How to grow your own Sugarloaf Pineapple
Every Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple we sell on the island of Kauai comes with a top so that you can easily grow a new plant. When we ship Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple that was ordered through the website we trip the leaves on the crown so that it will fit in the FedEx box. Even though the top is trimmed it will still grow. It may produce one plant or if you are lucky, the top may sprout side shoots, called suckers, off of the sides of the newly planted top. Of course you need a warm and sunny climate to expect it to really thrive. Here are some basic points if you want to try it yourself, but please understand there is a lot more to it if you want to produce large high quality fruit.
- Snap the top off, or cut right above the fruit. If some of the fruit is stuck to the top cut all the fruit off. Don't be afraid to cut a little into the crown. Decaying fruit can cause a myriad of problems when planting. Then peel off the small lower leaves to expose approximately 2 inches.
- Let it sit for at least a week in a dry, well shaded place such as a garage.
- Plant in soil that drains well. Full sunlight is best. Pineapple cannot tolerate a frost.
- Water lightly. Overwatering is the easiest way to hurt the plant.
- Fertilize by foliar application, which is liquid fertilizer sprayed on the leaves, about once or twice a month, with a formula for acid-loving plants.
- The larger you can grow the plant the larger the fruit will be.
- The larger you can grow the plant before it flowers, the larger the fruit will be. Pineapple usually takes 18 to 24 months to produce the first fruit. One plant = one fruit. When the plant is old enough, usually at least 12-18 months, it will produce a flower at the next solstice and takes about five months to ripen from when you see the flower. Growing pineapple in areas where you need to take the plant inside due to frost, snow will delay maturity but eventually it will likely flower, but it will usually take more than 24 months, sometimes significantly more.
- When the plant is old enough it will produce a flower at the next solstice and takes about five months to ripen from when you see the red-heart stage, which is just before the flowering stage. The pictures on my website show these stages.
- Pick when you see yellow dots in the green eyes, which should be plump, all the way from bottom to top.