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The pineapple plant, Ananas Comosus, a part of the bromeliaceae family, originated in South America. It grows as a rosette of pinnate succulent leaves which are spiny on the edges. Mature plants can range from 3 to 6 feet (.9 to 1.8 meters) tall.
While most people are familiar with the standard yellow/green pineapples there are also red, blue, white, orange and mini ones.
Where Do Pineapples Come From?
Pineapple cultivation has been discovered as far back as 1200 BC in Peru. Around 200 BC and onward it was being cultivated as far north as Mexico by the Mayans and Aztec. By the late 1400s it was a widely cultivated and distributed fruit in parts of the americas.
It was introduced to Europe in the 17th century and was cultivated by the wealthy in hot houses. It became a symbol of wealth, often being shown off as an ornamental at dinners. By the late 1820s hot house and tropical plantation cultivation had taken over and the pineapple was well on its way to commercial availability.
How Long Does It Take a Pineapple to Grow?
A pineapple can take from 1 to 3 years to fully mature depending on cultivar and planting methods.
- 1 to 2 years if planted from a sucker.
- 2 to 3 years from a crown.
How Many Pineapples Does a Pineapple Plant Produce?
You get one fruit per plant.
What Happens After a Pineapple Plant Fruits?
After fruiting, the plant will go on to produce sucker. If they are not separated and planted individually they will produce a fruit smaller than the parent.
Commercially cultivated plants are usually grown at 15 to 20 thousand plants per hectare (2.5 acres).
How Do You Grow a Pineapple?
There are various methods of cultivation. Suckers and crowns are the preferred, for ease of planting and the speed at which they grow. Seeds are generally only used in commercial cultivation for breeding purposes.
Originally in the wild it was hummingbirds and bats that helped pollinate the plants. Commercially it is done by hand. A commercial farm generally takes less than 2 years to cultivate a pineapple.
The top exporter of pineapple is Costa Rica at almost 45% of the world’s supply. Followed by the Philippines and surprisingly the Netherlands. Almost anywhere in this world you can enjoy a tasty and delicious pineapple.