Pineapple plants have been grown for their fruit and as ornamental plants within hot-climate landscapes. In cooler climates, they can be planted in containers and moved inside when temperatures begin to fall into the upper-50-degrees Fahrenheit range. The many varieties of pineapple plants developed for fruit are divided into four category groups. Additionally, there are hybrid pineapple plants cultivated only for ornamental purposes.
Pineapple Plant Similarities
Pineapple plants have been terrestrial bromeliads hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 12. They climb to a height of 2 1/2 to 5 ft and width of 3 to 4 feet with long, narrow, pointed leaves. Pineapple plants grow best in sandy soil that’s full of organic matter and drains very quickly. Full sun is preferable for fruit production, while partial shade promotes leaf.
Abacaxi pineapple plants are most commonly developed in the Bahamas, Brazil and Florida. Pineapple plant varieties within this category aren’t commonly developed for commercial production because the fruit is too easily damaged. The fruit is sweet and hot, nevertheless, and easily harvested. Mature pineapples created by plants in this category generally weigh between two and 11 lbs. The “Sugarloaf” variety produces smaller pineapples that weigh between 1 1/2 and 3 lbs. Abacaxi pineapple plants have blue-green foliage and are disease-resistant.
Queen pineapple plants chiefly grow in Australia, the Philippines and South Africa. Pineapple plants within this category are smaller and produce smaller fruit that weighs between 1 and 6 lbs. The fruit is juicy and delicious but tends to be cone-shaped, which causes excessive waste if this variety is utilized for commercial canning. It will not keep well, and can be harvested for sale as fresh fruit. The leaf on these plants tends to be medium green, although the “Ripley” cultivar leaves have a reddish hue.
Red Spanish Group
The Red Spanish pineapple group usually grow in Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the West Indies. These are inclined to be larger plants using very spiny gray-green or purple-green leaf. The fruit has a rounded form and generally weighs between 3 and 6 lbs, although the “Valera Amarilla” cultivar can create fruit that weighs up to 9 lbs. The fruit has great flavor and fragrance. It’s harvested commercially for canning and fresh fruit.
Smooth Cayenne Group
Grown in hot areas across the world, Smooth Cayenne pineapple plants tend to be more susceptible to infection than other kinds. On the other hand, the leaves don’t have the spiny advantages of different types. The juicy, flavorful fruit generally weighs between two and 10 lbs. The “Giant Kew” cultivar is an unusual member of this category, with pineapples that could weigh up to 22 lbs. Most of these pineapple plant varieties have been grown commercially for canning or sale as fresh fruit.
Ornamental Pineapple Plants
Gardeners grow ornamental pineapple varieties as landscape plants or houseplants. These crops sometimes create pineapples, but the fruit isn’t generally considered delicious. Ornamental pineapple plants grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet and width of 2 to 4 feet. The leaves might have spiny or smooth edges, depending on the hybrid or cultivar. They are generally green or gray-green using pink, yellow or white stripes running lengthwise the leaves up. Ornamental pineapples bloom occasionally, creating little red or deep pink blossoms that cover a thick stem in the center of the plant. The stalk might become a small pink pineapple after the plant finishes blooming.