Pineapples are in the bromeliad family. This family thrives in warm climates and will grow well outside in zones 9B and 10. For us less fortunate gardeners dealing with colder climates, pineapple become a fun and easy to grow container plant. The plants put on an unrivaled show of beautiful purple blooms in spring, followed by months of pleasure watching the baby fruit grow into great big pineapples, The fruit ripens in late summer. If you’ve ever eaten a “bush ripened” pineapple, you will not go back to eating store bought ones. The commercial varieties often lack the sweetness and complex flavors of the varieties the home gardener can grow. All pineapples are self-pollinating. Zones 9-10. Grow in container in northern climates.
It takes about two years from the start of a new shoot or sucker, to get to the flowering stage. Once the sucker reaches maturity the plant will signal flowering often by flushing with a pink or red color to the base of the leaves. The shoot will take about 6 months to finish growing and ripening the pineapple fruit at which point it dies. The plant will continue to develop suckers from the base, and it’s these new suckers that will fruit in the future. To help the plants fruit properly, plant your young plants in a well drained container mix, place the container in full sun, water with a light solution of liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion weekly and keep the plants above freezing in the winter. After a few years the plant becomes crowded with new suckers and needs to be divided. Trade or give the babies to your friends.
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