Pineapples are exotic fruits that make great houseplants. Even in cold climates it is possible to get these plants to set fruit and ripen indoors. Store-bought fruit does not compare in taste or sweetness to a pineapple you grew yourself. One reason for this is because the store bought pineapples were picked before they were fully ripe, unlike one you would grow in your home or yard that would be left on the plant until it was fully ripe and ready to eat.
There are many varieties of pineapple plants. Some are ornamental and some are edible. The various types are sorted by class. There are four classes, according to Purdue University, ‘Smooth Cayenne’, ‘Red Spanish’, ‘Queen’, and ‘Abacaxi.’ Once the plants are two years old, they will flower, then set fruit. From the time the pineapple flowers to the time the fruit ripens on the plant takes six months, according to the pineapple research institute of Hawaii.
For pineapple fruit to mature in six months, a temperature range of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, must be maintained according to the Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii. Pineapple grown in cooler conditions produces fruit that tastes more acidic, and the fruits take longer to mature according to Purdue University.
Water weekly making sure to soak the soil and use a time release fertilizer.
Light Requirements for Fruiting
When the pineapple plant is in active growth grow lights should be left on 12 to 14 hours per day.
Once your plant is old enough to set fruit, the pineapple research institute of Hawaii says that the light requirements change.
In nature, pineapples need 10 to 11 hours of sunlight daily to set fruit. The short days and cool nights are what trigger the plants to bloom, according the pineapple research institute of Hawaii.
Plants grown with higher temperatures or given longer periods of light may not flower on time or the fruit maturation may be delayed.
The proper time for harvesting can be difficult to judge, according to Purdue University, even though the approximate time to harvest will be six months. This is not a hard and fast rule, so look at your pineapple and note the changes. These changes will signal proper harvesting time.
The pineapple shell, which is the part you see, will change color from green to gold. When one half of the shell is changed, you can harvest it, but the longer you wait to harvest your pineapple, the sweeter it will be. Inside the pineapple, the white flesh is changing to yellow.