be at its lowest. Now for the bad news: Your pineapple plant will die after it has produced fruit, but before doing so it will develop little plantlets or pups at its base. These are your plants’ way of leaving offspring as she dies. Remove the pups from the mother plant when they are about one-third the size of the parent plant. They are then strong enough to make it on their own. You can usually just yank and twist to get the pup separated from the parent. Whey they are that size, pup roots are usually already growing down into the soil, so be careful not to destroy those as you separate the pup from mommy. Best wishes with your pineapple!

How to Know When a Pineapple Is Ripe & Ready to Be Picked From the Plant

wild pineapple image by redrex from Fotolia.com

Gardeners living in USDA zones 10 and 11 have the option of growing pineapple plants in an outdoor growing area. Because pineapple plants grow exceedingly well with little coaxing or intervention, planting a pineapple crown in a sunny location will often yield a delicious pineapple fruit. Pineapple plants grow and produce fruit slowly, often requiring between one and two years to produce a pineapple for harvest. Once your pineapple begins to mature, make sure you know when a pineapple is ripe and ready to pick from the plant to ensure the sweetest pineapple.

Watch the pineapple as it develops on the plant. Approximately four months after the plant flowers, the growing pineapple will begin maturing for harvest.

Notice the underlying green hue of the pineapple slowly begin to change at the bottom of the pineapple first. Over a period of one to two weeks, the pineapple will turn yellow at the bottom and gradually the yellow color will spread upward through the fruit.

Wait to pick the pineapple until the yellow color covers at least half of the pineapple. The more yellow the pineapple, the sweeter the flesh. Wait longer for the pineapple to turn more yellow in color, if you wish.

Clip the pineapple from the plant, using the pruning shears, when you want to harvest it.

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If you prefer to avoid eating rotten fruit, it’s helpful to know how to tell if pineapple is bad. Fortunately, it’s usually not too hard to figure out when pineapple is past its prime whether it’s still whole or has been cut up. Knowing its shelf life, how to pick out a ripe pineapple and how to store it both uncut and cut is also useful.

How to Tell if Pineapple Is Bad

Some telltale signs that a whole pineapple has started to spoil include:

  • Mold is growing on its leaves or body; white spots on the leaves are usually fungus.
  • It is soft and pliable to the touch or has soft spots.
  • It smells vinegary, pungent, fermented or sour, especially near the bottom.
  • Its bottom is soft, wet or has whitish secretions.
  • Its rind is an orange, dark gold or brown color (it should be green or yellow).
  • The leaves on its crown are browning (beyond the very tip), wilting or falling out.
  • It generally looks dried out, withered, not fresh or otherwise unhealthy.

Fresh or canned cut pineapple begins turning a paler yellow, eventually approaching a whitish color once it passes its peak. It also starts drying out, which is more noticeable if it’s not stored in its juices.

What About White Spots on Pineapple?

White spots on the leaves or exterior of a pineapple are likely to be mold, and the pineapple should be discarded. Fuzzy white spots on the outside of a pineapple or on pieces of cut pineapple are also probably mold, and you shouldn’t eat it.

However, sometimes you may notice things that resemble white polyps on pineapple flesh along indentations. This is the part of its ovaries where seeds would develop. These white spots are not mold or a sign that the pineapple is bad, and they’re safe to eat.

How to Pick Out Ripe Pineapple

Avoiding bad pineapple is one side of the coin, and picking out ripe pineapple is the other. The good news is that if pineapple isn’t rotting on the store shelf, it’s probably ripe and ready to eat. Pineapple doesn’t ripen any further once it’s off the tree, so harvesters wait for it to be ripe. These days, they often test the sugar levels to be sure.

Ripe pineapple smells fragrant and sweet on its underside. Its rind is green or yellow (there’s a common misconception that green means it’s unripe, but that’s not the case), and its netting pattern is raised and tan. The pineapple should be firm all over, and its leaves should look green, vibrant and healthy, and the rest of it should look good and fresh too.

Pineapple Shelf Life and Storage

Knowing how to store your pineapple and for how long helps you minimize waste and better determine when it’s time to toss the fruit if you don’t get through it quickly. Fresh, uncut pineapple can sit out at room temperature for two or three days, and although it doesn’t ripen or get any sweeter, its fruit may get a little softer and juicier if its rind is still green. It lasts more like four to five days in the fridge, but this slows the softening.

