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Article: Garbage Gardening: Grow a Pineapple Fruit Tree Plant!: Are they dead????

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Forum: Article: Garbage Gardening: Grow a Pineapple Fruit Tree Plant!Replies: 1, Views: 31
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Jacksonville, FL

May 15, 2009
6:32 PM

Post #6552829

Ok, this past winter, we had a couple real hard freezes, in Jacksonville. I have 4 potted pineapple plants that I keep outside. Well, the whole family got the flu & I forgot to bring them in for those few nights. When I finally did bring them in, the leaves became very mushy and then rotted off the base of the plants. Anyways, I have been nurturing them for a few months now. Only 1 plant seems to have 2 old green healthy fronds. the others are brown stumps. Should I give up???? I don't want to keep nurturing soil. LOL
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 16, 2009
3:27 AM

Post #6554779

Hi, bigdogz - it is always nice to hear from a Jacksonville neighbor. My pineapple plants also suffered this year from the sustained 20s F temperatures that we had on several nights this past winter. Nearly all my bromeliads (the pineapples included) had freeze damaged leaves that turned brown and died. What I am just now seeing is that the bromeliads and some of the pineapples are making suckers around the base of the parent bromeliad. Also, some of the bromeliads that looked totally dead are pushing up new leaves immediately around the cup in the center. In time, I think additional leaves will come up from the center and create a new rosette of leaves.

I've not grown pineapples in pots because (up until this winter) I've not had any trouble with overwintering outside in the ground. You may want to just be patient with your pineapple plants a little bit longer and see if they want to recover. Place the potted plants in a location with bright but diffused light (dappled shade beneath a tree should work well) and water them less than you might if they were healthy (about once a week or maybe twice in our current climatic conditions). That will give them a chance to make suckers if they have life left in the root crowns.

I've noticed grocery store pineapple fruits on sale for about $2 lately and was tempted to buy some just to get some new bromeliad crowns, but I'm waiting to see if my previous pineapple "plantation" (about 10 plants total LOL) is going to revive.

I did have one pineapple that suffered far less freeze damage than the others. It was given to me at a DG roundup last year with only the name "red pineapple." It does have red leaves instead of green and seems to be more winter hardy. I haven't yet been able to find a botanical name for it, but now that it has hung around for a year and survived the winter, I will post a photo in the DG Identification Forum and see if someone there can give me a botanical name. The "red pineapple" was partially protected by the broad, flat leaves of a young white bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia nicolai) that was planted next to the pineapple. The leaves on the bird of paradise were killed by the freeze, but the browned out leaves acted as a sort of blanket to keep the cold air from settling down on the red pineapple leaves. The bird of paradise is also just now putting out new leaves, so it did the job of providing some protection for the pineapple without freezing to death itself. A random interplanting that just happened to work out well for winter protection of the red pineapple.


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