Just noticed today that I have a whole lot of pineapples flowering. The centres of the plants were covered in fallen leaves and other debris. Cleaning them out I discovered this. There's 8 altogether.
How nice! How old are these plants?
I planted them out last season, but I moved them from elsewhere. And they were mixed ages anyway. So a bit hard to say. But from about one to two years old.
Cool! Only 1-2 years old and they're bearing fruit. I have a few here. I think more than 2 years old, but not fruiting yet. So, what do you feed them with?
I'm not regular with fertilising but when I do it's a weak solution of fish/seaweed fertiliser. My neighbours get huge pineapple fruit. They fertilise regularly, but I don't know what they use.
The pineapples are putting on some good growth, but still a fair way to go yet. There's 11 now so hope they don't all ripen at once.
Lucky- I have two three year old pineapples that get full Southern California sun and they have not bloomed. They are beautiful, but no signs they want to reward me with fruit.
Pineapples like very acid soil, adding a lot of leaf mulch helps with this. Mine start flowering in winter and fruit ripen by start of summer. Maybe next time round yours will start.
"I've read" that putting apple slices down the center of the pineapple plant is supposed to induce fruiting. I tried it years ago and it did work for me.
It's the ethylene gas produced by the apples that initiate flowering in the pineapples. The gas is also used commercially to ripen fruit, although they use gas bottles of it and not apples slices. But the effect is the same. You want to do it at the right time of the year (or have it in climate control conditions) and for the plant to be reasonably mature otherwise you'll get dwarf fruit.
Yes, on the apple. Try an over ripe apple (or slice of one) on the center of the plant & cover it with leaves or a brown paper bag to trap the gas a little bit.
pineapples like being fed every three months. even with fertigation and row cover, commercial growers feed every three months. before fertigation they used 8-8-8 granulated garden fertilizer.I start plants in a 3 gal. pot with 2 tbs. 8-8-8 mixed in and gradually increase to 3 heaping tbs. I re-pot at 9 months to a 16 inch pot, pre-fertilized. give them a tbs. of epsom salts at 6&12 months. you can let the soil dry down 3-4 inches. they absorb water at the leaf axils so just need sprinkled durind dry weather. they Hate wet feet. these were started last summer. ignore the sweet potato vines.
I fertilise mine every few weeks or less with diluted fish/seaweed fertiliser.
Well, they're getting to the size you often see them being sold in shops. But I think there's still a good few weeks before mine start being ready for picking.
I started picking my pineapples. Walking past them there was a strong sweet fragrance. So decided better to get them before all the animals did. Picked 9 so far and only a few left to still fully ripen. Going to have to plant out more in the sun. These are in shade most of the time and the fruits are a bit smaller. But the taste is exquisite.
Awesome photos! Got me wondering if maybe I should be doing something different with mine to get it growing as nice as yours are? It's definitely not rootbound as I've checked the soil ball and they roots aren't even filling it out yet.
Thanks Dan. They like acid conditions, I often joke they'd grow in battery acid (exaggeration of course). I've read they can go down to a pH of 4.5, which is way below what most other plants can tolerate. The best I've grown were in deep leaf litter from Acacia trees, the pH there was 5.3 and they thrived. Also (irregularly) give them weak fertiliser, usually seaweed or fish emulsion, and on the leaves (foliar application). And the other thing they need is plenty of sun.
Thank you for the prompt reply; it just so happens that I have some battery acid on hand lol. I use it to lower my city water before irrigating, as it has a naturally high pH from being sourced out of limestone aquafiers and because of the carbonates added to it. I'm thinking they'd like to be watered with water that has some in it? They sound sort of similar to blueberries in terms of their love for acidity.
I also have some fish emulsion on hand, although not much, and access to unlimited seaweed. In the past I've made liquid seaweed fertilizer by dissolving it in a bucket of water over a couple weeks, seems like I need to do so again.
And we're not short on sun, being The Bahamas of course. In fact I just brought home a successful citrus air-layer last week and still have to keep it in shade despite the season being winter. High 70s and 94% humidity will do that :)
Thank you again for your reply, I appreciate the knowledgeable recommendations. Please feel free to throw in any other cultivation advice you find worthwhile!