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Q.Pineapple leaf wilting

Zone Odense | Aiste Vara added on February 11, 2019 | Answered

Hi, I am new to pineapples. My boyfriend got a decorative un-eatable pineapple and I try to take care of it. We have it since Christmas 2018 and it has some problems. Some of the leaf tips are getting brown, there are three light green spots on the leaves, the stem with the fruit is crooked to one side and there are little brown scars on the stem. We live in Denmark, so we don’t get a lot of sun this time of  year. I try to not over water it, since the soil stays damp for a long time. It has 4 offsprings in the same pot, but they grew quite a lot, so I am planning to plant them separately soon. My question is, what could be wrong to the main plant? Why are the leaves getting brown? Could it be because it dorsn’t have enough space in the pot? And might it be crooked because of Zn deficiency?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 11, 2019

We have a lot to go over here...

So... All pineapples are edible, no matter the cultivar. Most people just don't have the equipment to keep them alive, so they remain a foliage plant, and the fruit does not ripen.

I had one just like that. I threw it under my horticultural lighting in my indoor greenhouse and let the fruit mature. I ate that, and replanted the top. It grew. The mother produced two pups, which I transplanted, and they grew. Now I have a forest of pineapples. They are like noxious weeds at my house, and I can't put them outside. They won't grow in my area of the US.

With this being said, it is totally possible for you to grow that pineapple and eat from it. BUT... You are going to need a lot of resources that are not being currently employed.

Light is the most important. At least 100 watts per square foot is recommended, since these are tropical, and very light hungry.

Next comes knowing the correct container size for each pineapple plant. If you want the fruit to be at least half the size of what you would buy from the store, then you will need at least a 2 gallon container for each plant.

They are very heavy feeders. It is best to supplement your plant with an organic granular feed every 6 months.

Now, the most important aspect of a pineapple. They only produce one fruit and then DIE! Don't worry though. They produce offsets which will produce fruit and offsets, continuing the cycle.

What you are seeing is the fruits inability to ripen due to lack of light and container space. The mother plant is on her way out, and death is at the door for her. This is normal, and to be expected, however you will want to correct the issues mentioned above to keep it alive.

And don't worry about hurting the offsets... I'm nowhere near gentle when I'm breaking them apart... They are not sensitive at all... Things move a little faster if you manage to get roots on the offsets when you divide them, though it isn't completely necessary. They will grow roots just fine, and you may even see some now between the leaves closest to the soil. In tropical climates, they do become invasive weeds.

I know this is long winded, but there is a lot to know about the care of plants outside of their native habitat.

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