Despite their compact size, baby pineapple produces sweet fruit after 2 to 3 years, but they demand ideal sunshine to make one.
Continue reading if you are thinking about growing a pineapple from scratch, i.e., taking care of a baby plant.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of Baby Pineapple
- A Complete Guide to Baby Pineapple Plant Care
- Baby Pineapple: All About Growth
- Toxicity of Baby Pineapples
- Propagation Methods for Baby Pineapple
- FAQs About Baby Pineapple
- Final Thoughts.
Overview of Baby Pineapple
Pineapples are tropical fruits rich in vitamins and enzymes that help to strengthen the immunity system and help with indigestion.
Despite being known for their sweetness, pineapples are low in calories.
|Scientific Name||Ananas comosus|
|Growth Zone||USDA zone 10-12|
|Growth Size||5 feet tall with 3 to 4 feet spread|
|Growth Rate||Moderately fast|
|Foliage||Rosette arrangement of sword shaped green to striped red or yellow leaves|
|Blooming Period||After 2 to 3 years old plant usually in march|
|Flowering||Reddish or brownish large inflorescence with several small flowers crowned with small leaves.|
|Fruit||6 to 12 inch round egg-shaped green to yellow, orange fruits after ripening.|
|Common Pests||Mealybugs, scale, thrips, fruit borer|
|Horticultural Diseases||Top rot, root rot, fusariosis, fruitlet core rot|
The baby pineapple is prone to different deficiencies if not taken good care of.
Thus, let us dive deep into how to provide optimum care to them.
A Complete Guide to Baby Pineapple Plant Care
Baby pineapples do not have extreme requisites and can thrive in moderate conditioning like other tropical plants.
One can easily grow a pineapple in their backyard with little care and effort.
1. Light & Temperature
Daily 6 hours of bright sunlight alongside 68°F to 86°F warmth can ensure full growth of a baby pineapple plant.
Low light and severe cold (<30°F) can slow plant growth and discourage fruiting with brown-flecked leaves. If not helped in time, the fruits can rot.
However, baby pineapple thrives best in a hot, warm environment with direct sunlight.
For optimal growth, rotate the baby pineapple plant every now and then.
Also, protect them from frosts using blankets, 2-6 inch mulch of wood chips, tree barks or heat pads.
Note: Use of grow lights will not aid and result in fruiting. Thus, you must ensure full sunlight for them to produce fruit.
2. Water & Humidity
Baby pineapple is a drought-resistant plant with moderate humidity (~60%) needs.
Otherwise, water them once the soil looks or feels dry using a chopstick or moisture meter.
Arid conditions can induce yellow or greyish, wilted leaves and stunted growth in baby pineapple plants.
However, too much water and humidity invite fungal diseases, pests and root rot with yellow leaves.
Thus, carefully adjust the watering schedule concerning varying temperatures and use mini watering cans to water the soil directly.
3. Soil & Fertilizer
Baby pineapple grows to full potential in nutrient-rich sandy loam soil with bimonthly fertilization.
Similarly, use balanced liquid fertilizers after diluting them to their half strength.
The risk of overfertilization is high in winter due to low nutrient uptake caused by dormancy. So, better avoid fertilization in winter.
Excess fertilizer can cause salt buildup in the soil resulting in chemical burns and curling leaf tips.
Likewise, nutrient deficiency results in stunted growth of the plant. Furthermore, they may not even produce fruit.
Thus, prepare a mix using coarse sand, peat moss, composted leaves and hummus. Moreover, ensure to fertilize every two weeks after flowering.
4. Occasional Pruning
Baby pineapples need pruning once you notice brown tips and wilting leaves at the base of the plant.
Generally, mealy bugs, scales, thrips and fruit borers are the common pests that trouble baby pineapple.
Meanwhile, fungal diseases like top rot, root rot, fusariosis and fruitlet core rot infect the plant.
Once infected, pruning alongside the application of effective fungicides is the only way to salvage the remnants of the plant.
Similarly, for plant upkeep, you shall prune them 1 to 2 months after the end of the harvest in late summer.
But refrain from pruning baby pineapples in winter to avoid the risk of cutting new offshoots.
5. Potting & Repotting
Baby pineapples do not make haste while growing and stay put in a 10 to 12-inch pot without frequent repotting.
While choosing the pot, ensure they have multiple drain holes to let out excess water.
Moreover, presoak the soil a night before repotting to lower stress in baby pineapple.
Generally, a plastic pot with a well-functioning drainage hole at the bottom best serves baby pineapple as it also helps retain moisture.
