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Author Topic: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment  (Read 2684 times)

TheWaterbug

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Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« on: September 08, 2017, 05:57:11 PM »
Los Angeles is cooler and considerably drier than the regions where pineapples normally grow. Mine grow, but they don't get very big (the plant or the fruits), and they take a long time to fruit (2.5 - 3 years). I'd been growing them in terra cotta pots, filled nearly to the rim with soil.

A friend suggested that I use black plastic pots, filled only halfway with soil. His theory goes as follows: the black plastic collects heat and creates a "humidity well" near the base of the plant, which keeps it happy. Pineapples are allegedly shallow-rooted (despite my photographic evidence to the contrary!), so having a half-filled pot doesn't hurt them.

I decided to try this, so I took 4 propagules of approximately equal size from Kona Sugarloaf plants, and I put two of them in half-filled black plastic and two of them in filled terra cotta. Here's a size comparison, with one cu ft of soil in each:





And here are 2 of the 4 propagules, planted. I added more soil to the terra cotta pots to top them up:






All 4 plants are on a timered watering system with a fertilizer injector and Spot Spitter waterers. Check back in 2 years to see how this goes!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 06:02:55 PM by TheWaterbug »
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simon_grow

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 06:10:14 PM »
Nice experiment. I've been able to drastically increase the rate of growth for my pineapples by giving them slow release fertilizer in between the leaves and making sure I water them properly. I have some Kuai White Sugarloaf tops that I planted several months ago and they're already about a foot tall.

Simon

BajaJohn

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 06:46:11 PM »
I can't see how that would work since humid air is lighter than dry air. You will quickly lose any humidity. I wonder if your friend was thinking of the pots made of polythene sheet where you can fold the top of the pot around the stem of the plant to avoid losing moisture? I guess you could add a top to your pots to reduce loss of humidity and also shade the soil from the sun to prevent it drying. Another experiment I guess!

simon_grow

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 11:12:10 PM »
Pineapples don't like wet feet so planting them in the terra cotta planters helps wick away excess moisture. If you put a plastic pot on concrete, it does something similar but probably not as efficiently. Another thing to consider is that the plants should be stepped up gradually to make more efficient use of the water and nutrients in the soil.

Here are some pictures of my Kuai White Sugarloaf tops planted in a small black plastic container. It was ripped off the top of a pineapple fruit and planted into the soil after drying for 1-3 days. It was planted on 05/05/17 and it is now 20 inches tall and 26 inches wide.





 Here is my tissue cultured White Sugarloaf from WellSprings gardens. Tissue cultured plants grow relatively slow from my previous experience but with the slow release fertilizer, they are growing exceptionally well. I planted these plugs on 04/13/17 and they are now 10 inches tall and 15 inches wide.





Simon

Mugenia

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 02:06:33 AM »
I am planting my pineapples into the ground where's semi-shad and moist. I am letting nature takes care of it. I will find out in about a year.


fyliu

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 02:28:24 PM »
I am planting my pineapples into the ground where's semi-shad and moist. I am letting nature takes care of it. I will find out in about a year.
There used to be pineapple plantations in LA when we were a big agriculture area.

Natures probably doesn't want pineapples to grow, depending on your location. I had one in ground for more than 2 years and it didn't grow much. It was already a decent sized plant when I got it. Eventually I decided it's not worth it and threw it in the trash. That was in my early fruit growing days. Same with dragon fruit in the ground. 3 years and the cutting actually shrunk.

TheWaterbug

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 08:44:16 PM »
Pineapples definitely grow here in Los Angeles; I've harvested 4-5 so far, and I have 7 in various stages of fruiting right now. But it takes forever, and the fruits aren't very large.


I'm just trying to get the best out of them that I can, and a local friend swears by this method, so I thought I'd try it.