Once it’s been cut or the can has been opened, pineapple should be refrigerated and eaten within three to five days. To best preserve its quality, keep it in an airtight container. Exposure to oxygen causes a gradual browning in cut pineapple pieces; this can be slowed by squirting some citrus juice over it. Pay attention to the expiration date on canned pineapple.

Don’t freeze a whole pineapple. If you can’t eat it fast enough, or you want to stock up during an amazing pineapple sale, you can freeze cut pineapple. The best way to do this is to freeze the pieces before you package them for storage. Line a baking tray with wax paper and lay out the pineapple pieces in a single layer, freeze them and then vacuum seal them in a freezer bag (or press as much air out of the bag as you can if you don’t have a vacuum sealer). For peak quality, use frozen pineapple within about six months.

Identifying Harmful Pineapple Diseases

The pineapple is one of the most popular fruits consumed worldwide. Pineapples tolerate various soil types as well as sun and shade. They grow just as well both in containers and in the garden. Following is a simple guide to help you identify pineapple diseases.

White Leaf Spot

This is caused by a pineapple fungi which attacks the leaves. Spots of brown rot appear on the leaves, particularly where injury may have been inflicted. As infection increases the spots develop a grayish tinge and retain a dark brown border. The wet spots later dry out and turn white. The disease spreads rapidly in conditions of high rainfall and humidity. Application of a fungicide can help control the infection.

Black Heart

This fungal infection causes internal browning of the fruit. It occurs after the fruit has been harvested and usually manifests once the fruit has been removed from storage. Initial symptoms consist of a small grey area at the base of the fruit next to the centre. As the infection increases, the grey area subsequently turns brown and later black. The entire interior of the fruit will darken in extreme cases, hence the name Black Heart. Chill and cool conditions precipitate the disease. You can reduce the incidence of the disease by coating with fruit waxes, which prevents the browning process.

Marbling

It occurs before the fruit is harvested. It usually manifests in the final month of fruit maturation. The fruit is infected through the open flowers and also through natural growth cracks. Bacteria attacks the fruit tissues, causing them to turn yellow and subsequently dark brown. Affected areas become hard and brittle. Where fruit is severely affected, you will hear a woody sound when you tap the fruit. Marbling can significantly lower the fruit yields, resulting in huge financial losses.

Black Rot

This is one of the earliest known pineapple diseases. It usually occurs after harvesting. Fruit may be bruised or wounded during picking, packing, storage and transportation. The wounds pave the way for fungal infection. Conditions of high humidity tend to encourage development of black rot. Soft areas of watery rot appear on the fruit. As the decay intensifies, the affected areas become dark and emit a bad smell. The rot eventually destroys the entire fruit. Care should be exercised during harvesting and packing so that the fruit is subjected to minimal injuries. Fruit may also be dipped in a fungicide after harvesting, to give protection against infections.

Heart Rot

Also known as top rot, this is one of the more fatal diseases that causes pineapple rot. It usually attacks the leaves of young plants and hinders proper growth. Leaves become weak and die. Subsequently, the whole plant dies. High acidity soils and wet conditions accelerate the disease.

White leaf spot

The fungus Ceratocystis paradoxa causes white leaf spot, black rot, base or but rot and soft rot or water blisters. White leaf spots are yellow to brown and several centimetres long. Later they dry to become papery and straw coloured.

Base or but rot of pineapple is a common disease of crowns, slips and suckers used for establishing new plantings. Rot of planting material occurs when they are not dried and are packed with little aeration. The fungus also destroys older plants by entering through wounds caused in the collar region while weeding or other field operations. In severe conditions the entire plant may turn dark and rot within 2 or 3 days.

Black rot is a post-harvest disease occurring only on injured pineapple fruit. Only freshly cut or injured tissue is infected, and a soft black rot with dark coloured mycelium develops. Water blisters consist of a soft, watery rot of the fruit flesh with overlying skin glassy, water-soaked and brittle. Eventually, the skin, flesh and core disintegrate and the fruit dries out, leaving an empty fruit carcass containing a few, black vascular fibres. The fungus enters the fruit through wounds and the crevices between individual fruits.

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