After returning from Hawaii a few weeks ago, I got to wondering… Can I grow a pineapple here in Michigan? Amazingly enough, I found the answer is YES! My research indicates that not only is it possible to do this but it is not that difficult to do. You may have to wait awhile for some fruit but wouldn’t you love to eat a pineapple that you grew yourself. Pineapples are members of the Bromeliad family and while they are generally grown for their foliage it is possible that they may produce fruit for you in about 2 to 3 years. Be sure to plant in a pot so it can be brought in when temps fall below 40°F.
Here Are The Steps To Follow:
- Take a ripe pineapple that you purchased from the grocery store and with a sharp knife cut the top of the pineapple about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches from the spot where the leaves meet the exterior skin of the fruit.
- Take the part of the fruit that you have cut off (the part with the leaves on top) and scrape out as much of the fruit from inside of the crown as possible. Be careful not to damage the part of the crown that is immediately below the leaves.
- Lay the crown in a spot away from direct sunlight and allow it to dry for several days.
- Take the crown and cut away the remaining skin (the part that looks like tree bark) leaving the section immediately below the leaves intact. What you have left will be the leaves with a small amount of the crown below it.
- Take the remaining piece of the leaves and plant it in a pot (10” to 12” in diameter) with potting soil for houseplants. Plant it so the leaves are just above the soil line.
- Rather than water the soil directly you can generously spray the leaves as this is the best place for the pineapple to absorb moisture. Water the pineapple in this manner several times a week (every other day at least) for about a month.
- The plant should root and start to grow. New leaves will be the indicator that the plant has rooted.
Other Growing Tips:
- Pineapples grow pretty large so a bigger pot will be needed in the future.
- Pineapples actually like to be kept dry so only water when the soil is dry several inches below the soil line.
- Pineapples don’t need a lot of fertilizer. One application a year during the summer months is sufficient.
- Pineapples can be kept outdoors during the warmer months but should be brought indoors before temperatures drop below 40 degrees.
- While pineapples are tropical plants they require only a few hours of direct sunlight a day. If you put them outdoors for the summer they will prefer some protection from hot afternoon sun.
- It is possible for the plant to flower and bear fruit but it will take several years to do so.
- family: Bromeliaceae
- species: Ananas
- trivial names: Ananas comosus
- origin: South America
- herbaceous, multi-year bromelia
- height: 50 – 200cm
- heyday: depending on kind from May to October
- green, lancet like leaves up to 120 cm long
- self-sterile blossoms
You do not have to buy expensive pineapples at the supermarket any more, you can grow them at home. All you need for this is sensitivity, patience and the right tending guide for young and adult pineapple plants. Additionally, the pineapple plant will infatuate with its exotic looks as a room plant and it infatuates with its fine sweet scent. In increase just as well as in propagation, the pineapple’s needs are easy to come by.
Propagation of a pineapple plant is done with a common pineapple from the supermarket. You should purchase a pineapple with fresh green leaves, firm pulp and a recognizable sweet scent.
For propagation, follow these steps:
- separate the upper third of the pineapple with a sharp knife
- cut the pulp, so that root shoots are enclosed by a thin layer
- pull the lower leaves downwards
- dry the top for two to three days
- fill a pot with a drainage hole with a drainage of clay shards or quart sand
- use soil enriched with 25 percent perlite
- put the pineapple with half of the pulp into the soil and press on it
- around 15 minutes after pouring, empty the saucer to avoid waterlogging
- put transparent foil over the pot
- open up the foil each one or two days and damp the soil
- as soon as the leaf rosette shoots, repot into fresh soil
- tend the plant like an adult plant from now on
- propagation temperature: at least 25 degrees Celsius
- propagation location: bright, not sunny
- humidity: 60 percent
- ideal propagation time: from late April on
- use soil enriched with 25 percent perlite
A typical vermin for pineapple plants is the so-called mealybug. It is the cause of pineapple wilt and makes the plant die by sucking on its roots. The mealybug is hard to recognize, because it lives in the soil. As soon as the plant begins to wilt, one should assume it might be mealybugs and isolate the plant in a first step.
Now, dig out the plant and shower it with high water pressure. Let the plant dry for a couple of hours and repot it into dry, fresh, highly nutritious soil. In most cases, the plant will recover within few weeks and you can resume normal tending.
There are a lot of sorts available, although only very few of them are being used commercially. Generally, one distinguishes between five groups of sorts.
- which are characterized by special sweetness, like Smooth Cayenne, Kew, Hilo and Baron Rothschild
- which are smaller than Cayennes and feature only few fibres like Natal Queen or Ripley Queen
- which have a lot of fibres, like Singapore Spanish or Red Spanish
- from Brazil or Venezuela, which have no fibres, like Abacaxi or Paulista
- which are characterized by their firm pulp
Here is what you need to get started with growing a pineapple:
Organic Compost ( you can get this when it’s time to plant it )
A Glass Jar (you can repurpose a candle glass or a jar that has a wide mouth)
*I use Alkaline water but that’s up to you. I heard somewhere that the minerals are extracted from distilled water so I wouldn’t use that unless I discover something different)
*Toothpicks ( You may or may not need any depending on the spread of top of your pineapple)