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The pineapple (pineapple comosus, pineapple sativus) is from the bromeliaceae family (Bromeliaceae). She is originally from Central and South America. In tropical regions, it is now growing worldwide. It is known as ornamental pineapple and is mainly cultivated as a houseplant. It forms a leaf rosette with loose long and tapered leaves. From the inflorescence forms later the delicious fruit. In German interiors, however, it usually fails to reach maturity and is therefore (only) a beautiful, exotic ornamental plant.
In some nurseries there are different pineapple plants to buy. Mostly it is not the real fruit pineapple, but different varieties of the same genus. The original pineapple comosus, for example, is quite large and is rather unsuitable for the living room. But no matter if specially bred ornamental pineapple or fruit pineapple, the multiplication works on the same principle. By seed and Kindel or also with the pineapple head, the fruit point.
If you just want to see how a pineapple plant is made, try to grow it out of seeds. Otherwise, this type of propagation is more interesting for the professional breeding of new varieties. For some pineapple, a few millimeters below the shell are seeds. They are small, brown, linseed-like kernels. These seeds are collected, washed and then dried a bit. It is recommended to water them for one day before sowing. Then sprinkle them on the potting soil and lightly press them. Now temperatures over 20° C are needed permanently. In addition, a greenhouse climate, preferably through film coverage. The probability that a seed germinates is given as 50%. The time to germination can be up to two months.
Much easier and the most common method is the propagation by Kindel. These are side shoots, as they are known by many Bromelien- and also Agavegewächsen. Mostly after flowering, the mother plant forms small shoots at its base. These are then separated with a knife and placed in a small pot. A mixture of peat and sand is a suitable substrate. The earth is always just kept moist. In it, the sprout will root in a warm, shady spot. That takes about eight to ten weeks.
The most popular and exciting method is an increase by the fruit, more precisely by the leaf head, the fruit tip. You can try this with every pineapple that you have eaten before with relish. That's how it works:
- First cut off the leaf rosette of a pineapple, down to about three inches deep into the pulp. The leaves should be healthy and juicy, not dried up. The pulp around the stalk can be removed.
- This section is allowed to dry well for one to two days so that it does not rot.
- Now there are two options, either you can root this head in water or put it directly into the potting soil.
- Water glass method: Here the leaf head is hung up to the leaf approach in the water. The lower leaves should not hang in the water and be plucked off. For a narrow glass is well suited, whereupon the crust sits with its leaves and the rest hangs in the water. The whole thing is now up to rooting in a bright and very warm place. The water is replenished as needed, not changed. After a few weeks Würzelchen form, which can be seen well in the glass method. If they are about five millimeters long, place the tuft in a pot with potting soil.
- Planting directly into the soil: The dried leaves are placed directly in the substrate. Who wants to play it safe, dips it once in rooting powder. The substrate should be low in nutrients and permeable. Cactus soil, palm soil or an earth mixture with sand are well suited. Here, the leaf head is pressed down to the bottom leaf rosette. The vessel must have a good water outlet, the young roots are very sensitive to too much moisture.
- No matter which method, the room temperature is important in the following. The warmer the better, continuous 25° C are ideal. Also a high humidity is estimated. So put it away from heaters, it may make sense to set up a humidifier. The young cuttings can also be covered with transparent plastic bags. But do not forget regular airing and do not expose yourself to the blazing sun.
- As soon as a new leaf drive forms in the middle of the leaf rosette, the action was successful. It can take years to blossom and eventually re-fruiting.
If the shoot or scalp rooted successfully, it is about using a healthy pineapple plant.
- Substrate: A mixture of lime-free, mineral earth is best suited. The substance should be crumbly, loose for a good drainage. The ideal pH is 5.
- Location: Brightness and enough sunlight every day are the best conditions for pineapples. Bright midday sun does not tolerate it so well.
- Pouring: Pouring is rather moderate. The earth may be moist, but never wet. Waterlogging is completely to be avoided. Unlike other bromeliads, the pineapple does not tolerate stagnant water in its leaf rosette. Therefore always pour on the earth.
- Temperature: The sunflower needs a lot of heat, preferably always over 20° C. Ideal are 25° C with high humidity.
- Fertilizer: The pineapple plant does not know a proper rest in the year. It is therefore possible to give some full fertilizer into the irrigation water every two weeks throughout the year. A slightly higher phosphate content has a positive effect on the flower.
- Wintering: A special wintering is not necessary for the pineapple, because it has to keep it warm all year round. Even in winter, it must not be exposed to temperatures below 16° C.
- Repotting: Repotting in the next larger pot is necessary whenever the substrate in the pot is completely rooted. The substrate should be completely renewed, the time of the year is arbitrary.
- Harvest: With a bit of luck and an ideal location, you can expect a flowering after a few years. From this flower matures in 4-8 months then a fruit. The fruits ripened in the summer have the greatest chance to develop a sweet, tasty fruit. Thereafter, the mother plant dies. In the meantime, however, enough Kindel have formed for further propagation.
Again and again you hear warnings that the pineapple is poisonous. Especially for pregnant women. Also for cats the consumption should not be harmless. Toxic is a hard word for this delicious fruit. If the pineapple is not yet fully matured, it is, like many unripe fruits, less digestible. The supposedly dangerous for pregnant women enzymes are rendered harmless by the stomach acid. What remains is a sweet fruit that is so full of vitamins that can be consumed in moderation, enriching every diet. For cats, many exotic indoor plants are poisonous or not digestible, the list is long. However, if cats have enough harmless alternative green to choose from and are otherwise well-versed in their cat life, they are unlikely to nibble on these houseplants. A far more dangerous toxicity results from the pesticides that are used in the countries with excessive pineapple cultivation for export. For example, Costa Rica sets a sad record: it is the country where, with 52 kg of pesticides per hectare, the world's most pesticides are used. This is only so that the western countries can buy pineapples for their supermarkets as inexpensively as possible. This really is poison for everyone, producers and consumers alike.
A rich harvest is unlikely to be expected. The different varieties of pineapple are decorative, exotic and quite easy to clean houseplants. Taking a plant from a leafy head is especially enjoyable: first the sweet fruit is nibbled and then the exciting experiment in the pot can begin.