I have a pineapple plant that is fully matured and the pineapple is ripe. How do I actually "pick it"?
Hardiness Zone: 10a
SMOODY from SACRAMENTO, CA
Just grab it by the leaves and twist it to break it off from the stem. Timing is important when picking pineapples, because once they are removed from the stem they will not ripen any further or get any sweeter. The outer shell color isn't always a good indicator of ripeness, in fact a pineapple can be completely green on the outside and still be ripe. Size isn't necessarily an indicator either. It just means that you have more pineapple that isn't ripe if you pick it too soon. Start by selecting a pineapple that is fresh and plump. The leaves should be green and fall off easily when you tug on them. Most ripe pineapples will have a pale orange complexion and the bottom of the fruit will have a pleasant, sweet smell. They are best when eaten immediately after being harvested, but will keep longer if stored in the refrigerator.
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Years ago, I planted the top from the best pinapple I had ever eaten. That plant lived through extreme drought and neglect through the last two years of my mother's life when I was too busy caring for her to spend any time on any of the plants, and went on to bear three really great pineapples. Despite giving several away I still have six bearing off-spring from that original plant and a couple more started from the second generation. I always just grasp the top crown of leaves with a gloved hand and use a strong knife to cut through the stalk as close to the base of the pineapple as possible.
There are two signals that indicate the pineapple is ready to eat:
1. Look for a strong pineapple odor coming from the stem end. But not a fermented 'wine' odor.
2. If a leaf pulls out of the top of the pineapple easily, you can safely buy it.
Of course, these are also signs of the pineapple being over ripe, so look for rotten or soft spots and discard if found.
I too need to know when a pineapple is ripe. My pineapple plant has beared 2 pineapples. The first time critters got to it before I did. The second time I really watched it checking it for ripeness. I wasn't going to let those critters get it again. But low and behold I went out to check it and it was laying on the ground, not a bit of fruit left. I'll keep trying though. I enjoy watching it develop. Maybe one day I'll get it picked before something else does.
I too have had the same problem. I grew two pineapples and both were also eaten by critters before I had a chance to pick them. But I too will keep trying. I still enjoy watching them grow.
after picking the pinapple what do you do with the stalk it grew on?
I picked pineapple for a company some years ago and the tips as far as when to pick are good... twist the fruit from the stock. Another plant will re-grow in it's place. The plant will produce about 3 fruit in a lifetime that are pretty good(one after the other). Next, rather that chopping off or snapping the crown from the fruit, twist it off of the pineapple so as to get the fleshy part at the base of the crown. This is a potentially new plant. Plant it just as you did the first and watch it grow.
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