Growing Pineapples in Containers
Pineapples, thought by most people to only grow in tropical climates, are plants you can easily grow in more moderate climates, even in containers. The secret is to know how, where, and when to plant them and care for them. Here are 6 steps that will help you grow pineapples in a container
Step 1: Choosing the Container's Size and Weight
While it is true that pineapples will grow in containers, it is also true that they will only thrive in larger containers. These plants don't need much space for roots but they do grow to be about 3 feet wide and up to 5 feet tall. They tend to be top heavy, so to prevent them from toppling, you will need to plant them in a container that is at preferably 3 feet or more in diameter and weighs 100 pounds or more. This can include the plant's soil and any weight such as stones you put in the bottom of the container for balast.
Step 2: Choosing a Plant that is Compatible with Your Climate
Most pineapple plants tolerate a consistent temperature of 65 degrees F to 95 degrees F. If your daytime temperature in within this range you should have no problem. But while they do tolerate cooler nights, keep in mind thty can only stay healthy in that lower temperature for short periods of time.
Tolerance to elevation, though, is different for individual species of pineapple plants. There are more than 30 varieties, and each reacts differently to different altitudes. At higher elevations some varieties are either too sweet or too acidic. Although you can generally feel safe in buying the right variety of plant in a local nursery it will pay you to ask about the plant's tolerance to altitude in your area.
Step 3: Planting the Pineaple in the Right Soil
Your plant will not like soil that is too alkaline or too soggy. To give it the right pH balance, mix potting soil with peat moss, 3 parts potting soil to 1 part peat. Be sure the soil your plant grows in is not the type that gets soggy when watered.
Step 4: Starting Your New Plant
Use a slip from a more mature plant to start your new plant. If you don't have a pineapple plant, use a pineapple fruit by cutting off its top. Remove any attached fruit and the first row of small leaves. After letting this piece of the pineapple dry in the sun for 24 to 48 hours, plant it in your container with the leaves and their base exposed above the soil.
Step 5: Nurturing Your Growing Plant
Spray the plant leaves two or three times each week with a diluted solution of seaweed extraction which will be the plant's needed fertilizer, or food. You can tell by leaves that turn red that your plant is not getting enough "food." If this happens, increase your spraying, either in amount or frequency.
In 18 to 24 months you should begin to see your first fruit flower. Six months later you will be