Pineapples can be grown hydroponically, or without soil. In hydroponic gardening, pineapple plants are placed in a solution of water and nutrients directly available to the roots. The growing medium shortens the time pineapples conventionally require to root in soil and locate water in order to survive. In addition to rapid growth rates and higher nutritive value, growing pineapples hydroponically provides you with complete control over nutrient intake, enhanced space and fewer risks of encountering soil-based pests and diseases. Most importantly, your pineapple garden's recyclable water and nutrient system are environmentally friendly.
Things You'll Need
- Black paint
- Tape measure
- Pen or pencil
- Pineapple seeds
- Growing pots
- Mixture of gravel and peat
- Light source
- pH test kit
- Water-soluble nutrient solution
- Styrofoam board
- Air stone
Purchase or find a reservoir that is the same length from top to bottom, similar to the shape of a bucket or fish tank. Paint the reservoir black to make it light proof, which will eliminate the growth of algae.
Measure the length and width of your reservoir with a tape measure. Cut the Styrofoam 1/4 inch smaller than the size of your reservoir; for example, if the reservoir is 36 by 30 inches, cut the Styrofoam to 35 3/4 by 29 3/4 inches. Place the Styrofoam within the reservoir temporarily; note that there should be just enough room for water level adjustments.
Place the growing pots onto the Styrofoam to determine where you want to put each pineapple plant. Allow plenty of space between pots, as pineapple plants require ample room and sunlight to flourish. Trace around the bottom of each growing pot using a pen or pencil. Use a sharp knife to cut out the traced circles. Cut a small hole on one side of the Styrofoam for the air line to enter the material from the reservoir.
Combine the air line and the pump, then adhere the air stone to the other end. Confirm that the pump is long enough to reach the reservoir bottom and deliver oxygen to each pineapple plant's roots. Place the growing pots into their designated areas; every pot should contain growing medium along with one pineapple plant.
Empty the nutrient medium of gravel and peat into the reservoir. Ensure that the medium has a pH of 5 or 6, as pineapple plants tend to grow in shorter time periods. Place the Styrofoam back into the tank and run the air line through each punctured area. Plug in the pump and activate your homemade pineapple hydroponics system.
Adjust your room temperature between 59 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, as pineapples are tropical plants. Expose the plants to eight hours of daily sunlight through artificial lightning for healthy growth. Mist the pineapple leaves two to three times a day using a spray bottle of nutrient solution, as pineapples absorb more nutrients from their leaves than their roots. Review the growth of your pineapples consistently to ensure healthy pineapple plants, which may take a period of two to three years to fully bloom.
Tips & Warnings
- Pineapples require manual pollination to flower and produce fruit. Use a small paintbrush to gently brush the flower's center to rid it of any pollen.
- Children should be supervised by an adult when using sharp or heavy objects.
- Photo Credit pineapple image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com