For a long time I’ve been wanting to grow a pineapple, but just haven’t really taken the time to do it. Every time I buy a fresh pineapple at the store I think to myself, “I’m gonna plant this top and see if I can get a pineapple to grow.” But inevitably, but the time I get around to eating it, the top has started to die, or I don’t have a pot to put it in, or I don’t have the right kind of soil, or it was too cold in Maine, or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…..
When we saw this plant in the Lowe’s Garden Center, I knew all my excuses had been taken away. I just happened to have an empty 7 gallon container in my basement, I knew I would be able to pick up the correct potting mix at the Garden Center, I had a free semi-shaded spot on my front porch that was just dying for something of interest, and we’re not in Maine anymore (PTL!). So, as you can see, the pineapple ended up in our shopping cart. I’m so impulsive sometimes (well, actually Sam is the one who put it in the cart when I wasn’t looking, but I didn’t make a fuss about it at all)!
I’ve been reading up on how to grow pineapples on the Internet, and it seems to be quite a long and slow process. Each plant will only produce one fruit at a time. In fact, I learned that even commercial pineapple plantations in Hawaii don’t expect to get more then three pineapples from one plant over the course of the plant’s lifetime. I also found it interesting that it takes a new pineapple plant two to three years before it will even set fruit – if it sets fruit at all, and that it takes the fruit about six months or more to develop and ripen! Talk about delayed gratification!
I am really more interested in this plant for its beauty and structural interest though, even if it doesn’t ever fruit again. The plant is similar in shape to a yucca plant and is a member of the bromilliad family (for those of you who care about plant specifics). It is a semi-tropical plant that can be grown in most southern and temperate climates as long as it is brought inside in the winter. It can also be grown as a houseplant – although it probably won’t set fruit if grown exclusively inside. It is also neat to know that this plant can get as large as six feet tall and up to six feet wide at full maturity. I just hope I can keep it alive through the summer!