The Q&A Archives: Pineapple

Question: I have a 3 year old pineapple I grew from a store bought pineapple. It has produced a pine apple. How do I know when it is ripe and there is 4 new plants growing up from the base of the mother plant, Should I leave them in or take them out??????

Answer: First of all, congratulations on a terrific feat! 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.

As for the little pups growing on the mother plant, here's the story. Your pineapple plant will die after it has produced fruit so the little plantlets growing at the base 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!

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