HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The pineapple or pineapple plant, in addition to being known and appreciated for its delicious fruits, can be a very decorative and easy-to-grow ornamental plant.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
L'Pineapple (or pineapple as it is frequently called in Italy) of the large family of Bromeliaceae, is a perennial plant native to Central America and can be bred with some success even at home without expecting it to produce its delicious fruits.
It is a bushy plant that does not exceed one meter in height, formed by a rosette of rigid and arched leaves that develop in a spiral along a short stem.At the center of the rosette of leaves a stem forms that will carry the red-purple inflorescence and subsequently the fruit which, in a domestic environment, remains very small while in its countries of origin or in any case in environments where the pedoclimatic conditions allow it, the fruit becomes similar to a large pine cone, formed by the swelling of the inflorescence rachis and the fusion with fresh fleshy fruits of which the bracts remain abroad.
Pineapple is cultivated both to obtain the fruits that we all know, both as an ornamental plant, and for the production of some types of fibers, in all tropical regions, especially in the Ivory Coast, Costa Rica and Kenya.
There are several species of the genus Pineapple which can be raised in the apartment and among which we remember:
L'Ananas comosus it is the species cultivated for commercial purposes to obtain the fruit and can also be bred in the apartment. The leaves are very long and can measure over 1.5 m with thorny margins.
There are numerous varieties that allow plants to differentiate themselves by the size and shape of the fruit; for the more or less thorny leaves; for the flavor of the fruit; for more or less large and mottled leaves and so on.
L'Pineapple ananasoides with the dwarf variety it is very decorative due to the dark green and arched leaves and produces non-edible fruits which are also dark green and leathery.
The Ananas bracteatus is a very slow growing species taking eight years to reach one meter in height. It very rarely produces lavender-colored flowers and brown, edible fruits. There are several varieties including the variety Ananas bracteatus striatus with large leaves of intense green color with yellow-cream margins and with reddish thorns.
It is not a difficult plant to grow in a home environment.
It requires cultivation temperatures of no less than 15 ° C and loves light, preferably direct sun. The little light causes the leaves to lose their characteristic mottling. If the plant is kept in an environment where temperatures are maintained throughout the year, the plant grows continuously even if, during the winter, it slows down its development.
The pineapple is a fairly demanding plant in terms of watering, requiring constant irrigation throughout the spring-summer period but making sure that the soil never remains saturated with water as it does not tolerate stagnant water.
During the autumn-winter period it is necessary to reduce irrigation but without running the water otherwise the leaves would lose their turgor.
It needs a humid environment therefore during the hot period, it is necessary to spray the leaves regularly and to maintain a constantly humid microclimate it would be advisable to place the plant on a saucer full of pebbles and with water on the bottom, taking care that the bottom of the vase is not immersed in the water otherwise the soil would become saturated causing the roots to rot. In hot weather, the water from the jar will evaporate and moisten the surrounding air.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
Pineapple is a plant that does not have very deep roots therefore it is repotted every two years. A soil made up of two parts of fibrous soil is used, one part of peat and one part of sand. It is important that the soil allows a good drainage of the watering water as it does not tolerate water stagnation.
As the plant grows and as it may become heavy and the pot may not give it enough support, place stones in the bottom of the pot to weigh it down.
Pineapple needs regular fertilization, every month from spring to early autumn. Use a good liquid fertilizer that you dilute in the watering water by slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package. During the rest of the year, fertilize every two months.
It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) , zinc (Zn), boron (B), polybdenum (Mo), all important for proper plant growth.
Pineapple is a plant that cannot be pruned. Only the leaves that tamper with that the plant grows dry are eliminated, to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
During the summer the plant blooms and in the central part of the rosette of leaves a fleshy stem will form which will carry the inflorescence in its apical part.
The pineapple is multiplied by suckers or by a tuft of leaves.
MULTIPLICATION FOR POLLONS
In spring you can take the suckers that form at the base of the mother plant with all the roots. Each sucker must therefore be placed in a single vase in a compost soil as indicated in the paragraph "Repotting" and the young plant is treated as if it were an adult.
Suckers bloom after about two to two years.
MULTIPLICATION BY TUFT OF LEAVES
From the pineapple you can take the tuft of leaves and put it to root.
From the fruit of a large, healthy and fresh pineapple, the tuft of leaves is cut with a sharp knife. The lower leaves are removed and the tuft is placed in a jar so that the base touches the surface of the water.During the entire rooting period, the water level must always be kept constant, therefore it must be checked every day. After 1-2 weeks the first roots will begin to sprout. Wait for them to reach a length of about two centimeters after which transplant it in a pot as indicated in the paragraph "Repotting".
Another method is to let the base dry for 5-6 days after cutting the tuft of leaves. After which it rests on a moist soil (not below) and the soil is kept constantly humid by placing it in an area with temperatures around 21-23 ° c and in an environment with a lot of light.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
It is not a plant easily prone to diseases so if the plant is not luxuriant and florid, it means that you are not growing it properly. Therefore, check how it must be bred in this crop sheet and adjust accordingly.
The pineapple was discovered in Brazil in 1555 but its cultivation began in Europe only 200 years later.
It is the most consumed canned fruit.
In the Philippines, high quality fabric is made from leaf fibers.
See: "Medicinal plants: thePineapple».