Growing a pineapple plant is something we moms are told is a really cool thing to do with our kids. Lots of the what-to-do-with-your-kids magazines and books seemed to place this project with high regard.
And I agree: it is a cool thing to grow (or try to grow) a pineapple. I admire those who can do it. A friend of mine told me about her relative’s pineapple plantation. I’ve heard about how long it takes to grow one fruit from seed to harvest; too long. I’ve admired my neighbors on Siesta Key who lined the fence in their front yard with pineapple plants. The soil was just right. One of our Junior Master Gardener projects is to grow a pineapple plant; seems easy enough. I have tried to grow one with the kids many many times but without luck.
This year, prompted by the Jr. Master Gardener project (I’m the instructor), I simply purchased a plant from Home Depot. I got it in August and it was really small and easy to take care of for awhile. I left it outside since it’s very warm here and sunny. But in the Fall, the sun shifted south and the pines and live oaks along my yard’s southern border offered me a challenge. My yard was just too shady but I left the plant outside hoping it would still do well. I watered it, fertilized it, talked to it and watched it. The fruit didn’t seem to grow. It just sat there upon its stalk looking quite small, quite round and quite green.
When the freeze warnings were issued I brought it inside and sat the plant near the only window that gets a bit of sun. The ends of the leaves turned brown which I read was due, probably, to salt in my water. This I don’t understand because the plant recieved rain water and the remaining liquid of unclaimed spring water bottles left around the house. Is there a lot of salt in spring water?
My family left for vacation mid-December and just returned December 30. I had a neighbor take care of my house plants. To my surprise the pineapple ripened while we were gone, turning from a bright green to a bright yellow. I touched it and it fell off of its stalk. We’ll have it for dessert tonight.
Patience is what you really need if you plan to grow a pineapple plant. I kind of cheated by purchasing one with a fruit but since I’ve killed many over the years before they got to grow a fruit, I felt I deserved to bypass the hard part.
If you want to grow a pineapple plant just google “how to grow a pineapple plant” and you’ll get some great advice. Good luck.