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Pineapple pot size

 
steward
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I've heard that pineapples don't have very big root systems and that possibly they get a lot of nutrition from their leaves.  I have about 20 pineapple tops started in small pots in the house with hopes of overwintering them in my greenhouse next winter.  The pots are about 5" across and 5" deep.   Is that too small for a pineapple to mature in?
 
pollinator
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That's large enough for a starter plant, but not big enough for a mature sized plant.  I plant my pineapples in the groud for the summer, then in the fall, pot them up to overwinter in the greenhouse.  When I lift them, I knock off any loose soil and then squeeze them into whatever size pot the remaining rootball will fit, knowing that the plant won't do much growing for most of the winter, but will mature existing fruit.  My largest plants are 4 feet wide and overwinter in a 2 ft wide, 1 foot high pot. A plant this size can have 7 fruit on it at various stages of maturity.
 
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The few times I've grown pineapples I used 40 gal. nursery containers for each plant and got fruit to ripen.
 
Mike Jay
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Shoot...  Looks like I'll be getting some bigger pots this spring.  

I didn't realize they could have more than one fruit on them.  In my defense, I don't spend much time in the tropics.  I thought the original plant put up a flower shoot and created a pineapple.  It also puts out pups that can become their own plants and each produce one pineapple.  So Mike, do you just have a bunch of pups in the original pot?  Or am I totally misunderstanding how pineapples grow?

Thanks!
 
Mike Turner
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The oldest plant suckered after its first fruit and has now formed a clump the way it would if it were growing in the wild.  In pineapple plantations they plant out single slips or divisions so the resulting plant produces a single large fruit for market and so the entire field matures its fruit at about the same time for harvest.  But I don't care if the plant produces a number of smaller fruit which are maturing over a longer time period.  Instead of one big fruit produced by the plant each year, I get several slightly smaller fruit maturing every few weeks or so.  I'll probably divide my oldest plant this spring when I plant them out in the garden, letting them go for about 3 or 4 years before dividing them back into single plants.
 
Mike Jay
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Awesome, thanks for the info Mike!  Ongoing harvests sound nifty.  Big pineapples also sound nifty.  I'll have to try some of each.  

My hope is for my greenhouse to be warm enough to have pineapples live there year round.  My other hope was to hang pineapples in tiny pots up out of the way of the other plants.  I know they get big and spikey so that's part of why I was hoping to keep them above shoulder height.  Bigger pots will just make that trickier.  
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The way I've kept several in a small space was to build a sort of ladder with a plant container on each step. That gave me room underneath for either storage or plant starting trays growing my transplants.

This next time, (I'm going to build a new greenhouse hopefully this year) I'll make a "high bench" and put the pineapples on top with other plants lower down.

Redhawk
 
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