If anything, growing your own food definitely teaches you patience. Nothing teaches you patience more so than the pineapple.
Commercial farming generally turns around pineapples in 9 months, but if you’re growing at home, be prepared to wait a lot longer. Mostly it will take around 18 months, but it will depend on what season you get them in the ground and your climate. We’re lucky to be living in a sub tropical environment so it’s great growing weather for pineapples. If you’re in cooler climate zones be prepared to wait a bit longer.
Why I love growing pineapples
There are three reasons I love growing pineapples.
The first is if you’re lucky enough to find a pineapple fully in tact at the shops (look for them at your local fruit and veg stores or markets – it’s rare to find them in supermarkets), you can eat the pineapple and grow a whole new plant from the top!
The second reason is they look beautiful in pots as they are growing, and when they fruit, the flower is just spectacular. They are a feature point of our back deck and look amazing and when in flower people always comment on them.
The third reason, it’s totally worth the wait. They are so freaking delicious!
How to propagate pineapple plants
Any store bought pineapple that has a top still in tact, you can twist the top off the plant, peel off a few layers of the leaves and pop in water and patiently wait for the roots to start growing (this part doesn’t take long). When it’s got a good set of roots, pop it into soil.
Pineapples plants also produce ‘pups’ – little offshoot plants that start growing from the base of your main plant. Once you’ve harvested your pineapple wait patiently for new plants to arise, you can then either leave them on the plant or pop them off and plant them in a new pot. I find they do better when left on the mother, but I would probably only leave one on the mother as it can get crowded quick. The ‘mother’ won’t ever fruit again so if you want you could just pull the pups off and discard the mother.
How to care for your Pineapple plants
Sunshine is key and lots of it. Find the sunniest spot in your garden and place them there. A beauty of growing them in pots is you can move them around depending on the season to get the best sunshine.
Pineapples love a good feed of liquid fertiliser, in the top of the plant. They are part of the bromeliad family so the roots in the ground are predominantly for stability.
When to harvest your Pineapple
The best way to tell is when the fruit starts to yellow and it smells like a pineapple. You can also test by trying to pull out one of the leaves from the fruit, if it comes away easily it’s ready.
It’s worth noting that a pineapple wont ripen if it’s picked too early, so patience is key!
I’d love to hear if you’ve had luck growing pineapples. Leave a comment below!