Friday, 13 September 2013 14:35

How do Pineapples grow?

Did you know pineapples are poisonous before they ripen?

  • Latin Name:

    Ananas comosus

     

  • Growth:

    How do pineapples grow?

    The pineapple plant grows 24 to 30 inches high with pointed and spiny, hard, green leaves that arise from a tight center.  One fruit grows out of this center on a stalk.

     The fruit itself is 6 to 10 inches tall, ovular with a thick skin and the same spiny leaves growing out of the top - which can be planted to create a whole new pineapple plant.

     

    USDA Zones 10 and 11. A crop can be planted any time in these two zones. Click here to view USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map.

    A pineapple takes over 4 years of growth from flower to ripened fruit.

    Dole- Growing Pineapples

    Growing and Processing Pineapples

  • Propagation:

    How are pineapples propagated?

     

    Crowns ( the top of the pineapple), suckers (or ratoons) and seeds can all be used in propagation.

     

    Although one plant yields only one pineapple, the suckers growing below the leaves of a mature mother plant can be replanted to create more plants. 

     

    Seeds are tiny and hidden in the flesh just below the skin. Seedlings are transplanted to the field after a year of growth and bear fruit 3 to 5 years later. 

     

     

    How to Grow Pineapples at Home

  • Harvest:

    When are pineapples ready for harvest?

    Before it ripens, a pineapple is inedible and poisonous.  It irritates the throat and can act as an extreme purgative.

     

    Size and color are not reliable indicators of ripeness, it can be difficult to judge when a pineapple is ready for harvest.  Fruits are picked when there is a slight yellowing around the base. A good ripe fruit has a dull, solid sound, a hollow thud can mean the fruit is immature and of poor quality.

     

    If the leaves on top of a pineapple can be easily pulled, the fruit is ripe.

     

    Harvested fruits must be protected from moisture to prevent rotting when transported.

     

     

     

     

    Dole- Harvesting Pineapples
  • Storage:

    How well do pineapples keep?

    A pineapple is very perishable, and if cut, should be eaten within 2 days. If refrigerated, it can last up to 5 days.

  • History:

    Where do pineapples originate?

    Pineapple is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay, where it was domesticated by Native Americans, from where it spread to South and Central America and the West Indies, long before the arrival of Europeans.

    Christopher Columbus found the fruit on the island of Guadeloupe when he landed in 1493 and brought it back to Europe with him.

    Pineapples became status symbols in Europe because of their rarity and expense.  Every dinner party at the home of wealthy families featured a pineapple as the centerpiece on the dining table, and they were cultivated in hot houses on grand estates.

    Europeans introduced pineapples to the South Pacific, Asian and African countries in the 16th century.

    Hawaii began cultivating pineapples in the 18th century. 

  • Top Producers:

    Which countries produce the most pineapples?

    Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and South Africa

  • Varieties:

    How many varieties of pineapples are there?

    There are many varieties of pineapple: the four main classes include, Smooth Cayenne, Queen, Red Spanish, and Abacxi.

  • Products:

    How are pineapples used?

    Pineapple is best eaten fresh. It is used in desserts, pies, cakes, and puddings, as well as in salads and curries. 

    Canned pineapple is consumed worldwide in the form of sliced fruit, juice or jam.

    Pineapple crowns  and other waste can sometimes be used as animal feed for horses and cattle.

    The symbol of a pineapple with crown intact is also used as a design element in textiles, fabrics, furniture and other decorative items. 

  • Top Health Benefits:

    Are pineapples healthy?

    Pineapples are high in Vitamin C used to combat free radicals and improve circulatory health immune function.

    One cup of pineapple supplies 128% of daily requirement of Manganese plus Thiamin (Vitamin B1) that provide energy and antioxidant effects.