Sunday, August 23, 2015

How To Plant A Pineapple

I thought it might be fun today, to show you how I plant pineapple's. You can plant one too, with just a slight modification in how you do it. If you follow these simple instructions, only planting in a pot, instead of the garden, you too can grow a pineapple. However you should be patient, as it will take 18 months, to two years, for your pineapple to grow fruit. Here in the Islands, it is well worth it, for the plant itself, makes for an interesting garden plant.

The first step in the process, is to have selected a good, ripe, pineapple. You can always tell a good pineapple, by selecting one with even large nodes. If the eyes, or nodes, as they are sometimes called, on the pineapple, are smaller at the top, they have picked it too soon. The pineapple should have a light scent. If the scent is strong, it is too ripe. The pineapple should be uniform, firm, with a light colored stem mark, where they cut it from the plant. If that mark has turned grey, it has sat on the shelf too long. Now this last, may be harder, if you are on the Mainland, as the storage and shipping, can make getting a good pineapple more difficult, but if you chose well, it should still grow.

The other thing to note, is to not buy a pineapple, that the center of the top has been pulled out. This will not grow but will rot, as the center is where the new leaf spikes will form.

Once you have sliced off the top of your pineapple, you simply pull off the excess chunk around the base of the top, as seen above. This will expose the base, and the smaller stems.

Remove stems from the bottom, until you see small brown marks, these are the roots that will grow.
Now some people recommend, putting the whole thing in water, until the root spots grow, but I skip that step
entirely, and put the tops directly into my cinder-soil.

This is the step, where you would be using a pot, instead of what I am doing. I just take mine out, chose a spot, in my pineapple garden, and dig a small hole. You should fill your desired sized pot, I recommend at least a two gallon, and fill it with a loose, well draining, potting soil. This will keep the roots from rotting.

Fill in the soil tightly around the pineapple top, and water into the plant from the top, and you are done.
Pineapple's like to be watered from the top, into their crest. Don't over water, but also don't let the soil dry completely out.

Once I have my pineapple planted, I pretty much get to ignore them, and just watch them grow. The conditions on our side of the Island, are perfect for pineapple's, so every time I buy one in the market, I plant the top in the ground. I have over thirty plants now, and plan on having many more.

This pineapple, is one that we got as a gift from our neighbor, Tommy, right before he moved to Thailand. It was an offshoot, growing out the side of another pineapple, he was growing in his pineapple garden. It had not been in the ground many weeks, and it began to grow a pineapple. We are watching in keen anticipation, of a sweet feast, which of course I shall plant it's top, once we have eaten the fruit.

This pineapple, was our very first one harvested, and is a completely different variety, than the one Tommy gave us. These were growing wild in the field next door, which another neighbor asked Gregg to clean up. He threw six plants over the fence to me, and soon after I planted this one, it proceeded to put up a stalk, and grow a pineapple. Tho small, this tasted like strawberries, and was quite delicious.

A word of caution, pineapples plants can get to be three feet across, and their spikes are very stiff and sharp. I do not recommend them, being planted around small children, unless you grow them in a place they cannot hurt themselves, by running into them. Also, they are not cold hardly, and tho they would probably enjoy your summer garden, they would need to be brought indoors, once the nighttime temperatures dropped.

Here is a picture of my backyard pineapple garden. I think there are fourteen, or fifteen plants there now, of several varieties. The yellow topped ones, are white pineapples, and the very best tasting pineapple you can buy locally. They are like eating candy, and the centers are so soft, you can eat them too.

The plants in the black pots, are passion vine. I was given a passion fruit from a fellow, who grows them on his organic farm. After I had eaten it, I put the seeds in a pot, just to see how they would do?! They went gangbusters, so I repotted each one in its very own pot. I used to have about thirty plants, but I gave some away to friends. These are purple passion vine, but I am hoping to get some of the red variety too.

The plant in the blue pot, is a small bushy variety of bamboo. However it is a creeper, so I am keeping it contained, so it can't spread all over, and become a menace.

Here in Hawaii, pineapple's make for an interesting, edible, landscape plant. I plant them, wherever I find a space to put them. They are great for softening the edges of my large garden boulders, or defining the edge of the front driveway.

I hope you have enjoyed this pineapple tutorial, and if you have the space, and the patience, will give growing a pineapple a try.

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