Ananas - Pineapple
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of 9 species of tropical, terrestrial bromeliads (plants belonging to the family, Bromeliaceae) native to tropical America. These plants are commonly known as Pineapples. They grow up to 4 feet high and produce rosettes of long, stiff, spiny leaves. Pineapples produce a thick, leafless stem topped by a thistle-like, violet or red flower after about 16 months and when the plant is at least 2 feet high. This flower develops into the delicious, juicy fruit we all love. Pineapples can be grown as an interesting houseplant or outdoors in tropical climates.
POTTING & PROPAGATION: Pineapples need a minimum winter temperature of 65º F. They prefer hot, humid summers. These plants can be started by simply twisting out or cutting off the top leaves (crown) of the pineapple fruit. Make sure any fruit left attached is trimmed off, as this may cause it to rot after planting. After removing and trimming off the excess fruit pulp, trim the stem a little at a time until you see root buds, which are small, round objects seen around the cut end of the stem's base. You can also strip off some of the lower leaves (about ¾-inch up from the base of the stem). You will see small, brownish bumps under the leaf scars. These are the beginnings of roots. You may also see some small roots already growing. After preparing the crown, set it upside down in a dry, shaded place for about a week to allow the cuts to "heal". It can then be planted in a store-bought potting soil mix. Start it in an 8-inch clay pot and when it starts to outgrow it, move it to a 12-inch pot. Make sure the containers have excellent drainage. To insure this, add about a 1-inch layer of coarse gravel to the bottom of the pot before adding the soil. Firm the soil around the base of the crown and avoid getting dirt in the central leaves. Fertilize your Pineapple at planting time and every two or three months thereafter with a good household plant food. You only need to water the plant once a week. Pineapples produce their flowers after about 16 months and when the plant is at least 2 feet high. After about 6 months, the fruit will begin to change colors from green to gold and the fruit's flesh is becoming sweeter. The Pineapple may weight from 2 to 4 pounds. When the fruit is halfway golden yellow, you can pick and eat it. However, you can wait longer if you wish.
I started this Pineapple from a crown of a fruit that I purchased at the grocery store. I did it a little differently than described above. I initially started it in sand, but then repotted it in a mixture of potting soil and sand. It was my first try at this and I really didn't know what to do at the time. I actually moved it a few times, eventually into quite a large pot, which gets difficult as the plant gets larger. You don't need to move it that many times. It took about two years for it to produce a fruit, which was smaller than the store-bought ones. (Because it was grown in a container.) However, to my surprise, it was absolutely delicious. I didn't expect it to be so sweet and juicy. I used the top of the fruit to start a new plant. I left the old plant in the container for a while (Laziness on my part.) and eventually it produced two more shoots, which I also used to make new plants. A. bracteatus; Var Tricelor A. bracteatus; Var Tricelor
A. bracteatus; Var Tricelor
A. comosus variegatus.
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
Back to our botanical home page.
Back to our botanical home page.