The Q&A Archives: Growing Pineapple

Question: About two years ago we planted the top of a pineapple. It is now huge and growing an actual pineapple fruit! I was wondering if there was anything special we should be doing as the fruit grows. Currently we just water. We are in southern Florida and the plant lives on out walled patio.

Any suggestions, tips and or advice ould be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


Answer: First of all, congratulations on a terrific feat! There's not much else you need to do other than to wait until the fruit is ripe and then harvest and enjoy eating it. 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. Now for the bad news: Your pineapple plant will die after it has produced fruit, but before doing so it will develop little plantlets or pups at its base. These 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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