Thursday, October 7, 2010

Growing pineapple

This is my weekly Nature Notes post…About pineapple.

There are many varieties of pineapple plants. Some are ornamental and some are edible. This one in my picture grow on the slope at SengKang park, I believe it is for ornamental use only.

Pineapples are exotic fruits that make great houseplants. They are fragrant, delicious to eat, and fun to look at. The sound of the Chinese word for pineapple is “Wang Li” it close to the sound of “good luck ”, so the pineapple has become a popular traditional Feng Shui symbol of wealth, fortune and prosperity. They are one of the fruits most welcomed during the Chinese New Year.

However they are also fun and simple to grow. Buy a pineapple with green, healthy leaves stem on top from any fruits store,  using just the discard top that you have cut off, you can grow your own pineapple in a pot. Remember to strip off the leaves to about ¾ inch from the stem’s base. This can increase rooting chances. I was told hand the stem facing down in a dry and cool area for a week, it will help the cut end heal prior to planting. So it won’t be rotting before it can even root. I skipped this step when I planted my Pineapple 3 years ago. But please remember don’t put the top into water before planting. A lot of people get the idea that leave the stems in the water to help rooting, that's absolute nonsense.

After removing all the fruit flesh and the small bottom leaves, I just planted the pineapple stem’s striped section into the soil (wet the soil first), firmly pat down the soil along the plant to establish support for the stem. I never water it for about 4 days, I believe just like planting the Euphorbia from the cut stems, you must less water it to prevent from rotting. Place the plant at a place bright and better have some sun exposure in the afternoon.  Water them once a week after the 4 days, pineapples take up a lot of their nutrition through their leaves, so water the leaves too instead watering only the soil. I applied chicken manure into the soil too, it helps the pineapple grow more healthy.

So at the end of this post, you may curious how long will it take for pineapple to fruit ? Well, It very much depends on the variety, the climate, and of course how well you look after them. It depends whether you plant tops, suckers or slips. too.

My friend and I both were growing pineapple from tops of shop bought pineapples 3 years ago, mine start to fruit after 2 years, harvest one already, but my friend’s one still no fruits. Some article said “Suckers take about 18 months and slips can fruit within a year”, so may be you want to try growing pineapple from slips.

Though growing pineapple is easy, especially in Singapore, but it takes out a lot of spaces, if you don’t have a garden, like me, planting for fun at the corridor, then better don’t try pineapple. It grows too fast, too big. I gave my a few pots of pineapple collection to a friend who has a garden. Maybe I will try to grow dwarf pineapple next time, it is smaller, they are ornamental rather than an edible fruit, so it is best for decoration as house plants.

Thank you for reading my post, your comments are most appreciated…


DeniseinVA said...

Great photo and post!

Rambling Woods said...

I think I tried to grow one once in the house and it took. Of course we could never have one outside in our climate. But how wonderful it would be to be able to gather your own fresh pineapple...Thank you for posting to Nature Notes....Michelle