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Article: Garbage Gardening: Grow a Pineapple Fruit Tree Plant!: New Pineapple "shoots"...do they fruit?

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Forum: Article: Garbage Gardening: Grow a Pineapple Fruit Tree Plant!Replies: 1, Views: 10
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momarch
Fruitville, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 11, 2012
9:11 PM

Post #9038904

I bought a house last year with 3 pineapple plants in the back...much to my surprise I got two of the most delicious pineapples I've ever tasted this winter. It took about 8 months from flower to pick. Now I have 5 plants, since I planted the tops of the two we picked. The first plant we picked now has 3 shoots growing off of it. Will these fruit or do I need to cut them?
Also one of the smaller plants now has a golf ball sized flower on it, but the leaves are pinkish and yellow...any ideas? Not enough water?

Thanks!
Carolyn
JaxFlaGardener
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9041346

Hi, Carolyn. Welcome to the distinquished few that have tasted their own homegrown pineapple fruit! The taste is truly amazing. I think the sugars in the fruit don't have a chance to turn acid (as might happen if the fruit is picked somewhat green and shipped).

You can let the pineapple runners (which I think are technically called "ratoons") continue to grow in place, or you might cut them and replant them if you want them in a different location. You are probably located far enough south that you might be able to incorporate some of the techniques that I found and scanned through in this University of Hawaii Extension Office publication: "Pineapple Cultivation in Hawaii." http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1242941/ It contains more specific information on when to fertilize, withholding fertilizer to "force" the bloom, etc., and other pineapple cultivation factoids.

I tend to take a very lax approach to my pineapple plantation -- which now consists of about 4 young pineapple crowns after most of my pineapple plants were wiped out by exceptionably cold winters in 2009/2010. I still buy fresh pineapple fruit from grocery stores with mainly the intent in mind to harvest and plant the bromeliad crown. I have one red-leaved pineapple plant (botanical I.D. unknown), that seems far more hardy and came through the sustained 20s F temperatures of the previous winters in an open, unprotection location with barely any damage. It has not yet flowered/made fruit. This past winter was so generally warm that it was barely winter at all! (Two nights that dipped down into the high 20s F). So, I am hoping all my pineapple plants will have a chance to grow and flower this season.

I have come up with my version of a cloche/French bell jar for winter protection that I can use in the future for frost and freeze protection for my pineapple plants. I cut the bottom out of any 5 gallon water jugs that I can get my hands on, and cap the jugs over frost sensitive plants. The top hole can be plugged with a cloth to prevent cold air from entering, and the cloth can be removed on warm days to keep excessive condensate from building up inside the jug. The 5 gallon jugs are somewhat difficult to obtain since they are usually returned for refund and refilling, but my neighbors threw out about 6 of the jugs several years ago during a garage cleaning, and I quickly nabbed the jugs from the curb. I've also found a few more of the jugs in curbside trash since then. The attached photo shows one of the jugs in use to protect a Juncus effusus 'Spiralis' (Spiral Reed) in my fish pond this past winter.

Happy Gardening! Thanks for contacting me!

Jeremy

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