"" Writer's Wanderings: Growing Pineapples

Monday, March 11, 2019

Growing Pineapples

Our condo building in Florida has large concrete flower boxes at each level where the elevator is. On our floor the box holds a beautiful blooming pink bougainvillea and two plants that I first thought were bromeliads. Turns out they are pineapple plants.

The one plant has a fruit on it that is about 8 high and looks like it will be ready for harvest before long. The other plant that produced a fruit last year now has a baby pineapple growing from one of the offshoots of the plant. I don't know who will harvest them as I don't know who planted them but it is fascinating to watch them grow.

I did a little research and learned that pineapple plants are supposed to be easy to grow. You buy a pineapple from the store and cut off the top about 1/2 inch or so from the base of the leaves. Now the several sites I visited for directions differed in how you should start you plant. One suggests just popping it in the ground (or pot) with the 1/2 of fruit still on it. The other site said to remove some of the fruit before rooting the plant.

There were also differences of opinion about rooting in water vs. rooting in the soil but all the sites said that the plant will grow quickly once it gets started. It will not, however, produce any fruit for 2-3 years.

Now the question is, do I start one at home and then bring it with me next year to make sure it flourishes and doesn't dry out while I'm gone or do I just treat it as a houseplant and take my chances on its survival while I'm gone? If I want to take it all the way to producing fruit, I have a 2-3 year commitment to the "baby." Hmmm. I may just stick with getting my pineapple from the grocery already grown, harvested, sliced and ready to eat.

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