Where do pineapples come from?

… errr … … from the supermarket? I had never ever even wondered about this, even though I love pineapples. My un-asked question however got answered when we got the first tour of the garden from Y., our home care taker. Okay, here it is. Are you ready? Pineapples grow on relatively small plants – relative to the size of the pineapple. They have long thick and spiny leaves that grow from the ground. Like a poll of grass, but then a lot bigger. A stick comes up in the middle and at the top grows a single pineapple – I guess after it has bloomed and been pollinated.

Pineapple bushes with side branches

Y. claimed that one could grow a new plant by chopping off the top part of the fruit which has leaves attached to it and stick it in the ground. Just like that. My dormant farmers’ genes kicked in and I asked whether it matters at which time of year that is done. He claimed that is does not matter. My genes – probably coming from a long line of European farmers – dared to question this. So now I am testing his theory.

When we passed a pineapple plant, I noticed side-branches coming out just beneath the pineapple. From another plant these sprouts were cut off and lying on the ground. My genes kicked in again and propose that they can be grown into full plants as well, which I am testing at the same time.

I took the sprouts which had been lying in the sun for some time, chopped off their dried-out ends and let them soak in water for a couple of days. Yesterday, I planted the sprouts and the tops of two pineapples. One from a pineapple that we had bought and eaten and one small one that had prematurely fallen off its plant in the garden.

Since the soil is super dry and hard ( the dry season is only slowly getting less dry ), I dug little holes, filled them with water and let it sink away. The hard soil had turned into clay which makes it a lot easier to dig a little further. Also, I once learned that one needs to help new roots a little by softening and wetting the earth. It works for the plants we have at home in Lund, maybe it helps here as well.

Next, I dug in the pineapple sprout or top, added more water to mold the clay around the plant a little better and give it an opportunity to nicely sink in place. With one of the sprouts, I just made a hole in the dry earth and stuck it in. If that works, it would definitely prove – well, at least to me – that Y. was right. Also, it means that next time that I am planting pineapples, I will save a lot of time.

Now, it is a wait and see. If we will remain here for much longer than we were planning, I might see the results and blog about it.

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