Tips for Growing Pineapples
Pineapples (ananas comosus) are hardy members of the bromeliad family. They are usually cultivated in tropical regions. Pineapple growing does not require too much expertise. The pineapple plant does not require excessive watering and fertilizers to grow well. This makes the pineapple one of the easiest fruit plants to grow.
Select a Healthy Pineapple
Visit a store and select a healthy pineapple. Ensure that the fruit that you pick does not have mold on it and has not lost all of its moisture. If a leaf that you try to pull off from the center of the pineapple comes off easily, look for another one.
Separate the Shoot and Stimulating Root Formation
Take the pineapple and carefully cut the leaves just on top of it. Ensure that the stem is separated well from the flesh of the pineapple. The leaves on the outer portion of the stem should be removed leaving only around five to six leaves near the center. Two days is all it takes for the shoot to harden and build resistance to root rot. Do not use too much water to introduce the shoot. Ensure that the leaves are not in contact with the water. Find a bright spot to keep your shoot in for a period of two weeks or until the roots develop.
Proper Planting of the Shoots
Find an appropriate place to plant your shoot. Most professional gardeners recommend the use of 3-gallon pots for planting. Add approximately 3 inches of soil into this pot and push the shoot into the soil layer, making sure that the soil does not cover any part of the leaves. Such an arrangement has often proven to be ideal for the growth of pineapple plants up to a period of at least 6 months or 1 year.
Remove the aged leaves from the bottom of the pot and replenish the soil layer as you observe more growth. Remember that the center of the plant has to be maintained in a dirt-free condition at all times.
Proper Pineapple Spacing
If the shoot is directly planted on the ground, maintain a spacing of at least 12 to 13 inches between the pineapple plants, and place them at an average depth of 2 to 4 inches.
Do Not Overwater
Pineapple plants do not require too much care. A widely followed principle among growers is to water the plants at least once a week. The water can be poured in such a way that it passes through the center of the plant; this not only helps clean out the dirt hidden there, but also supplies moisture to the newly developing roots at the base of the leaves.
Use the Right Fertilizer
When picking a fertilizer for pineapples, opt for one that is rich in nitrogen. Combining liquid fertilizer with some water would be a good way to fertilize these plants, as the retention of dry fertilizers at the center of the plant is far from beneficial for it. Remember to pour down your liquid fertilizer mix in such a way that none of it flows down the plant center.