I read somewhere (here, actually, but it's in Hebrew) that when planted from seeds, the pineapple plant will produce fruit multiple times.

In the English appendix on page 71 it doesn't mention that seeds, but says:

The plant produces multiple crops.
The first crop [i.e. the plant crop], is produced from the central stem.
The second crop [i.e. the ratoon crop], is produced on shoots [or suckers] that rise from the side of the central stem. It is possible for the plant to produce multiple fruit [each fruit on it’s own shoot] during the ratoon crop, but in practice, only one shoot is left on the plant.
The third crop [i.e. the second ratoon] grows on a shoot that rises from the first shoot [that produces the first ratoon].

Is that factually accurate? Everything else I've read assumes it's common knowledge that pineapple plants only produce a single pineapple, and some shoots from which others can be grown, if the shoots are planted.

What's the reality?


Thanks for the translation. As far as the story goes, it is accurate, except for the fact that most any pineapple can be grown this way. The devil is in the details. Commercially pineapples are grown, like bananas, to be seedless. The reason for this is that production of seeds reduces the quality of the crop for eating. So most good eating pineapples come from vegetative propagation. Once you have a good inventory of plants, you can devote a portion to production of suckers, that is, discard/sacrifice the fruit early in its maturity and force the root to produce a good number of suckers; these go on to be your new propagation stock. The bulk of your crop is allowed to produce good fruit since you have your new stock in hand.

If the pineapple is allowed to produce a ratoon crop then it is growing on old roots. The plant may want to produce numerous suckers so reducing the count to one raises the vigour of that one to produce one fairly good fruit instead of multiple smaller fruits. Once the suckers are formed the parent dies. So in its turn the solitary sucker can go on to produce its own ratoon crop; thinning down again produces a yet smaller single fruit. By now the ground and rootstock are getting tired and susceptible to disease.

The genetic composition of the seed used to grow the parent is of course a whole other issue. What you get in terms of quality is a toss of the dice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.