Pineapple is one of the most beloved and valuable fruits not only in our country. The recognized king of tropical fruits gives people their freshness in hot countries, and the northerners are reminded of the summer by its sunny colors and southern aroma.
Pineapples do not grow on palm trees
Pineapple is a tropical herbaceous plant of the bromeliad family. In nature, there are many species of this perennial, but all valuable cultivars are obtained from Pineapple, or Ananas comosus.
Pineapple leaves are quite stiff, with fine-toothed edges to form a dense rosette about 60 cm high. Their ability to accumulate and retain moisture gives the plant succulent properties and excellent adaptability to a dry, hot climate.
During flowering from a rosette of leaves, a peduncle appears with an inflorescence in the form of an ears. Pineapple flowers are bisexual, fused together. Flowering lasts from 10 to 20 days, after which the fruit is tied - sglobules in the form of cones with additional vegetative leaflets on the crown growing by tufts, hence the name - crested or large-tufted.
Pineapple is mature when the cone reaches a weight of about 2 kg, and the surface acquires a pleasant golden color. Seedlings consist of a rigid axis with attached juicy fruits that are fused to each other, on the tops of which there are coarsened parts of the flower and the covering sheet. The seeds of cultivated pineapple varieties do not ripen, but remain in their infancy.
Pineapple fruits have long been valued for their delicious aromatic and very juicy pulp. In China, this fruit is the main decoration of the New Year's table, as a symbol of success and prosperity of the family.
In South America, pineapple is considered a medicinal plant. Compresses made from pulp and coarse fetal fibers applied to open wounds relieve inflammation. In the Philippines, from the hard leaves of pineapple learned to get the fiber used to produce natural fabric.
Despite the fact that the peel of a tropical fruit is considered inedible, in Mexico a drink is prepared from it, similar to our kvass - tepeche. Sugar is added to the peeled pineapple peel and fermented. After 2-3 days, the refreshing drink is ready. Serve it in tall glass glasses, adding crushed ice.
Sweet and sour pineapple pulp contains a lot of sugars and organic acids. The rich content of vitamins of groups B, A and PP, as well as the presence of valuable minerals - potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine and others provide its product value.
Pineapple juice and pulp are used:
- with thrombosis, as a blood thinner;
- with obesity - a low calorie content and the presence of potassium salts, which remove excess fluid from the body, help to reduce weight;
- with digestive disorders - improves the activity of fermentation of gastric juice;
- with vitamin deficiency - juice as a source of useful trace elements and vitamins;
- in cosmetology, masks and lotions with the addition of pineapple juice narrow pores and dry oily skin.
The famous Sophia Loren, who has a girl figure in adulthood, eats two pineapples every day. It is to this fruit that the actress attributes the ability to "burn" fat and maintain good health.
The pulp of an unripe pineapple not only burns the mucous membrane of the mouth, but also causes a severe upset stomach. The ripened fruit loses its laxative properties, acquiring enzymes that improve digestion.
All kinds of jams and jams are prepared from pineapple, used for topping when baking cakes and pastries. Canned fruits in their own juice are used in a healthy diet and as a component of all kinds of salads.
Where is this fruit grown
The birthplace of pineapple is the sunny plateaus of Brazil. It was from there that the exotic fruit began its journey around the world. In the sixteenth century, Portuguese navigators brought pineapple to India and Africa, and in the seventeenth century Europe also met him. True, European climatic conditions do not allow to grow this fruit in the open air, so it was settled here in greenhouses. In the same way, for a long time it was possible to obtain the fruits of this plant in St. Petersburg and even on the Solovetsky Islands. But in the XIX century, with the development of the shipping company, it became unprofitable to deal with pineapples, as they were brought in large quantities from plantations, and greenhouses refused to grow exotic fruit.
Today, the main large plantations supplying pineapples around the world are located in Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan. In Russia, this fruit is grown only by amateur gardeners at home, in pots or in heated greenhouses and greenhouses.
On Valaam a few years ago, novices tried to root pineapples in a monastery greenhouse, among ordinary vegetables and herbs. The experiment was a success, and today several exotic fruits are ready to diversify the menu of ascetics.
Pineapple distribution in the wild
Wild pineapples are still found at home - in Brazil, settling among the grass stand or along the edges of forests. Their fruits are much smaller than varietal and not so tasty, but, unlike cultural relatives, they retained the ability to reproduce by seed. In grown pineapples, seeds are either absent or not ripening, therefore, reproduction occurs by layering and rooting of the apex.
A bit of agricultural technology
For some reason, many people think that pineapple, like dates, grows on a palm tree. Not at all - all species and varieties of this plant are herbaceous perennials. Pineapple plantation - a field with low shrubs, on which these wonderful fruits are formed. Proper care of pineapple, like any other crop, will provide a rich harvest. Plants are planted in rows, at a distance of 1.5-2 meters from each other. And then everything is as always - weeding, watering in a drought, fertilizing fertilizers, the fight against diseases and pests. If everything is done correctly, it will be possible to get 2-3 crops per year.
A planted young pineapple rosette develops and gains mass for the first year. It blooms only 1-1.5 years after planting. The time of flowering and ripening of the fetus depends on the variety of the plant and can take from three to six months. Thawed plants are cleaned, and new sockets are planted in their place.
Potted ornamental cultivation
Pineapple is most often propagated by rooting of the tops of the fetus or layering. Less often, seeds are used for these purposes, since ripened seeds are absent in the purchased fruits, and they are extremely rare for sale. Layers are propagated if there is already an adult plant from which you can take planting material.
When choosing a pineapple for planting, first of all, pay attention to the condition of the fetus. Pineapple peel should be smooth, without dents or damage, the leaves are elastic, without spoilage. But most importantly - pineapple must have a growth point. Therefore, you need to carefully look at the center of the outlet - the leaves should be live, green, and without damage.
For rooting, it is necessary to separate the crown from the fetus. If the pineapple is ripe enough, it can easily be unscrewed by rotating clockwise, or cut off with a knife, grabbing 2-3 cm from the fruit. To clear the cut-off top from the bottom leaves and the remains of pulp. Rooting is best done in a glass jar of water, avoiding immersion to the leaves. After about a month, the first roots will appear, and after a week, pineapple can be planted in a pot.
An established plant will need about a year to prepare for flowering. During this time, the outlet will grow noticeably and the first flower stalk will appear in spring or summer. An ear of 10 to 15 cm in length contains many flowers of bright pink or purple. Flowers open gradually from the base to the crown, and after a month, the fruits begin to set. Growing rapidly, they merge, turning into one juicy fruit. Maturation will end in 4-5 months.
Of course, grown in a pot, the pineapple fruit will not be as large as its counterparts ripening in the tropics, but the taste and aroma will be no worse.
It often happens that indoor pineapple develops well, but flowering does not occur. The reason may be insufficient lighting. In this case, it is necessary to rearrange the plant to the southern window or use the illumination with a phytolamp. You can also use stimulants of flowering and fruiting.
Video: Flowering and growing pineapple at home
After ripening, the fruit is cut off, and the plant itself, if there are no other peduncles on it, is updated. It’s easier to say - they say goodbye to him, having landed in his place one of the appeared processes. Repeated fruiting in indoor conditions is extremely rare, and a rosette without fertility does not represent decorative value, although it takes up a lot of space.
Thanks to export, and pineapple is in fourth place for deliveries after bananas, grapes and citrus fruits, today this tropical fruit is available in every corner of the globe. The refined taste and aroma, as well as the presence of fiber, vitamins and substances necessary for health in the pulp, make this fruit not only a tasty, but also a healthy dessert.