If you love delicious fruits and have been considering filling up a blank patch in your garden, then the pineapple bromeliad is just the plant you need to add to your collection!
The pineapple is often taken to be the most beneficial out of all the other bromeliad varieties. In fact, it is the only bromeliad that can be consumed as a fruit.
Pineapples themselves come in many varieties. The foliage might be differently colored based on the species. Some pineapples have solid green foliage, while some may include white stripes.
The individual leaves are waxy, with spikes on the edges. Typically, they produce around 200 flowers, that cluster together and form the pineapple fruit when they mature.
The place of origin of the Pineapple is not rigidly localized as they have been popular all over the world—ever since they were introduced to Europe.
But South American countries like Brazil and Paraguay probably provided the earliest habitat for these plants.
Pineapples can attain heights of around 4 feet (48 inches) when the plant matures fully, so cultivating them outdoors is the ideal option.
This is what makes the Pineapple perfectly suited for your garden!
Pineapple Bromeliad Care
The Pineapple Bromeliad plant does not particularly require any soil to grow in. However, if you want to provide it with a soil mix to give support to the plant, a peat moss or bark-based soil mix does best. Provide it with medium to high levels of humidity. Temperatures between 65°F and 95°F (18°C to 35°C) are ideal. Water about once a week.
Bromeliads are mostly categorized as stemless epiphytes. If you are not familiar with this term, they are essentially plants that need little to no soil to grow! The base most plants need to anchor onto is soil—for a majority of the plants. However, epiphytes are free from such a requirement.
Instead, epiphytes like bromeliads are capable of latching onto larger trees and using them as a base— in a relationship that is not parasitic at all.
The epiphyte simply uses the larger plant as a supportive base.
However, if you are uncomfortable about involving any of your other precious garden trees and plants, you could always go for a sand, peat moss, or bark-based soil mix.
With this at your disposal, you could plant your Pineapple bromeliads directly into the garden soil.
Expose the Pineapple bromeliad plant to bright light, at a location towards the southern side of your garden. Around seven to eight hours of bright light are necessary for your plant to bear fruits and grow healthy.
Pineapple bromeliad plants have their natural habitat in the tropics. These are the regions that receive vast amounts of sunlight and naturally, the Pineapple bromeliad is a light-loving plant.
Giving the plant lots and lots of natural light will be perfect for its growth and development.
In case you notice some browning leaves, it is probably because the plant was exposed to very harsh light for too long during the warmer months. In that case, just clip the brown tips off up to the green parts again.
The Pineapple bromeliad thrives in warm and damp surroundings, but allowing it to rest in standing water for too long might affect it adversely. So watering it once a week would be fine, especially when the soil around the plant starts to feel dry to touch.
While the Pineapple bromeliad plant appreciates receiving water, you also have to keep in mind that allowing the ground to remain soggy for extended periods of time might harm the plant!
What is fascinating about this plant is that it can absorb water and moisture through the hollow formed by the leaf blades. If you can direct the water into this funnel shaped hollow, the plant will be greatly benefitted.
While this process will keep the plant moisturized for longer, it might also be inconvenient if you have to do this constantly. So, if that is not possible, water the soil around the plant directly.
Misting the plant once in a while will also help it to retain moisture.
The Pineapple bromeliad is originally a tropical crop. Naturally, they require moderate to warm temperatures to thrive in and reach their full potential. Temperatures between 65°F and 95°F, which would roughly round off at 18°C to 35°C, would be perfect for the Pineapples.
On average, bromeliads are able to thrive in most temperate or tropical environments. So, if you and your garden are roughly located in such a zone, you don’t have much to worry about at all!
As long as your area of residence is not subjected to harsh gusts of icy cold wind, or extremely hot spells, your Pineapple bromeliad plant will be able to survive through it all.
As a rule of thumb, maintaining a relative humidity level of 40% will be perfect for the Pineapple bromeliad plant. The Pineapple bromeliad is originally from a tropical environment, which is a region with generally high levels of humidity in the air. Therefore the plant itself appreciates medium to high humidity in its surrounding environment.
If the relative humidity does fall below the 40% margin, you can always arrange for a humidity enhancing system.
The best way to deal with unsatisfactory humidity levels, however, would be to mist it every once in a while.
This will make sure that some moisture reaches the plant without fail.
The Pineapple bromeliad grows splendidly as a garden plant, and it has some basic fertilizer needs to grow adequately. A 10-10-10 NPK will suffice, and you could also supply it with magnesium upto its flowering season.
