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Article: Garbage Gardening: Grow a Pineapple Fruit Tree Plant!: Ideal location in yard

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Kano296
Dade City, FL

March 15, 2010
9:42 PM

Post #7632533

Jeremy,

I planted a pineapple crown in a pot two years ago and it's finally starting to flower! I would like to plant several of them in the ground but would like to know where an ideal location would be. I live in Central Florida and we had several nights this past winter that were below freezing...some below 20 degrees! Should I plant them in full sun, part sun, or shade? If part sun, would morning sun, south sun, etc. be better? Thanks for all of your wonderful information!

Carlene
JaxFlaGardener
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 16, 2010
9:14 AM

Post #7633389

Hi, Carlene. Thanks for your response to my pineapple article, and congratulations on getting a pineapple plant to flower in a pot! That is a quite an achievement!

My pineapple plants took a huge hit from the severe, unusual freezes we had this winter (20s F every night for about two weeks! -- not the Florida winter any of us expect). For those pineapple plants that had freeze damage in past years, they would usually regrow a new bromeliad plant from the root crown. I'm not sure if that will happen this year since there was far more freeze damage than ever before. It will be interesting to see what will happen. I had success with bringing other bromeliads through the freezes with minimal damage by swathing them in mini-lights and building a temporary tent from pvc poles and 6 mil plastic. I kept the mini-lights burning for about the entire two weeks of the worst of the cold weather and kept the bromeliads covered under the tent. This same technique could be used for pineapple plants to help prevent freeze damage in winter.

My pineapple plants are in a spot that gets mostly afternoon sun. I think pineapple plants are fairly adaptable to most any location (full sun to part sun), so long as they get sufficient water and have good drainage. This season, I'm trying a few pineapple plants in a more shady location where I grow most of my other bromeliads. My garden soil is very sandy, so the drainage is not a problem. If we have a dry spell of no rain for about a week, I will spray some water on my pineapple plants, but they don't mind going dry for a while. I toss some general purpose, nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium balanced fertilizer in their direction if I happen to find some fertilizer on sale and am scattering it around other plants.

In the photo (below) is a red pineapple plant (not yet identified) that seems to be a lot more hardy than the typical green-leaved pineapple plants (as can be seen in the freeze damaged pineapple plant to the left of the red-leaved plant). This photo was taken recently and shows the red plant came through the winter without much damage even though it was in an open location and I didn't provide it any protection from the freezes. I've not yet had a flower or fruit from this red-leaved pineapple, but hope springs eternal! LOL

edited to add -- The red pineapple is in the ground; the earthenware pot that seems to be surrounding it is a large old pot I had to break to get a root bound Ficus plant out. I buried all but the lip of the broken pot for merely decorative effect.

Jeremy

This message was edited Mar 16, 2010 12:21 PM

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Kano296
Dade City, FL

March 17, 2010
8:31 PM

Post #7637552

Jeremy,

Thanks for responding so quickly! Yes, this past winter in Florida was just awful. I started out going out every evening and covering all of my plants but it got way too tiresome after a while. In past winters, I would only have to do that 4 or 5 nights a winter but it seemed like it went on for almost two months this year! I finally gave up and only covered my very favorite ones.

My pineapple plant is in a 10 inch pot and I've had it for over two years. I carried it inside an enclosed room of my barn every time it was below 40 degrees. It was looking pretty ragged because half of all the leaves were brown because of the cold. One day I pointed it out to a friend of mine and told her that I was spending too much time and energy on such and ugly plant and if it didn't bloom soon, I was going to dump it in the woods. A few days later, I noticed a bloom starting! LOL Since then, I've cut all the brown parts off on an angle so it looks like it's gotten a haircut. It also has about four new plants starting at the base of it. I'll probably write to you again when, and if, it gets a pineapple so I'll know what to do with it then. I hope you don't mind!

Thanks again,

Carlene
JaxFlaGardener
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 17, 2010
9:41 PM

Post #7637708

Always glad to hear from compatriot pineapple plantation owners! LOL I will enjoy seeing photos of your plant when it makes a fruit (the process usually takes a couple of months from flower to complete fruit ready to eat). You are in for a real taste treat if you've never had fresh, home grown pineapple. It is very sweet and flavorful with very little of the acid that comes with canned or even produce section fresh pineapple.

Isn't it funny how threatening a plant with disposal can sometimes make them perk up and perform?! LOL Your pineapple most likely, though, would have just kept on growing if it happened to land root side down. They really don't require much pampering when in the ground.

Enjoy!

Jeremy

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