Exact Answer: 2 To 3 Years
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit generally grown in Latin America, West Africa, India and China. People enjoy eating the fruit due to its deliciously sweet taste and unique aroma. Furthermore, it is a rich source of numerous healthy minerals and vitamins.
Ranked third behind banana and citrus, this popular fruit can be grown at home. All gardeners need is a pot, soil, fertilizer and plenty of sunlight. It takes two to three years for a pineapple to grow.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Pineapple?
|Growth Method||Time taken for the plant to grow||Time taken for plant to fruit|
|Stalk or crown of pineapple||2 months||24 months|
|Seeds of the plant||6 months||24 to 28 months|
|Plant purchased from local nurseries||–||16 months|
|Sucker propogaiton||–||18 months|
Pineapples are easy to grow, but they require a time commitment. Depending on the method used, it may take several years for the plant to fruit.
There are three ways to get started if one wants to grow a pineapple. Firstly, one can use the stalk of a ripened fruit. Remove the lower few leaves and set aside the green shoot to dry to prevent rot. Place in a shallow bowl of water and wait for roots to grow. It takes about two months or 6 to 8 weeks to establish. From the initial planting, plants grown using the stalk take 24 months to fruit.
Secondly, pineapple plants can grow from seeds. It takes six months for seeds to sprout. If the plant is grown indoors, it may take longer. The fruit grows in 24 to 28 months.
One may also buy pineapple plants from local gardens or online stores. These plants take 16 months to fruit.
Pineapple may also grow from suckers. Suckers are small plants that form below the soil, in between leaves or along the flower stalk. These pups grow into new plants and produce fruit in 18 months.
The time required for the plant to grow varies depending on the temperature, sunlight, moisture content and fertilizer provided. Generally, pineapple plants grow faster in tropical regions compared to temperate zones.
Why Does It Take So Long To Grow A Pineapple?
Unlike popular belief, a pineapple is not a single fruit, but about 200 fruits fused. Hence, it takes a long time for the plant to fruit as 200 flowers need to fertilize.
Furthermore, pineapple plants require a temperature of 68 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the plant may tolerate temperatures outside the optimum range, the plants will take longer than 28 months to grow and fruit in cold climates. The growth also slows if the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plants need well-drained soil with an acidic pH of 4.5-6.5. Furthermore, while pineapples tolerate dry conditions, fruit production requires plenty of water. One should check the junction where leaves meet to determine if the plant needs water. One must water over the top of the plant if not water is present in those little pockets. Ensure to water the plant every 6 to 8 days in the growing season and every 10 to 12 days in winter.
Pineapple plants love to soak up sunlight for at least eight hours a day to produce fruit. The plants take longer to grow in temperate regions where light does not last so long.
Pineapples require fertilizer for optimum growth. The lack of essential nutrients can slow down growth or kill the plant. One needs to fertilize it 10-10-10 NPK and 4-6% magnesium every two months until flowers form. Then one must fertilize the plant every two weeks. The fertilize must contain 6 to 10 per cent Nitrogen, 6 to 10 per cent phosphoric acid and 6 to 10 per cent potash. These ingredients also help lower the pH of the soil.
Pineapple is an excellent source of fibre, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and essential minerals like manganese. These health benefits, along with its sweet taste, make it popular among people.
Home gardeners grow the plant not only for its fruit but also for its striking green foliage. The plant takes two to six months to root, depending on whether one uses a crown or seeds and about 2 to 3 years to fruit.