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  Carol Cloud Bailey's Gardening Blog
Have gardening questions? Get answers from Carol Cloud Bailey, the resident Yard Doc and horticulturist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Red Pineapples

red pineapple.jpg

Dear Carol;
I have had a red pineapple plant growing in my garden for over ten years. This year it has grown a red pineapple on it. Is it edible?
Thanks for any info you may have to offer,
Vero Beach


Found an interesting plant, a red pineapple, maybe originally from Hawaii.

Yum! Pineapples! Red pineapple is known by the name Ananas bracteatus and originates from Brazil as do the most commonly grown pineapple Ananas comosus. The two species differ in that A. bracteatus has flowers borne in large showy heads with thorny bracts around the flowers. The fruit of the red pineapple is edible, but is often seedy and less sweet that that of A. comosus. There is also a variety of the red pineapple, Ananas bracteatus var. striatus that has broad, white stripes on the margin of the leaves that is often used as an ornamental plant.

Pineapple is fruit that is easy for home gardeners to grow in warm locations. Choose an area with full sun, well-drained soil, and access to supplemental irrigation in times of drought.

Propagation is also fairly easy, the pineapple is in the Bromeliaceae family and as such, the “mother” plant produces several types of offsets. Look for the vigorously growing pups along the flower stem BELOW the fruit and those produced under the plant. These new plants will be genetically the same as the mother plant and produce the same or similar type of fruit.

It is true that you can start a new pineapple plant from the crown of the fruit, but the plant that grows will be the result of pollination and will have some characteristics from the plant providing the pollen. It may be as good or even better than the original fruit, but it may be worse, kind of a genetic Russian roulette, ya’ get what Mother Nature gives you.

Pineapples bear fruit year ‘round in warn climates, the spring and summer are the best times for new plantings. Your new plant should produce fruit in 9 to 18 months from planting. Pineapple plants need regular applications of water and fertilizer. If you do not get one good rain a week, apply enough water to wet the soil evenly and deeply, to 12 inches, once per week – no wet feet or frequent irrigations for pineapple. Applying a well balanced, slow-release fertilizer with a heavy compliment of minor elements including iron and magnesium every 3-4 months or according to the label will help produce a nice full fruit.

Thanks for your questions, your picture, Terry, and Happy Gardening,

Comment posted by slurp at February 7, 2006 09:25 PM billydriverseducing

Comment posted by tim at April 9, 2006 02:20 PM

always drive me crazy as I never know what to do.

I'm off topic but typing sometimes saves me from screaming!

Comment posted by lee at July 4, 2006 11:10 PM

i have some pineapple bushes and the pineapples are red can you tell me when they are ready to pick. I had some last year and I left them on to long and they rotted on the thorny bush. I do not want to that any more could youtell me when they might be ready. thanks lee

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