I'm also all ears on the best way to fertilize pineapples. I have everything on a timered drip system, and I have Add-It fertilizer injectors, but I keep reading that pineapples are foliar feeders. That's part of the reason I put in Spot Spitters instead of the drippers I normally use.
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fyliu

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 02:21:30 AM »
I meant nature as in the desert doesn't like pineapples. Even the ground in some places don't like pineapples, like my parents' front yard. That's why I had to grow them in pot, and water them, and protect them against frost in the winter. I've had severe frost damage to a plant and another dead from frost before.
I think you folks near the coast don't have these issues. It's like Hawaii, everything just grows.

barath

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 03:14:24 AM »
I meant nature as in the desert doesn't like pineapples. Even the ground in some places don't like pineapples, like my parents' front yard. That's why I had to grow them in pot, and water them, and protect them against frost in the winter. I've had severe frost damage to a plant and another dead from frost before.
I think you folks near the coast don't have these issues. It's like Hawaii, everything just grows.

I'm surprised about the pineapple frost damage in Burbank -- I don't get frost damage on my potted pineapples here in the East Bay in Northern California.  How cold was it when the pineapples got damaged?

RodneyS

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 01:52:22 PM »
I rooted a Gold pineapple crown from the supermarket, and it does just fine potted






Pasca

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 10:06:09 PM »
It seems that a lot of the pineapple growers here in S. California prefer pots, at least by gleaning the inputs in this thread.  I started mine in pots and they are doing fine after 1-2 years.  I have been thinking about putting them in the ground.  Based on the opinions in this thread, I think I will just repot mine in larger pots instead of putting them in the ground.  I am in the San Gabriel area for reference.

fyliu

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 01:03:59 PM »
I'm surprised about the pineapple frost damage in Burbank -- I don't get frost damage on my potted pineapples here in the East Bay in Northern California.  How cold was it when the pineapples got damaged?
I think the lowest temps in Burbank last winter was in the high 30s. But it depends on the cloud cover. We don't have a lot of moisture here except during the winter rain season. It sounds protective except the clouds can clear up right after a rain and it can get cold. Putting the plants under a tree canopy will protect them.

It seems that a lot of the pineapple growers here in S. California prefer pots, at least by gleaning the inputs in this thread.  I started mine in pots and they are doing fine after 1-2 years.  I have been thinking about putting them in the ground.  Based on the opinions in this thread, I think I will just repot mine in larger pots instead of putting them in the ground.  I am in the San Gabriel area for reference.

Having them in pots allows you to move them under something during the winter to protect against frost damage. I first heard of this method from Adam, who suggested putting them in 3 gal pots is good. Larger pot might be better for the plant/pineapple size, but smaller pot is easier to move around and you can fit more plants in the same space.

TheWaterbug

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 01:34:49 PM »
Here is my tissue cultured White Sugarloaf from WellSprings gardens. Tissue cultured plants grow relatively slow from my previous experience but with the slow release fertilizer, they are growing exceptionally well. I planted these plugs on 04/13/17 and they are now 10 inches tall and 15 inches wide.



Yours are growing way faster than mine. But I haven't been fertilizing the way you have. Perhaps I should start. What do you use, and do you apply it to the leaves and cup?


I presently have my pineapples on the same drip system as some other plants, and I feed them through an Add-It proportional fertilizer injector. But it all goes into the roots.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

TheWaterbug

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 04:57:46 PM »
Check back in 2 years to see how this goes!

Here's an intermediate update at the 1-year mark (photos were taken on Sep. 8th, almost exactly a year after planting):










n=2, and YMMV, but the two plants that are half-potted in black plastic are definitely larger than the ones fully-potted in the terra cotta.

I'm going to adopt this as my new default method of planting. The black plastic pots are only $0.10 more than the terra cotta ones, have a larger full volume (if you use it), and are much lighter to schlepp around.

If I ever want to use these plants for decorative purposes I could always just pull them out and re-pot them in terra cotta during the fruiting phase.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

fyliu

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2018, 06:54:33 PM »
Thanks for the update. It's always cool to see experimental results. It'll be a more concrete result when you compare the fruit sizes.

So do all the pots get the same amount of water? Meaning the full pots have half the soil moisture of the half pots?

I know there's so many factors involved and there's only so much a home gardener can do to test which one matters. Keep up the good work! Let's see if the plants with larger soil volume will catch up.

FV Fruit Freak

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Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2020, 06:17:01 PM »
I am planting my pineapples into the ground where's semi-shad and moist. I am letting nature takes care of it. I will find out in about a year.

Any updates on your in-ground pineapple experiment?

Does ANYONE else have pineapples In the ground here in Southern California? If so, how are they growing?
Nate Dogg

 

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