Growing pineapple plants is relatively straightforward and hassle-free assuming you live in a year-round warm climate (never below freezing).
But don’t let cold weather deter you from enjoying this delicious fruit. Container-grown pineapples can be moved indoors during cold spells.
Before you continue reading below, check out the following overview pages if you haven't done so already. They contain important general instructions that apply to most types of fruit trees...
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Planting pineapple plants in containers that can be moved around has a number of advantages:
Choose a young nursery plant between 6 and 24 inches (15 to 60 cm). These should be in a 1 to 3 gallon (4 to 11 liter) container. Don’t be tempted to buy larger plants that have been grown in small containers as their roots may have become pot bound. This overcrowding will affect their later growth.
If you decide to plant in the ground, dig a hole that is twice as deep as the plant’s current size and about three times wider. Doing this will provide good growing conditions for the plant’s roots.
If you’re transplanting into another container, choose one that is at least 3 times bigger than the pot your plant arrived in to allow for proper growth. Fill with organic top soil so that you can place the plant level with the ground around it.
Pineapple plants do not need extra manure or compost adding.
Add a stake into the soil so that you can tie the plant too it when fruit comes. After transplanting, firm the soil to remove air pockets and water.
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Pineapple plants won’t need pruning, but you can remove suckers and slips as your pineapple forms to encourage fruit growth. After you’ve harvested your first fruit, try to let suckers grow from the base of the plant as these will develop into new growth that can form fruit.
Pineapples should only be watered in very dry weather. At these times soak the plant once a week but make sure the plant is not left in standing water.
When your pineapple plants are ready to harvest, at least two thirds of their skin will have turned from green to yellow. Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit cleanly from the plant. Do not tear off the fruit as this will make the plant vulnerable to diseases.
Pineapples will store in their skin unrefrigerated for about four days before they start to deteriorate.
To freeze pineapples, first remove the skin, core and any eyes that remain in the flesh. Cut into wedges and pack tightly into a container. Leave about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) of headspace and seal.
Be careful not to let pineapple plants get waterlogged, one of the main causes of root rot.
The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Pineapples. For more information about preventing and controlling them, see Organic Garden Pest Control.
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