Overall, the Pineapple plant is simple to take care of for home-growers. So the fertilizers it will require will also not be outlandish in terms of expenses or rigidity of the schedule.
That said, keeping up a NPK fertilizer having a reading of 10-10-10 during its growing period will do wonders for the development of the plant. Adding a 4% to 6% magnesium supplement to the regime, especially right before it blooms, will also be extremely helpful.
Apart from that, fertilizing every couple of weeks once the flowers begin to mature into the b will prove to be beneficial for the plant.
While there are accounts of home-grown Pineapple plants not requiring any fertilizer at all, providing it in tolerable and helpful quantities will ultimately promote development and healthy plant growth.
You may need to trim the lower leaves of the plant as they might get discolored or turn brown when the newer leaves develop above.
Once the Pineapple plant matures, the rootlings for the new plant also develop at the bottom of the plant.
If you are pruning the plant, make sure that the scissors you use are sharp enough to refrain from causing any damage to the plant from excessive friction. The scissors should also be sterilized.
If you find the whitish stalk at the bottom of the crown, this is the part you want to use for propagation. You might notice tiny rootlings developing from the stalk. Once you replant this part, it will slowly begin to grow out into another Pineapple plant.
Make sure to provide the growing plantling with adequate plant food once it has grown out slightly. Also, don’t allow the soil you plant the new rootlings in to remain soggy or overwatered.
Bromeliad varieties are more often than not known to be slow growers. The Pineapple, too, is no exception. It can take upto three years for a Pineapple plant to grow to its full height. On average, Pineapple bromeliads are capable of growing up to four, sometimes 5 feet.
Typically, the Pineapple bromeliad has leaves growing around a hollow. The center of this hollow produces the buds, the first one of which appears roughly about a year after planting the plant.
However, buds take roughly two or three years to mature into flowers, and eventually transform into the fruit.
So overall, the life cycle of a Pineapple bromeliad lasts for two or three years.
Pests and Common Problems
Mealybugs and mites are often seen to be buzzing around bromeliad varieties, and Pineapples are no exception. You also can’t rule scale out of the equation. Bromeliad varieties are also susceptible to heart rot. Finally, you always have to be alert for signs of nutrient deficiency in the plant.
If your Pineapple plant is bothered by some sort of a pest infestation, worry not. While there are tons of insecticides available, they will be effective only if you follow the instructions on the label and remain careful to avoid an overdose. However, sometimes a simple rinse with soapy water might be enough to deal with the pest issue.
Heart rot occurs when water stagnates in the hollow created by leaves. Therefore, you will have to manage your watering schedule very carefully in an attempt to ensure that your plant doesn’t suffer.
Also, nutrient deficiencies can pose a threat to the healthy development of your plant. For example, the Pineapple plant can begin to show a bright light green hue or chlorosis on its leaves because of a deficiency of iron.
Well, that is more or less all you need to know before getting a Pineapple bromeliad plant for your own garden. It is going to be a lovely addition to your garden~ not to mention that the fruit is not only delicious but also packed with helpful nutrients!
Frequently asked questions about Pineapple Bromeliad Care
How much sun and space does a Pineapple plant need?
Typically, six or seven hours of sun would be ideal for the healthy growth and development of a Pineapple bromeliad plant. These plants are actually appreciative of a lot of natural sunlight, and a south-facing position would be the best for them.
As for space, approximately five feet of space must be put between two consecutive Pineapple bromeliads. As these plants can take up a considerable volume, you would not want to crowd them around together.
Does a Pineapple plant die after fruiting?
Pineapple bromeliad plants are essentially perennial. This means that these plants fruit once during their lifespan, and once this fruit matures and produces the stalk that the plant can reproduce through, the parent plant perishes. So yes, a Pineapple bromeliad plant produces a single Pineapple fruit during its two or three-year long lifespan, and dies after this objective is achieved.
What is causing root gall in my Pineapples?
Root-knot nematodes. What these do is, they essentially give rise to swellings in the roots of your Pineapple plant, which can pose a problematic hindrance in the process of further root development. In fact, you will be able to identify root-knot nematodes very easily. If you suspect anything, check the roots of the plant. If the roots seem pockmarked with black marks, there is a high possibility that these are actually lesions. This could be indicative of a root gall infection.
How often should I water my Pineapple?
In all honesty, not very often! Around twenty inches of natural rainfall a year is enough to satiate the water requirements of a Pineapple plant. So just water around the plant about once a week or once every fortnight. This should be enough to satisfy your Pineapple bromeliad plant.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.