Pineapple Growing Tips & Fun Facts
How to grow your own pineapple plant
From any pineapple you can grow a pineapple plant. To do so cut off the crown (the leafy top) of the pineapples and strip a few of the leaves from the crown. Turn the crown upside down and let it dry for about a week until the cut end and the leaf scars have hardened. Put the crown in a glass of water or mason jar, changing the water every few days. Within a week you will see roots, after a few weeks when the roots are nice and long and the crown is ready to plant.
Plant the crown in an 8-inch porous pot using enriched potting soil with a blend of 30% organic matter. Press the soil firmly around the base of the crown and try not to get any soil in the leaves. You should fertilize the pineapple when planted and every two or three months thereafter with a good household plant food. It takes two years or more for a pineapple plant to bear its’ first fruit even in the most optimum growing conditions.
Pineapple is a tropical plant and cold temperatures can slow grow and even severely damage pineapple plants. In areas where temperatures get cold during the summer months the potted pineapple plant can be placed outdoors then during the winter months keep the plant indoors near a sunny window. Water the soil lightly once a week.
Please note takes 3+ YEARS before your plant will produce the first fruit then at year 5+ a second fruit! Only a single fruit is produced at a time per plant. Pineapples require a lot of patience. Savor the fruit of your labor when it finally arrives!
Pineapples are good and good for you!
Pineapple is a great source of fiber and is high in vitamins B1 & C. It also has B2, B3, B5, B6, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, & copper. Pineapples are highly rich in the enzyme Bromelain which is why pineapples are great to eat as a digestion aid and also why pineapple juice has an anti-inflammatory effect. Two 3" diameter, 3/4" slices of fresh pineapple are 60 calories, 2g fiber, and are fat free!
How do you know when a pineapple is ripe and ready to eat?
Some pineapples are ornamental and are not eaten. The edible pineapples should omit a delicious sweet fragrance when they are ripe. Hawaiian pineapples also turn yellow in color when they are ripe. Don't pick or buy a under ripe pineapple thinking you can ripen it some more at home, like you can with bananas. Pineapple fruits stop the ripening process once they are picked and should only be picked once fully ripen.
How to slice up a fresh pineapple?
The sweetest juice in a pineapple is on the bottom where the pineapple used to be connected to the plant. To get the juice to spread through out the entire fruit prep the pineapple a few hours or a day prior to slicing it up. Cut off the crown and place the fruit upside down on a plate and set it in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to slice the pineapple for eating slice off the bottom end. Thinly slice the skin off with a sharp knife from one end to the other. Trim off any skin that was misses skin as it is rough and tough to eat. You can trim out the center core which is a little tougher than the fruit flesh, but most people eat the core and all.
What if a pineapple tastes too acidic and makes your tongue hurt?
Pineapples are an acidic fruit. If the pineapple you are going to eat is too acidic for your taste a trick is to sprinkle salt or lime juice on it. It will not ruin the flavor of the pineapple, it makes it taste sweet and takes away the acidic twang!
The pineapple on the left is an ornamental pineapple fruit with flowers in bloom on it. The pineapple on the right is an edible pineapple fruit with flowers in bloom on it!
Did you know the pineapple is a traditional American symbol of hospitality?
When colonial sea captains returned from their tropical voyages, they would take pineapples from their cargo and hang them on their front door or gate post as a sign of welcome and hospitality. Later, people began carving pineapple designs into doorways and gate posts. Pineapples are still used on door knockers, door mats, mail boxes, and on house markers as a symbol of hospitality and are given as a symbol of welcome or friendship.
Are pineapples native to the Hawaiian Islands?
No, records show the first pineapples were planted in the Hawaiian Islands in 1813. The Dole company began growing pineapples in 1901 and made Hawaiian grown pineapples famous.
Pineapples are believed to have originated in Paraguay and the the southern part of Brazil. The fruit spread to Central America, South America, West Indies, and the Caribbean. The pineapple was originally called anana which translated to mean excellent fruit in a Caribbean language. European explorers called it the pine of the Indies and when the fruit made it to English-speaking countries somewhere along the way the word apple was added to the pine and it became forever more known as a pineapple.
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