Growing pineapples is easy if you get the basics right.
But first of all, here are a few pictures of pineapple plants for those who don’t know what they look like:
The plant on the left is very young, the picture in the middle shows a mature pineapple plant from the top, and the one on the right shows a fruiting plant. (The fruit stem emerges from the middle of the plant, and you get one pineapple per plant.)
A few things you should know about pineapple plants:
• Pineapples don’t need much water. They have very tough leaves so they don’t lose much water through evaporation. They can get by on very little.
• Pineapples don’t need much soil or high quality soil. They belong to the family of bromeliads, and like all bromeliads they do not have a big root system.
• Pineapples get a lot of their water and nutrition through their leaves.
• Pineapples like slightly acidic soils, which is what most gardens have anyway.
• Pineapples grow in full sun, even in the hottest climates, but they also do well in dappled shade.
What pineapples do not like is
• soggy, waterlogged soils,
• having their leaves burned with concentrated fertilisers,
You can get started several ways. Most people will start using the top of a shop bought pineapple. If you know someone who grows pineapples you may also be able to beg or buy some “suckers” or “slips” (little plantlets taken of a mature pineapple plant). It’s actually better to let it cure or dry for a day or two before planting.
If you use tops make sure you remove all the fruit flesh. You should also remove all the small bottom leaves. Just pull them off. The same goes for suckers. If there are very small or dead leaves at the bottom pull them off.
Just make a small hole in the ground or in a pot and stick your little pineapple in that. Push the soil back in and firm it around the base so the pineapple sits straight and doesn’t fall over. If the soil is dry give it some water.
And that’s it.
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