The characteristics of the pineapple plant
- Type: fruit shrub
- Height: from 80 cm to 1 m, from 1 to 2 m
- Flower color: blue
- Fruit name: pineapple
- Desired exposure: sunny
- Type of soil: normal, well drained
- Foliage: persistent
- sanitizer: no
- variety: Pineapple comosus, Pineapple Cayenne, Pineapple bottle, Pineapple Spanish, Pineapple Pernambuco
Origin and peculiarities of pineapple
Tracing its origin in the Caribbean, in Central America and in the north of Brazil, the pineapple plant, or Pineapple comosus, is a xerophytic plant, that is to say adapted to dry environments.
The pineapple comosus belongs to the Bromeliad family and adopts a flowering characteristic of this family; a small bouquet of short pineapple leaves surmounts a set of very ephemeral blue flowers since they only remain for one day. They give small conical fruits which, when enlarged, join to form the pineapple.
There are six different varieties of pineapple. The smooth Cayenne is the best known and most cultivated species. The others are bottle pineapple, Spanish (tangy), Pernambuco (very sweet), Mordilonus-Perolera-Malpure and Queen (the smallest). Of course, tastes differ according to the different varieties. Grown in different countries with varied soils and environments, pineapples can have flesh of different color from one variety to another.
Pineapples are produced in large quantities in hot countries with a high rate of sunshine. The top five pineapple producers are, in order, the Philippines, Brazil, Costa Rica, Thailand and China. The most tasty variety of pineapple is the Victoria pineapple, it is cultivated on Reunion Island as on Mauritius.
Uses of pineapple
In cooking, pineapple is classified in the citrus category, and there are many uses. When eaten fresh, pineapple is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K but also in iron, zinc and many other trace elements. There are many recipes based on pineapple, both salty and sweet, solid or liquid!
Pineapple plant plantation
It is possible to do grow a pineapple plant from cuttings, provided that the pineapple eaten still has its heart. It is then necessary either to arrange the crown of leaves without flesh in a glass of water and to plant it in ground when the roots appeared, or to deposit it on compost previously moistened. It is then necessary to maintain a strong luminosity and a constant humidity to hope to see being born the fruit, almost two years later.
If you want to grow a pineapple plant directly in your garden, know that the pineapple prefers spongy, acidic, non-calcareous and well-drained soils. To flourish, the pineapple plant needs a lot of sun, heat, light and humidity.
Cultivation and maintenance of the pineapple plant
Pineapple is not a very complicated plant to maintain: it just needs moderate watering all year round and low in winter. The plant needs moisture to flourish: a few waterings during the year will not be too much!
To feed the plant, give it a liquid fertilizer every 15 days, all year round.
Diseases and pests of the pineapple plant
As the pineapple plant is fairly resistant, it is not subject to any particular disease. However, if grown in an excessively hot and dry environment, it could become the target of farinaceous mealybugs.
If the tips of the plant's leaves start to darken and shrivel, this is not a symptom of an attack by pests, but a sign that the plant is overwatered.