One of the reasons I chose to live in Northland is because I can grow pineapples here. There are plenty of things I can’t grow here (hello maple syrup), but I can grow pineapples. It was far from a major reason I chose this place, but it truthfully was one of the reasons I chose to settle here.
I’ve already told you about my pineapple plant that I purchased from a local subtropical nursery while I lived in Waipu. It’s really thriving in it’s position in the greenhouse. I think partially because I learned how to water it.
I had been watering around the rootzone, but now I pour a small amount of water directly down the middle of the plant. Not only does it have about 10 new leaves since we moved in, I recently spotted it’s also having a baby!
That baby brings us to two pineapple plants, but this week we experienced a proliferation of pineapple plants.
I was making dinner when Richard called me out to a patch of grass outside the house. “Is that a pineapple?” he asked me.
Looking at it, it looked very much like a pineapple plant. Not only that, but checking it out in more detail the next day I found three more!
I got in touch with the former owner of the property and asked if these random, hen-pecked, kikuyu-choked plants could possibly be pineapples? She let me know that yes. Yes, they were.
I lifted them and removed the kikuyu. I think if I give them the same treatment as our big one, they’ll survive. They’re in the greenhouse now, in individual pots and away from the chickens!
Assuming the survive the transition, we are up to 6 pineapple plants! Positively a proliferation of pineapples!
I can’t just keep them in the greenhouse forever though – they get quite big, and they’re really prickly! So I’ll have to put some thought into what is quickly becoming the beginnings of a pineapple plantation.
All of our pineapples are red pineapples, which are a bit hardier (and pricklier) than the yellow ones, but they’ll still need a warm, sheltered environment. They’ll also need to be kept relatively dry – pineapples are bromelliads and as I’ve discovered, don’t like to get their feet wet.
One method I’ve seen is to build them up off the ground in mounds surrounded by rocks. If you do it right, the rocks can hold the heat of the sun during the day and radiate it back out at night. This keeps the plants toasty and warm, even in winter.
We’ve got a lot of good-sized rocks around the property, so I’m going to start collecting them somewhere safe to make a pineapple cove. I’ve just got to work out where on the property we’ll build it!