It may look like the weirdest and most complex fruit to cultivate. But in fact, learning how to grow a pineapple is pretty straightforward.
Not only do they grow effortlessly, but they also do it anywhere. As one of the few tropical fruits available almost worldwide, pineapples take as little effort as you can imagine.
Despite being pretty easy to plant and grow, you must follow a few vital processes for growing pineapples.
Here, we want to show everything. You’ll learn the most exciting things about this fruit and how to get it up and to grow in no time. Take a look below to learn!
Pineapple Facts You Should Know
Before we start with the how-to guide, we want to give you a bit of a heads-up about pineapples. These facts will help you understand the plant better during the whole growing process.
- Pineapples can absorb water and nutrients through both the leaves and roots.
- Thick leaves are drought-resistant, making them last a long time even in dry tropical places.
- Mature pineapple plants can grow up to 5 feet tall.
- They grow in almost any type of soil as long as it is not too soggy or moist.
- Pineapples belong to the bromeliad family, which makes their root pretty short.
- You can grow pineapples in direct sun exposure or under shade.
- There are various diseases that pineapples can develop, but they rarely happen in domestic areas.
So, did you learn a thing or two about pineapples? If yes, it’s time to start growing them.
Growing Pineapple in the Backyard: Step-by-Step Guide
We wanted to make the process as straightforward as possible but also hugely informative. You will learn every critical aspect of growing pineapples so you can avoid mistakes and get the best fruit as fast as possible. Follow the steps below.
1. Pick the Right Pineapple
The first and probably most crucial step is to pick a ripe pineapple. You won’t use the fruit (apart from eating it), but you will need the crown. Yet, it must be ripe (yellow and with a strong smell).
It is also vital that the crown looks healthy, green, and long. Otherwise, discard the pineapple.
2. Cut the Top
Once you have the right pineapple, proceed to cut the top off. Place the knife just where the crown and the fruit connect. Use the sharpest knife you can find, as this part of the fruit, can be pretty tough.
Another method to get the crown off is twisting it. Grab it by the lower part of the top and twist to one side until it does a 180-degree turn. This should get it right off.
If the crown breaks or comes halfway off, then use another crown. That one will probably not grow.
3. Get the Bottom Leaves Off
With the crown off, it’s time to start preparing it for planting. Here, the first thing to do is remove three or four layers of leaves from the stalk.
This will reveal part of the stalk (about 1 or 2 inches). You will also see the roots that are already grown. The purpose is to make it easier to plant and for the roots to grow further.
4. Dry the Stalk
Now that the stalk is revealed and the leaves in pristine condition, leave it hanging around to dry.
It may seem a bit counterintuitive as you needed a ripe pineapple in the first place. But the stem needs to dry as it starts to eliminate specific diseases.
We recommend leaving the stalk under the direct sun exposure for 5 to 8 days max. This should give it the right start for healthy growth.
5. Choose the Ideal Soil
You don’t need the wealthiest potting soil to make a pineapple grow healthy and fast. But just like any other plant, the richer the soil, the quicker it will sprout out.
That’s why we recommend choosing sandy nutrient-rich soil if possible. It should have enough organic matter to the point of having a pungent smell. Also, if it is well-aerated and free-draining, then it will work even better.
6. Find the Right Area
Pineapples grow almost anywhere. But they can grow hugely. For that reason, you should find a place where they can grow safely and without interfering with other plants.
Apart from that, it is always better to plant them in a pot first and replant them later on. The first pot should be no less than 5-gallon in size. This should be enough to let the root grow large enough before you report it out in the backyard.
If you pick a large-enough pot, then you may not need to replant it later on. And what’s even better, it lets you move it around in the garden as needed.
7. Plant the Pineapple Top
Once you have the soil, pot, and pineapple stem ready, it is time to plant it. This process is as easy as it sounds.
You need to grab the revealed section of the stem and twist it on the soil. The stem should fit tightly about 1 to 2 inches down to where the bottom leaves are almost covered in soil.
Now the pineapple is ready to grow for 3 to 6 months.
8. Water the Plant Properly
With the pineapple on a pot, it is now time to keep it hydrated. The best way to do this is by pouring water within the leaves and close to the root once a week.
In dry and hot places, consistently check that the leaves are not too dry and water it at least twice a week.
9. Keep it Safe
While the plant grows, it is essential to keep it safe. It seems obvious, but it’s vital to remember that pineapple is a tropical plant. While it resists relatively fresh temperatures, it won’t handle winter colds or nearly freezing temperatures.
During the day, it can handle up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And during the night, anything below 68 degrees could cause damage. For this, try to protect it by keeping it indoors and close to heat sources.
10. Feed & Protect the Plant (Optional)
Fertilizing the pineapple may seem unnecessary after learning how tough it is. But it’s still worth considering, mainly if you chose a standard potting soil at first.
We recommend natural fertilizers as the best choice. But anything that contains a fair amount of nitrogen and potassium should work.
Simultaneously, suppose you planted the pineapple in a backyard with grass around. In that case, it is always wise to spread some weed killer around. This should prevent diseases and weeds themselves from damaging the pineapple. A weed and feed bag should get the job done in both ways.
11. Let the Roots Grow
In about three months, the roots will start to grow, and the leaves will sprout out, often reaching over 1 foot. When this starts to happen, you can always check how firm the plant is by tugging the crown around softly. If it doesn’t move much, then it is thriving.
12. Repot the Pineapple (Optional)
If the pineapple feels sturdy on the pot, but the pot is not large enough to hold it anymore, then it’s time to replant it.
You should open a hole of at least 10 inches deep in the backyard. Then use the same mix of soil to put it down.
Now it’s a matter of time for the pineapples to start sprouting out of the plant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You’ve learned how to grow a pineapple, but you still have a few doubts roaming around in your head. If that’s the case, we may answer them within this section.
Can the pineapple survive without water?
Because the pineapple leaves are super-tough and drought-resistant, they can handle several weeks without water. Suppose you’re planting the pineapple at home. In that case, there’s almost nothing to worry about as long as you water it at least once a week, the backyard is mulched, and it is under a bit of shade.
How long does it take for pineapples to grow?
It depends on the climate, the soil’s quality, and the place where it’s planted. But generally, it takes between 18 and 24 months to start growing pups.
You can always boost the process by placing the pineapple on its side to increase fruit hormone production. Another way to boost the fruiting stage is to cover the plant with a bag for a few days. This should also increase hormones.
What are suckers or pups on the pineapple?
These are small pineapples (the fruit) that grow between the leaves. They look like a combination of a pineapple and a flower. The size is typically between 4 and 8 inches. And you can always take them off when they look like a small pineapple and plant them in a pot.
These suckers and pups usually grow larger and faster than the first pineapple. On top of that, they produce fruit a lot quicker.
How much space does a pineapple need?
While the leaves can grow very tall (reach up to 5 feet), you can always grow pineapples in small spaces with little effort. You can place them at about 1 foot from walls, paths, or other plants, and they should grow issue-free.
When should you take the pineapple off the plant?
Once the pineapple fruit starts to grow, you will see how it starts gaining a unique color (yellowish instead of brown). If it looks large enough with this color, then it is time to take it off.
So, did you learn how to grow a pineapple in your backyard? As you can see, it is nowhere near as challenging as it sounds. Almost anyone can do it, even with little experience.
If that sounds like you, then don’t hesitate and start the process now. Within a few months, you’ll have a gorgeous and possibly fruitful pineapple plant at home.