Care of Pineapples (Evergreen)

Pineapples grow for 12 months of the year, so therefore need light and warmth to grow. We have successfully grown Pineapples on the windowsill in our living room. It is not important which direction your window or door faces, i.e. North-South-East-West. Just that the plant has as much daylight as possible.

We grow in a 6” pot for the first year, re-potting in spring into an 8-10” container. The ideal soil type provides good drainage, but is also water retentive. Always allow the soil to go dry on the surface before giving a good soak. Never allow the plant to stand in water, as this will rot the plant very quickly.

Water can be applied by watering the funnel or cup formed by the leaves. This will run down through each leaf and into the soil.

Feed during growing months, the end of April until October with balanced NPK with minors at recommended label rate for medium feeders. Never allow feed to enter leaf funnel, as this can scorch the soft tissue.

After the second year, place the plant where day length and cooler temperature can be found. Usually a not so often used room where artificial light will not influence the plant. The plant needs temperatures down to 10’c-15’c or 50’f-60’f with 10 hrs or less of light to initiate flowering. This will be seen in the funnel as a complete rosette of small leaves, rather than the single leaf. Growing up to approx 12” above the funnel, the stem has red bracts with light mauve/purple flowers which should last approx 3-4 weeks. Nothing has to be done to the flower, the plant will take care of itself.

Once the flower stalk has started to elongate, it can be placed back into normal light and temperature. From flower to fruit takes about 5-6 months, so a flower initiated in mid November will be ripe the end of April-May. The plant should be kept growing quickly and in full light to have the biggest fruit possible.

When harvesting your fruit, cut the leaf crown off with about 1cm- of rind and flesh attached. Place it in the window and allow to dry for about 48hrs. The rind should have dried and shrunk so as to easily be pulled away from the crown.

Cut the base clean of any remaining flesh. Remove enough smaller leaves from crown base to expose approx 1cm of stem. Allow to dry for a second 48hrs. On a fresh pot of soil (6” dia) place crown so the 1cm of stem is pushed into soil surface. Use a couple of small twigs or canes inserted between the leaves into the soil to allow crown to stay upright. Water in, allowing some water to enter leaf funnel. Place in a light area and do not allow to dry out. Take care and do not over water, air on the side of drier. The plant that was harvested from, within a few weeks, if it is not already, will grow side shoots. If from the top, these will flower and fruit within 1 year. When from lower down, allow to grow until you notice roots when you pull the leaf under the shoot back. This shoot can then be removed and potted to grow on its own. When two or more side shoots grow, the lowest one may be left in the pot to flower and fruit.

Remember, the bigger and healthier the plant the bigger and better the fruit.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour!!

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