The pineapple (ananas comosus) was spread to the West Indies by South American Indians before the arrival of Columbus, after which it was brought back to Spain and became a staple on sailing ships for prevention of scurvy. The pineapple was brought to England in 1660 and was being grown in greenhouses by 1720. It is a tropical plant but it can tolerate brief exposure to temperatures as low as 28 degrees F. Continuous exposure to cold will delay fruit growth and cause more acidic fruit. Pineapple adapts well to container culture.
Things You'll Need
- 8-inch pot
- 5-gallon pot
- Good quality potting soil
- Compost (about one-third the amount of soil)
- Solid plant food
Start the pineapple plant in an 8-inch clay pot. Clay pots are absorbent and help ensure good drainage. Pineapples don’t like “wet feet,” or too much water settling around their roots.
Place a piece of curved broken pot over the hole in the bottom of the pineapple’s pot. Put one half-inch of gravel over the pottery shard and fill the pot about two-thirds full with a good potting soil and some organic compost.
Place the crown in the soil, cover the base with the remainder of the soil and tamp it down firmly around the base. Keep the central leaves of the crown free of soil.
Scatter some solid plant food on the surface of the soil and wash it into the soil with water.
Wet the soil once a week. The crown should root in 6 to 8 weeks.
Transplant the young plant when it has outgrown its pot. Begin by wetting the soil then gently loosening the soil at the edge of the pot with a spade. Minor root damage is inevitable, but try to inflict as little as possible.
Hold the pot in one hand and the leaves of the fruit in the other and slowly separate the pot from the plant.
Plant the pineapple in a 5-gallon pot, fill it up with some more soil and compost and tamp around the base. Water the plant thoroughly. Wet roots will help to prevent transplant shock.
Continue to fertilize every two to three months.