Pineapple Propagation?

Two years ago my dad, a retiree in a warm continental US climate, for a lark rooted the cutoff top of a supermarket pineapple. With care it has turned into a smallish shrub that now, wonder of wonders, has what appears to be a few tiny fruiting buds on it. Knowing nothing of pineapple horticulture he hasn't done too bad in the sandy soil at the edge of a golf course. But with continued reasonable care can he expect these fruits to mature into something edible, or are edible pineapples propagated by other means? Does this plant require a pollinator or is it self fruiting? He's having fun regardless, but a real fruit would be the ultimate compliment for his efforts.
J.
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On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 23:06:01 -0400, "J."

I've done this a few times. I live north so I put them in pots, but the principle is the same.
Yes, they are self fruiting. I believe 2 - 2 1/2 years after planting, most plants will fruit. Some don't. It then takes about 6 months for the fruit to mature.
The buds are the first step. Should be little blue flowers popping out over the next few weeks. After they stop, then it will fruit.
If it does fruit, you'll get a smaller version of the original, a single fruit growing in the center that might be 1/2 or 3/4 smaller, but definitely edible. It should start out as a flower spike in the middle of the leaves. 6 months later, enjoy your mini treat.
The ones I've grown have been very sweet. After fruiting, the plant can theoretically grow another one a year later , and maybe even a third, but I think I read the fruits were really really small and not worth the bother so I don't.
Instead you can let it continue to grow the baby plants, shoots, and suckers that should have appeared on it. Let them grow until they get pretty good size, remove and plant them, and toss the mother plant.
If it doesn't fruit, it still makes an interesting houseplant if you have the room. Just be careful as the leaves get sharp as they get bigger.
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We were told by a pineapple grower in Hawaii that a trick they use is to water the plant well, cover it completely with a plastic bag, and put an apple in with the plant. Something about the gas formed by the ripening apple, causes it to so what is was supposed to.
Dwayne

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The ethylene gas will ripen the pineapple but that was not the question? A quick example http://www.virginiaapples.org/facts/applefacts.html
- Bill Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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g'day "J"
growing pineapples almost comes under the stick it in the ground and froget it syndrome, we do it in all gardens we have always room for at least one plant.
yep they take from 18 moths to 3 years to fruit for us farmers manage to get them a bit quicker, but then they stress the tops before planting by leaving the tops in the full sun for 2 to 4 weeks until the tops are nearly all gone yellow. also the tops could be held at the cannery for some time as well?
they like it well drained so don't over water, once established never see farmers irrigating past about the first 2 weeks in the ground if needed.
but anyway the fruit never seems to get to full size like the one you ate, some gardenrs do get big fruit but not many, but at the end of the day the plant hasn't taken a lot of space or care and the fruit though small is generally always very sweet.
taking the pups that shoot from the mother plant may give fruit faster as it is a growing thing as i see it. farmers leave the side growths and pick a second harvest before turning the plants in and then replanting.
we never take any fruit with the tops when we remove them from the pineapple we simply twist the top off and after about a month in the full sun we peal off the bottom 2 or 3 layers of smaller leaves this exposes the root buds, then just stick it in the garden and let it go.
On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 23:06:01 -0400, "J."
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
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