Plant DetailShow Menu

Pineapple Ananas comosus

Previously known as:

  • Ananas sativus
Phonetic Spelling
ah-NAH-nas kom-OH-sus
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Pineapple is grown in tropical climates where the best fruit production is achieved.  After bananas and citrus, pineapples are the 3rd most cultivated tropical fruit. Most pineapple grown for consumption is of the 'Cayenne' or 'Smooth Cayenne' variety.    

Pineapples are short-lived perennial monocots that can grow 2-4’ tall and have spiky, thick long leaves that form a tight rosette.  The plant prefers 68-86 degree temperatures for optimum growth. In more temperate areas, pineapples can be an attractive houseplant grown indoors in potted containers or as an outdoor ornamental plant but require an environment that can be kept at least 65 degrees, consistently moist acidic soil, bright, indirect sun, and high humidity. Pineapple has a shallow root system so a 3-7 gallon pot is adequate for container growth.

At least 25 normal sized leaves are needed to flower and produce fruit which may take several years to achieve. When not grown in optimal conditions, the fruit produced may not be as large or tasty.  The plant is drought tolerant but prone to root rot if kept too wet.  Does not tolerate frost and the fruit is sensitive to sunburn.  

Pineapple is propagated asexually from fruit crown, suckers, slips, or hapas.

  • Fruit crown is the top of the pineapple fruit.  Cut it off about an inch below the leaf cluster.  Trim away the outer fruit portion and a few of the basal leaves leaving some of the inner core.  Allow the wound moisture to dry up for a week to discourage rotting.  Plant in moist, well-drained soil with bright, indirect light.  This is the slowest method of growing a pineapple fruit and can take at least 24 months to flower but the preferred method in Hawaii.
  • Suckers grow between the leaves of a mature pineapple plant. These can be pulled or snapped off, air-dried, and planted.
  • Slips are similar to suckers but they grow out and then curve upward from the fruit stalk at the base of the fruit.  The popular variety ‘Smooth Cayenne’ produces few if any slips. These can be easily pulled off the plant, air-dried, and planted.
  • Hapas are straighter than slips at the base of the peduncle. These can be easily pulled off the plant, air-dried, and planted.

Bromelain content of pineapple fruit aids digestion but may cause contact dermatitis in some people or mouth and throat irritation if ingested in large quantities.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Pineapple can be affected by wilt and root rot.  Mealybugs, scale, thrips, and nematodes can also be issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pernambuco'
    pale yellow to white flesh, small slender fruits
  • 'Queen'
    spiny, swarf, compact, more cold/disease resistant
  • 'Red Spanish'
    spiny leaves, squarish shape making it easier to ship, fibrous
  • 'Smooth Cayenne'
    no spines except at leaf tip, high sugar and acid content
  • var. variegatus
    variegated leaves
'Pernambuco', 'Queen', 'Red Spanish', 'Smooth Cayenne', var. variegatus
Tags:
#purple#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#yellow#houseplant#container plant#pink flowers#frost tender#interiorscape#winter interest#prickles#yellow fruits#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pernambuco'
    pale yellow to white flesh, small slender fruits
  • 'Queen'
    spiny, swarf, compact, more cold/disease resistant
  • 'Red Spanish'
    spiny leaves, squarish shape making it easier to ship, fibrous
  • 'Smooth Cayenne'
    no spines except at leaf tip, high sugar and acid content
  • var. variegatus
    variegated leaves
'Pernambuco', 'Queen', 'Red Spanish', 'Smooth Cayenne', var. variegatus
Tags:
#purple#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#yellow#houseplant#container plant#pink flowers#frost tender#interiorscape#winter interest#prickles#yellow fruits#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ananas
    Species:
    comosus
    Family:
    Bromeliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Pineapple bran and by-products of pineapple processing have been used in livestock feed. Bromelain extracted from pineapple may be used as a meat tenderizer. The stems and leaves are a source of fiber and can be processed into paper or 'pina cloth'.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Brazil, Tropical South America
    Distribution:
    Widely grown in Asia, South America, South Africa, Hawaii, Southern Florida
    Edibility:
    Sweet, succulent, aromatic mature fruit edible raw, cooked or preserved.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The inflorescence is fused into a seedless syncarp formed by 100-200 individual spiral flowers to form the fruit. When the fruit is ripe it generates a waxy, tough outer rind made up of hexagonal shaped units that change from green to yellow or slightly brown as it ripens. Oval, fleshy fruit when mature can be 12" long and weigh up to 6-8 pounds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are in an erect, tight cluster. An inflorescence is on a stalk up to 20" long. Each flower is made up of 3 sepals, 3 petals, 6 stamens typical of monocots.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has basal, erect, stiff, sharp-pointed and spiny-margined leaves. Smooth leaf margin and variegated varieties are available.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Very short, thick stem.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Problem for Children
    Spines/Thorns
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Mild skin irritation from contact with juice; mechanical damage from sharp-pointed, spiny leaves; irritation to the eyes from splashed juice; irritation of mouth, lips, and tongue from ingesting fruit. Throat irritation and strong laxative effect from ingestion of large quantities of RAW pineapple and/or sap from leaves; digestive tract benzoars from excessive consumption of pineapple cores.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Bromelin, ethyl acrylate, and calcium oxalate crystals
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice