Elite Gold Pineapple
Elite Gold Pineapple
days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant every 2 feet
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: slugs and snails
harvest notes: harvest the pineapple and replant the head
Growing Pineapples is one of the reasons we feel so lucky to live and garden in a tropical climate. Pineapples are in the bromeliad family and like their cousins, ornamental bromeliads, they are a great option for planting in your home landscaping or in containers. Pineapples have apparently been cultivated by indigenous people of the tropical Americas and the Caribbean Region for thousands of years. New World explorers then distributed pineapple during the 1500s to 1700s to new areas including Europe, Africa, and Asia. The first recorded introduction of pineapple into Florida was in 1860. Our pineapple plants are all tissue cell culture plants which means they are disease free hybrid replicas of their parent plant.
Pineapple plants grow best in moderately fertile, sandy loam soils of neutral to mildly acid pH. Plants will grow satisfactorily in sandy and calcareous soils with attention to watering and fertilizer. Pineapple plants should be grown in well-drained soils and areas of the landscape that do not flood, and plants oftentimes don’t need any watering in a south florida home garden however if they are in a pot they do need to be watered.
If you are planting a number of plants in a patch, make sure to mulch between plants, because weeding between spiky mature pineapple plants it a very unpleasant task. Growing your own pineapples is a lesson in patience, as it takes about 18 months from planting till your first harvest off fruit. Harvest your precious fruit when it starts blushing yellow because if you leave it on the plant too long you will have to compete with local squirrels & raccoons to eat it before they do.
Once you’ve harvested your fruit your plant will focus on producing “slips” which are young new plants growing from the base of the fruit. Once they are about 6 inches long you can twist them off of the mother plant and replant them. You can also trim all of the flesh off of the top of the fruit you harvested and replant the top, although those take longer to mature than slips.
Pineapple is particularly rich in Vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is essential for immune health, iron absorption, and growth and development, while manganese offers antioxidant properties and aids in growth and metabolism.
Pineapples are not only rich in nutrients but also loaded with antioxidants, which are molecules that help your body ward off oxidative stress. Interestingly, this fruit contains a group of digestive enzymes called “bromelian”, which when coupled with the fiber content of pineapples, makes the fruit a serious aide in digestive health. Bromelian also has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. This is helpful for when you have an infection, like a cold or sinusitis, or an injury, like a sprain or burn. Pineapple can both be consumed for when you have an infection or applied topically as a poultice for when you have a sprain or burn. It also can offset the joint pain of osteoarthritis when consumed regularly.
Don’t let your pineapple scraps go to waste, instead make yourself some Tepache, a traditional Mexican fermented pineapple beverage. There are plenty of recipes online but all you need is water, sugar, pineapple scraps (the skin & core), and a few days time for it to ferment and you'll have a delicious fizzy probiotic drink.
About this variety specifically, Elite Gold pineapples are a juicy, yellow fleshed fruit with a soft center. They boast a high sugar content with no acid. This variety is produced commercially throughout zones 9-11 and is a great option for the home garden.