Pineapple, also called pineapple, is a perennial bushy plant that can be easily bred in apartments for ornamental purposes.
It belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae and was discovered in Brazil in 1555, although its cultivation in Europe began only in the late 700s.
Pineapple is cultivated in all tropical regions for its tasty fruits with many qualities.
Since the eighteenth century, it was widely used in medicine for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. It also provides very few calories and is indicated in slimming diets and in the fight against cellulite, thanks to bromelain, an enzyme present mainly in the stem that burns fat and makes digestible even complex proteins.
It is not for nothing the most sold canned fruit in the world.
And again, from the fiber of its leaves is made a fabric of excellent quality.
The pineapple plant does not reach the metre of height.
It is formed by a rosette of rigid, arched leaves, which develop around a short stem, called a core. At the top of this stem, a pink-purple inflorescence grows, which will become the fruit of the pineapple.
- The fruit consists of a thorny skin, which contains inside a sugary pulp and a hard part in the center, the core precisely.
- Usually a pineapple plant produces only one fruit every 18 months.
- At the top of the fruit there is a tuft of leaves that serves to capture and retain water and feed the plant.
Ornamental Indoor Varieties
There are about 20 species of pineapple, but the species that can grow at home are:
The pineapple comosus, is the most known and which, usually, we find in the supermarkets. It has very long leaves and thorny margins.
The pineapple bracteatus, is a very slow growing species and takes up to eight years to reach the metre of height. It rarely produces lavender-coloured flowers, which transform in brown, edible fruits. Several varieties do exist. The Ananas bracteatus striatus has arcuate leaves of an intense green colour and the yellow margins covered by reddish thorns.
The pineapple ananasoides, or also dwarf pineapple, produces inedible fruits with a dark green colour. Its leaves are long and arched, with thorny and dark green outlines.
How To Cultivate The Pineapple In Pot
- Pineapples do not contain seeds and in order to obtain a new plant, the upper waste is used, that is the tuft of leaves with their base. If you want to experience pineapple cultivation at home, you just have to buy a fresh, brightly coloured pineapple with a hard texture to get started. Check that there are no insects at the base of the leaves and that they are not yellow. Also, if the leaves come off easily, it means that the pineapple is too ripe and does not fit. You can choose from three methods of rooting the pineapple. In the first method, you have to cut the tuft of leaves with part of their base with a sharp knife.
- Then, dip the tuft into a jar full of water, so that the base touches the surface of the jar. Change the water regularly, to avoid the formation of mould and rottenness. Within one to two weeks, the first roots will begin to form. Wait for them to become about two centimetres long. Now you can transplant the pineapple into a pot at least 10 cm deep. The second method is to remove the leaves of the pineapple in a decisive, rotating movement. Remove the part of the flesh that remains attached, but leaves the leaves intact. Let the base dry well for a week.
- After that, place it on top of the soil, which you will keep constantly moist. The third method is less used and may seem more complicated. It cuts both the leaves and the base and leaves a part of the pulp, so as to form a kind of stem. Place toothpicks inside this stem and place it in a glass of water, so that the toothpicks rest on the edge and support the tuft. After one or two weeks, the leaves will begin to grow and the first roots will appear. When you see them strong and long enough, transfer the pineapple to a pot. The best time to start growing pineapples is in the spring.
How To Care For Your Pineapple Plant
Pineapple is not a plant that is difficult to grow in a domestic environment. Let’s see what it needs.
Pineapple is a plant of tropical origin and loves a hot and humid climate and does not tolerate temperatures below 18 °.
It needs a lot of light to grow and a warm place, which is why it is best placed near a window.
You can only consider placing it in the garden if you live in an area with a mild climate.
Then choose a sunny place that is sheltered from cold winds and, in winter, protect the base of the plant with a light mulch of straw or dry leaves.
For a good growth of the pineapple plant the soil must be fertile and well drained.
Mix in equal parts sand, peat and common soil and, in order to avoid water stagnation, place on the bottom of the pot a layer of expanded clay.
The pineapple plant does not have very deep roots and is to be repotted every two years.
Watering The Pineapple
If the climate is not particularly dry, it is sufficient to water the pineapple once a week.
But during the summer period, when the climate becomes drier, the pineapple needs more frequent irrigation, even daily, being careful to avoid water stagnation.
It is advisable, also, to spray the leaves in case of particularly hot summer, because the pineapple plant needs a humid environment.
A technique to maintain a constant microclimate is to place the plant on a saucer full of pebbles and water, without the bottom of the pot being immersed in water, otherwise the soil would become impregnated causing the roots to rot. In this way, the water in the pot will evaporate, moistening the surrounding air.
When To Fertilize The Pineapple Plant
Pineapples need regular fertilisation, especially in the spring to autumn and more sporadically in the rest of the year.
It uses a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the water of the watering, which contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, but also iron, copper, zinc and manganese.
The pineapple plant does not need to be pruned.
However, dry leaves must be removed as they grow to prevent the onset of parasitic diseases.
Diseases and Pests
The pineapple plant is not subject to any particular disease.
It is only afraid of rottenness caused by waterlogging.
Very rarely it can be attacked by cochineal. In this case, it is sufficient to pass an alcohol-soaked pad on the leaves.
The name pineapple comes from anana, or perfume, as it was called by the indigenous Indian tribes.
In English it is called pineapple, from pina, because originally it was mistaken for a large pine cone.
Finally, know that pineapple is a male noun and is improperly declined to female.