Using apples to force Pineapple to fruit

tyler_j(6a)May 17, 2011

I read that apples release ethylene gas that will trigger the pineapple to fruit. My pineapple is 3 years old and has never fruited so I put the pot in a grocery bag and then put 10 apples in it. I tied the bag tight around the bottom couple inches of the plant. I didn't have a clear bag big enough for the entire plant so I wasn't sure this would work or not just exposing that little amount of the plant. I left it for about 3 weeks then took the plant out and discarded the apples. About a month later I have a pineapple fruit forming from the centre. I will update with pictures as the fruit develops.

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I've had success just putting the apples on top of the soil in the pot. It only takes a tiny amount of ethylene to initiate blooming. Sometimes it's quick and sometimes it's slow.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:04AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Thanks for sharing your success! I've got a couple plants just starting so will be trying this down the road, maybe next spring depending on how big my plants are by then.

Does anyone know about how long it takes the fruit to mature from the size shown above? I assume this is the right time to force fruit. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:02AM
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I've done it with just a sliver of ripe apple with skin put down in the center with no other care.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:39PM
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I have a pair of 3-year olds which are rapidly outgrowing their space in my small greenhouse. I was going to wait, but reading this, I think I should try forcing them, perhaps a month apart. It will be very impractical to bag the whole plant. I thought about an apple (or piece) in the center and maybe just tenting the central whorl of leaves? Kinda worried about heat buildup and mold since it gets pretty warm in the GH.....

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Update on the fruit... this is about 3 weeks later. The pineapple fruit is flowering right now with simple purple flowers starting at the bottom. Its obviously not going to turn into anything big but still interesting to grow.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Here is a couple more pics. The first one the fruit has almost completely bloomed. The second pic was just taken today. The fruit section is only about 2" tall.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:36PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Looks like it will be a small fruit. Nonetheless quite a feat. And your top was a nice size. I guess commercially the tops are probably huge at flowering.

Keep posting especially about eating quality.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Here is an updated picture. I had the plant outside all summer. Just recently brought it back in with the cooler nights here. The fruit has filled out nicely but still hard and not ripening just yet. Its about 4" round now.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 4:28PM
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Interesting, I have a lot of dropped apples that are only good as animal feed. I'll try a bucketful on my pineapples and bananas.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 1:40AM
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One final post...

I probably should have waited a few more days to let it ripen more but it tasted good. Cut the top off and starting again :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 3:29PM
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Thanks for the detailed explanation and photos.
I have a few adult pineapple plants on which I'd like to try this method. I plan to leave a piece of ripe apple on the soil of the pot, but the plant is too big to be contained in a plastic bag (clear or not). would the process be effective even without plastic bags?
Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:07AM
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First, that is great to get your pineapple.

As a side note, forcing pineapples to fruit will make them smaller than normal if the plant is not ready.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:08PM
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When I persuaded one of my pineapples (already a large plant) to bloom, all I did was put a slice of apple on a skewer and place the slice gently down in the central whorl. Then I used a piece of plastic wrap to sort of close up the center area. No need to encase the entire plant.

And yes, if a plant is forced to bloom too early, the fruit will be smaller. Mine ended up just under 5 lb, but again, the plant was quite large and just shy about blooming.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:26PM
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