“When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple. How to better your life 101.” ~ Davin Turney
For the past fortnight, the kids have been on a bit of an Easter bender. They’re back to school today, just as their carefully rationed Easter egg stash has run dry. The next week I’m anticipating some cranky little people as they come down from the chocolate-PlayStation-up-late-
Thank goodness we are getting back to normal. But despite their hedonistic preferences for all things bad for you, they do have a few healthy weaknesses, one in particular is…
Almost all summer, pineapples are in season. I usually buy one a week.
This last week, I picked a green specimen for its lush top. I knew it would ripen over the next few days.
Yet everyday it sat there, the boys asked,
“Is the pineapple ready yet?”“When are we going to eat the pineapple?”“Mu-um! I’m starving. Can I have some pineapple please?”
Yesterday was the the day. It was fragrant, almost overripe and at peak sweetness. They gobbled it down.
I always buy pineapple with the top on. Not only is it an extra clue to the pineapples ripeness (the centre fronds should pull out effortlessly when perfectly ripe) but I get a free pineapple plant!
Pineapples must be one of the easiest fruit to propagate.
Firstly, slice the top from the fruit, leaving some of the fruit attached, as shown….
Then peel it away….
Strip away those dead leaves and a few of the leaves at the base to reveal a thickish “stem”.
You can see that this one has already started to shoot roots, those nubby little dots at the base…
Then, pop in a jar of clean water, with the stem submerged, and wait…
And wait until…
You have enough roots to plant. I planted mine into potting mix and they have been happily growing ever since. I have even given a few away.
Pineapples are technically bromeliads, and enjoy similar growing conditions.
I’ve planted some of mine under the frangipani tree, where the dappled shade protects them from the worst of summer’s heat. The falling leaves provide moisture and humus, and let in the winter sun.
Pineapples do like a bit of water and fertilizer. They love warm weather, and may take longer to fruit if exposed to chill.
I had heard that pineapples can take “forever” to fruit. But it can be anywhere from 18 months to 4 years (depending on climate, feeding etc) which isn’t really that long given other tree fruits can take up to a decade to deliver. I can be patient for pineapples.
Once your pineapple emerges from the centre of it’s parent plant, it will take about four to six months to ripen.
And when established, you can expect your mature pineapple to keep throwing out pups (multiples of more free plants!) until the plant is done fruiting, usually after three or four delicious offspring.
But in the meantime, I think you will agree they are a handsome plant. They even enjoy a warm, light spot indoors.
And it’s hard to beat free!
How about you? Have you ever grown pineapples? Any tips?
Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.