It’s not really an apple. It’s a bromeliad with a fruit…a pineapple. Explorers gave the pineapple its name in 1664 because they thought it looked like a pine cone. The pineapple (Ananas comosus) grows on a thick stem and has really sharp edges on its leaves. I find weeding around them to be perilous and I dread doing it. I feel like I’ve been bitten when a spiky edge gets me. The pain is worth it though because there is nothing better than a fresh, homegrown pineapple. To me, it has a pina colada flavor. I have seen the plants with their leaves cut off to prevent them from biting. I think it looks a little weird but I’m sure it’s practical when growing thousands of them for the market.
The pineapple is easy to grow in warm, sunny areas. It can easily grow in a pot too. The next time you buy a pineapple at the grocery store and cut it up to eat, make sure you save the top. Just trim the meat off the top (under the leaves) and stick it into the soil where you decide you want your plant to grow. It really is that easy. My grandmother told me that I have to cut the meat off the top and root it in water before I plant it in the soil. To be honest, I just slice off the top and stick it into the ground…meat and all. I’ve never lost a single plant. We’ve devoured about fifty of our own homegrown pineapples.
To grow a pineapple at home takes patience. The plant can take up to 3 years to produce a fruit that is ready to harvest. I have read that it will fruit in two years but it takes three in my yard (in Southwest Florida). If patience isn’t one of your virtues, the fruiting process can be induced artificially. You Grow Girl gives a good suggestion for inducing the fruit at home.
Pineapple is high in vitamin C and contains an enzyme called bromelain which is known to break down protein. Raw pineapple should not be eaten by people with liver or kidney problems, nor should it be eaten by hemophiliacs because it can interfere with platelet function.
If you cut the top off the fruit and plant it each time you buy a pineapple at the supermarket, you will have plants that will give you fruit at different times. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful surprise from your landscaping? We love edible landscaping in our yard. Another plus… your dog will probably stay out of this landscaping.
Come grow with us!