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Most people think pineapples (Ananas comosus) grow on trees, but they actually grow from a handsome leafy plant on the ground. It’s a type of bromeliad (same family as the air plant!); in fact, it’s one of the few edible species of broms. Despite their tropical appearance, they don’t need a tropical climate to thrive – they’re quite happy with subtropical to warm, temperate frost-free areas. They can grow 1.5m and 1m wide, so make sure you have the space if you’re going to grow a few.

How to grow pineapples in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny or a dappled shade spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is alkaline, add Yates Soil Acidifer Liquid Sulfur to help lower the pH.
  2. Dig a hole twice the width of the pot and to the same depth. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down.  Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots.  
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away main stem of the plant.
  5. Water deeply, once every 3-4 days, depending on weather conditions. Once established, water deeply once every week.
  6. Feed with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser every 6-8 weeks. When flowering and fruiting, feed fortnightly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
     
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How to grow pineapples in a pot

Pineapples make wonderful pot specimens, so they’re perfect for small spaces or even a balcony. You can also bring them indoors to help liven up your space. Look for the ‘Dwarf Pineapple’, which produces small sweet fruit. 

  1. Choose a pot at least 400mm wide and at least 300mm deep. Position in full sun, with protection from strong winds. Fill pot with Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  2. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in pot, backfill with potting mix, gently firm down and water in well. 
  4. Feed with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser every 6-8 weeks. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

How to grow pineapples from the market

Did you know that the pineapple you buy at the supermarket can be eaten and then used to grow another pineapple plant – bonus!

  1. Purchase a ripe pineapple that has its leafy crown still attached to the fruit.
  2. Using a sharp knife, remove the crown from the fruit and remove all fruit flesh from the top. 
  3. Remove the bottom leaves to help expose the stalk of the crown, then let dry for a week in a cool, dry spot.
  4. Fill a pot with Yates Seed Raising Mix, leaving a hole in the centre. Plant the top into the centre of the pot, backfill and water in well. Position in bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist until roots develop. After 6-8 weeks or once roots are well developed,  plant them in the ground or pot as per instructions above.

Growing tips

  • Growing pineapples requires patience as a young or new plant can take up to 2-3 years to produce fruit. 

  • Pick and eat only when ripe (golden yellow or orange colour)  as green immature pineapples are toxic. If you have rats/mice who like to steal from your garden, cut when the pineapple just starts to turn yellow, then leave inside for a few days to allow it to ripen. 
  • Well known cultivars: ‘Mareeba Sweet’, ‘Pacific Gold’, ‘Queen Pineapple’, ‘F180’ and ‘Rough’. 

  • Break off any baby plants or ‘pups’ from the mother plant and replant into a pot filled with Yates Seed Raising Mix (see ‘How to grow from a pineapple bought at the market) – more pineapple plants for you!

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