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Growing pineapples for the home gardener


May 4, 2023


The Searles Gardening Team

The iconic pineapple, a member of the bromeliad family, is easy to grow. You can start your own pineapple plant by using the leafy head from a pineapple purchased at a green grocer or by buying an already established plant in a pot from a nursery. Whether you plant it in your garden or in a pot, make sure it gets plenty of sunlight.

When planting your pineapple, consider using Searles Cymbidium & Bromeliad Mix, which is well-draining and prevents moisture retention that can lead to root rot. To start from scratch, cut the head off the pineapple, leaving about 5mm of the juicy flesh. Plant it into the mix, keeping the soil to the base of the leaves. Initially, the plant may develop roots first and not show much growth from the top.

Keep the plant moist, but avoid overwatering, as waterlogged soil can be harmful. If planting in a pot, avoid using a saucer underneath. If planting in the garden, mound the ground around the plant to prevent heavy soils from water logging. It may take a few years for the pineapple to produce fruit, but once it does, it becomes an amazing specimen plant and can also help deter pets from entering the garden. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the pineapple plant, as it has small thorns.

Fertilising is necessary, but be cautious not to over-fertilise, as pineapples are slow growers and can be sensitive to excessive nutrients. Follow the directions on the back of the bag for Searles Fruit & Citrus Food, an organic-based fertiliser, and adhere to the recommended dosage.

After the pineapple plant has fruited, you can cut the head off and start again. The parent plant will eventually die after fruiting, so replanting is necessary. Overall, pineapples are relatively low-maintenance plants that flourish in the right conditions with minimal attention.