Pineapple is one of the most famous and widely recognized fruits that has been cultivated for centuries around the world. Introduced to Europe in the 17th Century, it quickly became synonymous with luxury. Today, it is widely available and no longer under the monopoly of the rich—a must-have ingredient in a well-stocked pantry.
Ananas comosus, or pineapple, is a tropical plant that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. The fruit is sweet, juicy, and packed with nutrients. Pineapples are not particularly difficult to care for, but there are a few things you need to know in order to keep them healthy and productive. In this guide, we will discuss the basics of pineapple care, including watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.
|Common Name||Pineapple, bananas, pina|
|Botanical Name||Ananas comosus|
|Synonyms||Bromelia ananas, Bromelia comosa, Distiacanthus communis|
|Native Range||Brazil, Tropical South America|
|Common Cultivars||Hilo, Kona Sugarloaf, Natal queen, Pernambuco, Red Spanish, Smooth cayenne|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||10 to 12|
|Mature Size||Height: 3-4. feet; Spread: 3-4 feet|
|Bloom Time||Seasonal bloomer|
|Propagation methods||by offset, by side shoot|
|Sun||Full sun to partial shade|
Ananas Comosus Care
If you’re thinking of growing yourself a fresh pineapple, yes, it is possible to grow one yourself. Ananas comosus can be grown as an indoor plant. But remember, indoor plants rarely tend to produce tasty fruits. Fruits on indoor plants are there to look aesthetically pleasing. If you plan on eating the fruits, consider growing them in a back garden if you live in tropical climates (USDA zones 10-12).
Light and Location
These plants do not grow well in the dark. They need a lot of direct sunlight to remain healthy. When planted indoors, a sunny window would do nicely. You can also plant them outside. Pick a spot where they’re sure to get plenty of sun.
Pineapple plants need a lot of water, but you don’t want to let them sit in that water for too long. Maintain good drainage. The best way to water your plant is to wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering it again. You can also test this soil by sticking your finger in it. If it’s wet, you don’t need to water it yet.
When growing a plant indoors, keeping the temperature between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit is vital. These plants are originally from the tropics of Brazil. They like hot, humid places. If natural conditions are favorable, consider growing them in a greenhouse.
Ananas comosus plants need a lot of humidity to grow well. If you don’t have a humid environment, mist the plants regularly. You can also use a humidifier or a tray of wet pebbles.
Fertilizer requirements are relatively simple. Your plant will need to be fertilized every month with an acidic fertilizer to produce healthy fruits. For best results, use a diluted water-soluble fertilizer. But don’t overfeed, as that can result in tangled, uneven growth.
Cultivars of Ananas Comosus
There are a few different cultivars that are widely available today.
- Smooth Cayenne – Has been cultivated since the 15th Century.
- Hilo – A variation of Smooth Cayenne which was commercially produced in Hawaii.
- Kona sugarloaf – has an overly sweet fruit.
- Natal Queen – Keeps well. Commonly grown in South Africa and Australia.
- Pernambuco – Grown in South America, doesn’t keep well over long periods.
- Red Spanish – Original cultivar of the Philippines. Used for export.
Propagating Ananas Comosus
Ananas comosus is usually propagated by planting the crown in moist soil—the top part of the fruit, with small, fleshy leaves. Cut off the crown and remove the leaves (or twist and pull). Allow the cutting to rest for a few days to stop the sap bleeding. Then, plant it in a pot of moist soil and put the pot somewhere with bright, indirect light. The cutting will sprout roots, and a new plant will grow.
While planting the crown is the most common, you can also grow a new plant using suckers, slips, or hapas. These are different names for the parts of a pineapple plant. You can plant each one after they are air-dried.
Potting and Repotting Pineapple Plant
When potting, it is essential to keep in mind the specific requirements for growing this fruit as an indoor plant. For one, the soil should be sandy and well-drained. A potting mix high in organic matter is ideal, as it will help retain moisture while also providing good drainage. The pot should also have a drainage hole at the bottom.
An ideal container is an unglazed terra-cotta pot, which will retain moisture while also allowing excess water to escape. An alternative would be a plastic or ceramic pot that has holes drilled into its bottom.
When repotting, use a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot. If the pot is too large, the water will collect on the sides resulting in root rot. And don’t forget the drainage holes. After selecting an appropriate-sized pot, add new soil and gently tamp it around the roots—water well after replanting.
Sap from the leaves can be mildly toxic, causing irritation. Excessive ingestion may result in an upset stomach. And the protrusions on the fruit can sometimes cause injury.
The most common pests of this plant are mealybugs. They are small, soft-bodied insects that you can sometimes find on the leaves, stems, or fruit. They are sap suckers and often act as disease spreaders. You can treat them with pesticides but read the label carefully to ensure that they are safe for these plants. Other pests include scales, thrips, mites, and symphylids.
How To Take Care Of A Pineapple Plant – The Complete Guide (VIDEO)
How do pineapples grow?
The fruits grow from a crown of leaves that sprouts from the top of the plant. The plant will produce a flowering shoot that will emerge from the center of the rosette of leaves. If the flowers remain unpollinated, they will turn into fruits. These fruits will turn yellow and ripen, forming edible fruits.
Do pineapples grow on trees?
No, pineapples do not grow on trees. They are a tropical fruit that grows on a pineapple plant. And it is entirely possible to grow the fruits yourselves!
Do pineapples have seeds?
Pineapples (Fruits) do not have seeds. From beginning to end, from the ripening of the flower to the formation of the fruits, they remain seedless. Propagation is done using offsets.