How to Grow Hydroponic Pineapples
Nowadays, pineapples are successfully grown by hydroponics. Nutritionists believe that fruits, vegetables and plants grown hydroponically have a higher nutritive value. They are also environmentally friendly—as minimal amounts of pesticides and herbicides are required in hydroponics.
Step 1 – Planting Your Pineapples
Plant the pineapples in suitable planters, such as the Althea planter, which are commonly available in hydroponic stores.
Step 2 – Set up a Hydroponic System
Set up a system in your greenhouse, which provides the pineapple plants with nutrients from above at least once a day. Pineapples absorb more nutrients from their leaves, as opposed to from their roots. Therefore, it is vital that you set up a system that permits the misting of your plants at a frequency of at least 2 to 3 times per day.
Step 3 – Provide your Growing Pineapples with a Suitable Growth Medium
Pineapples grow very fast. Support their growth with an appropriate growth medium that has a pH of 5 to 6. A mixture of gravel, perlite and peat is also an ideal growth medium for pineapples. However, allowing these plants to remain in contact with the medium for a long time may prove to be harmful. Extended exposure makes the plant susceptible to root rot. Therefore, it is important that the roots of the plants are maintained in a well-drained condition.
Step 4 – Control the Temperature and Light in the Greenhouse
Pineapples are hardy plants and require a temperature of 59 to 81 degrees F for good growth. When grown by hydroponics, these plants require 7 to 8 hours of light per day for healthy growth. However, when they start to bloom, they require additional amounts of light to be supplied over a period of 3 to 4 hours. The use of grow lights has been found to be beneficial.
Step 5 – Protect the Plants from Pests and Diseases
Hydroponic pineapples grown in greenhouses are usually safe from most pests. In case of infection, opt for natural methods of pest elimination. Commercial pesticides are not suitable for use in hydroponics. Passing the hydroponic solution through an ultraviolet sterilizer helps in removing all the resident bacteria, fungi and viruses that are capable of causing damage to the plants.
It is also possible to grow pineapples indoors instead of growing them in a greenhouse. In such a case, provide these plants with appropriate amounts of light, temperature, and nutrients—the same as required inside the greenhouse—to ensure a healthy pineapple plant.