Pineapple is one of the most important fruits grown globally for commercial use. The fruit has many distinct characteristics that determine taste, colour and production and so many leading growers are looking for ways to shorten the time it takes for a pineapple to grow.
Several methods of propagation of pineapple have been studied and developed in recent decades, taking us some way from the early pineapple growers who struggled to produce them reliably outside tropical climates.
Without specialist equipment, a pineapple will take about 18-24 months to fully mature and be ready for harvest and eating. The process of growing a pineapple can be broken down into several distinct stages
Stages of Pineapple Growth
Propagation (growing a new fruit from part of an old one) : Pineapples are propagated by either suckers or slips, which are small offsets that form at the base of the fruit. These offsets are removed from the parent plant and planted in soil or water to start a new pineapple plant.
Germination (new growth begins) : Once planted, the pineapple slips or suckers will begin to sprout roots and leaves. This process can take several weeks.
Vegetative Growth (greenery develops) : After germination, the pineapple plant will begin to grow and develop leaves. During this stage, the plant will also begin to produce a stalk, atop which the pineapple fruit will eventually sit. The vegetative growth stage can last for several months, depending on the growing conditions.
Fruiting (the fruit appears!) : After several months of vegetative growth, the pineapple plant will begin to produce a fruit. The fruit will grow and mature over a period of several months. The pineapple will start to change color from green to yellow and will start to soften as it ripens.
Check out our guide on how to pick the perfect pineapple!
Harvest (picking the pineapple off the plant) : Once the pineapple is fully ripe, it can be harvested. The leaves at the top of the fruit are cut off and the fruit is pulled out of the ground or pot by the stalk.
Post-Harvest: After harvest, you can clean the pineapple and eat it immediately or store it.
Overall, it’s important to know that the growth time of pineapple can vary depending on factors such as: the variety of pineapple, the growing conditions, and the maturity of the suckers or slips used for propagation.
Additionally, pineapples can also be grown in greenhouse or indoor conditions, which can affect the grow time as well. Commercial pineapple plant fruiting is usually done on a two to three year fruit crop cycle that usually yields fruit 32 to 46 months to completion and harvest