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Cultivation of Pineapples

By Pinoy Farmer | June 3, 2008
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The crop requires areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures (25 °C being optimal). These areas have a great potential for pineapple production.

There are 5 major pineapple groups grown throughout the world. Two of these, Cayenne and Queen, are widely cultivated in South Africa.
Cayenne and Queen Cultivars

The Smooth Cayenne cultivar is used for both canning (75 % of which is exported) and as fresh fruit. The Queen, because of its high sugar content and unsuitable canning qualities, is cultivated only for fresh consumption. However, because production of the Queen pineapple is more costly, fresh consumption is shifting towards the Cayenne.

Cayenne plants and the fruit are normally larger than that of the Queen, with succulent yellow fruit. Queen fruit has a golden yellow colour and is less juicy.

Planting Requirements

Pineapples can be grown in a variety of soil types but prefer mildly acid soils (pH 5,5_6,5). However, there are certain requirements for successful pineapple production, which include:

Preparing the soil

Planting material

Unlike many other crops grown from seed, pineapples are grown by planting various parts of the plant according to the cultivar, where it is going to be produced, and the cultivation methods practised in the area.

Although crowns are mostly used as planting material for the Cayenne cultivar, they are considered uneconomical for the Queen cultivar because of the length of time they take to bear.
Suckers are planted in the case of Queen pineapple production. Slips bear sooner than crowns but they require a great deal of labour (to break them out and to remove the small fruit attached to their bases). Stumps are generally used when no other planting material is available.

Planting time

Plant pineapples between July and December.

Do not plant between February and April.

Farm planning, selection of soils and land layout

Consider the following factors when designing the layout of the land where you are going to plant pineapples as they will have an effect on production:

The aims in the layout of a pineapple land are to:

- control water runoff and thereby limit soil erosion

- facilitate good drainage and prevent root and heart rot

- uniform distribution of sunlight to all plants

- have roads allowing machinery easy access to the pineapple plants (to expedite harvesting and spraying)


Planting is done by hand, with or without the aid of a planting machine. Use of the latter results in uniform, neat plantations.

Plant spacing

Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre: 1,5 m.

Each ridge must carry a double row of plants.

Spacing between rows should be 600 mm.

Spacing between the plants in the row: 300 mm.

1,5 m Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre

600 mm Spacing between rows

300 mm Spacing between plants in the row

Weed Control

For the control of most broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses, contact herbicides can be used.

Apply pre-emergence herbicides immediately after planting the pineapples, before root development and weed emergence.

The herbicide should be applied according to the type of soil:

Initial weedkiller application (spray)

- 3-5 kg bromacil/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 3-5 l diuron/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 5-6 l atrazine/ha: where euphorbia is a problem

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Booster applications (at 12 months interval)

- 2 l diuron/ha

- 2 kg bromacil/ha: at grower’s discretion

- 4-6 l atrazine/ha: if euphorbia is present

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Pest and Disease Control

Effective control measures are available for the most important pests and diseases. Pesticides used to control soil pests and diseases should be incorporated into the soil before ridging, with booster applications if required.

Pests above the soil level are usually controlled by spraying with a foliar pesticide during the period when the pests are most active.

Always read the label on the pesticide containers.


Use the following fertilisers :

Hand applied fertiliser: ammonium sulphate 100 N (sulphate of ammonia)—10 pockets/ha
Phosphate: drilled into the ridges 0-300 kg/ha (Saaifos and zinc)
Potassium: broadcast before ridging 0-400 kg/ha (potassium chloride)
Mixture: drilled/broadcast 0-600 kg/ha (0:1:6 + Mg/Zn)

Forcing agents

With the use of forcing agents, the pineapples can be made to bear fruit at virtually any time of the year.

Fruit colouring or yellowing

Fruiting agents can also be applied to colour fruit, by spraying or brushing onto fruit. This ensures uniform colouring of the fruit in a plantation.


The pineapple plant is able to utilise rainwater and even dew very effectively. Therefore, the heavy dew that occurs in the coastal regions is so valuable to pineapples that irrigation may not even be necessary. Supplementary irrigation could, however, sometimes be essential and of great value.


Harvesting should be done 7 to 14 days after yellowing. It is labour intensive because workers walk in the space between ridges to pick the fruit by hand, loading it into baskets, or onto a boom harvester.

After harvesting the crowns are broken off (not twisted) and left on top of the plants in the field or are placed in bags to be collected at a later date for planting.

Make sure that the fruit is not too green or too ripe when harvested, not bruised or damaged and that it is not affected to a large extent by any physiological problems.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za

Topics: Crops & Vegetables, Farming Methods | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Cultivation of Pineapples”

  1. Imaobong Says:
    June 16th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks, i have benefited so much from this page