While repotting, carefully remove the offshoots of the plant and repot it without damaging the mother plant.
Baby Pineapple: All About Growth
Being herbaceous perennial, pineapples’ roots give way to sending new top growth every year.
Pineapples can attain a height of 5 feet with a spread of 3 to 4 feet.
They are usually short with a stout stem and have strap-like leaves with needle-like pointers at tips and margins.
Baby pineapple has green foliage arranged in a rosette pattern around the man stem.
Pineapples have different leaf colors varying from a uniform green to variously striped red, yellow, or ivory down the middle or at the margins.
They produce a dozen fruit-producing flowers that fuse into a single fruit and are capped with a crown hosting short leaves.
The plant fruits on a 2-3 year crop cycle take 32 to 46 months to complete and harvest.
Each pineapple plant can produce only flowers and fruit once, but the primary plant frequently generates offsets after blooms.
After producing the fruit, the pineapple tends to die but is alive through its suckers.
The fruit is sweet with tough leathery skin and has spiky leaves on the top.
There is a concept called ‘force fruiting’ where you can make the pineapple produce fruit against its natural will.
Forcing Pineapple Fruiting
To encourage all Pineapple plants to flower simultaneously, utilize ethylene, acetylene, or the plant hormone auxin, called “Forcing.”
Pineapple plants are sprayed with the growth regulator ethephon to encourage consistent flowering.
However, forcing pineapple blossoms causes stress resulting in little fruit on small plants.
Moreover, they have a shorter shelf life and can not be stored with other pineapples.
In addition, the acid level of forced fruit is higher than that of regular fruit.
Toxicity of Baby Pineapples
Do not be swayed by the long scaly leaves of Pineapples. They are non-toxic to humans and pets.
Furthermore, pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that tenderizes meat.
It causes mouth burn, itch, swelling, and even bleeding in severe conditions.
Bromelain tries to break down the protein content in your mouth, so eating pineapple means it’s eating you back.
Similarly, plant sap may result in skin irritation or dermatitis upon skin contact. However, they go away within a few minutes.
Therefore, carefully wash the exposed area with soapy water if you develop such symptoms.
Although pineapple consumption seldom leads to medical attention, you must seek medical expertise if you are on other medications.
Propagation Methods for Baby Pineapple
Baby pineapple can be propagated via the crowns, pineapple suckers and seeds.
But the propagation via seed and crown method takes much longer than propagation via sucker.
Thus, many gardeners often use suckers to grow brand-new baby pineapples.
Before hopping on the propagation train, ensure you have rooting hormone, fresh potting mix, a gardening knife and gloves.
1. Via Crown
Select a healthy pineapple fruit and gently remove the top part and crown using a sterilized knife.
- Remove excessive leaves from the plant base.
- Dry the base of the crown in the sun for a week.
- Dip the base of your plant in water and dip it into a rooting hormone.
- Prepare a pot with sandy loam and well-draining soil.
- Add some perlite to your potting mix to make the soil well-drained.
- Push the pineapple crown into the soil with your hand.
- Water the baby pineapple stalk slightly using spray bottles.
- Avoid using any fertilizer right after propagating.
Alternatively, you can soak the crown’s base in water and wait until it grows roots. You can plant it in soil once it grows roots.
It will take about one to three months for your pineapple to root.
Your pineapple will start sprouting new leaves from the center after it firmly roots.
Repot the plant in a 10 to 12 inches container with a rich yet well-draining potting mix.
2. Via Suckers
Look for the suckers between the leaves of a mature pineapple. The suckers must be 20cm/8 inches long to propagate.
- Gently twist it and pull it off to remove it from the base.
- Remove small or dead leaves from the base of the sucker.
- Prepare a potting mix for the pineapple and add perlite to it.
- Push the sucker into the soil and firm the soil around its base to prevent falling over.
- Add a small amount of water to the soil if it is dry.
Pineapple takes 18 months to grow from suckers, comparatively faster than from crown, which takes 24 months.
FAQs About Baby Pineapple
Can you eat a baby pineapple?
Yes, the ripened baby pineapple is completely edible. But avoid eating unripe baby pineapple.
What are baby pineapples called?
Baby pineapples, known as Queen Victoria pineapples, are compact, smaller versions that seldom grow over 10 to 20 cm.
Are mini pineapples good?
Mini or baby pineapples taste is said to taste sweeter than regular ones, but they share identical appearances at different sizes.
Even the tiny, compact size of a baby pineapple can give you one of the sweetest fruit when provided with optimal care.
But maintain at least 5 feet distance while planting the pineapples outdoors, ensuring optimal sunlight.
All The Best!