Pineapple plants can produce seeds, however, most store-bought pineapples are usually mostly seedless, sometime with scattered traces of seeds that aren’t fully developed.
Pineapple plants are rarely grown from seed. In the home garden and commercial grows pineapples are almost always grown from vegetative material, cuttings from another plant.
Pineapple plants grow slips, suckers, and crowns naturally and one of these is used to grow more pineapple plants asexually. Different growers use different techniques.
Home gardeners commonly use the crowns, top of the pineapple fruit and leaves, because they have easy access to these from pineapple fruits bought from the store.
Pineapples grown from seed are most commonly done by growers trying to create new varieties of pineapple. This is because growing from seeds adds extra steps and adds another 15 months to what is already a long process to get pineapple fruits, 15-22 months for plants propagated asexually.
The use of sexual reproduction of pineapple is restricted to breeding purposes carried out by research institutes looking for new hybrids with improved agronomic characteristics.Advances In Pineapple Plant Production
What Do Pineapple Seeds Look Like?
The fruits of pollinated pineapple plants may contain small, hard, brown to black in color seeds. You can see them in this picture and see that they are everywhere throughout the fruit.
In unpollinated pineapples, the underdeveloped seeds are smaller, softer, and easily removed.
The majority of commercially grown pineapples will only have these underdeveloped seeds, due to the measures taken to prevent pollination of the plants for commercial production.
Where Are Pineapple Seeds Located?
Pineapple plants produce seeds within the flesh of the fruit. They are not visible from the outside, so the fruit must be cut into for the seeds to be revealed.
The fruit is a synacarp, or a single fruit made up of many flowers all fused together, rather than the result of an individual flower like many other fruits, such as apples and cherries.
The seeds appear inside of the fused nodes that were once the individual flowers. However, as noted above, pineapple plants do not need to be pollinated in order to produce these fruits.
In commercially produced pineapples, which are grown in conditions designed to prevent the pollination of the plants, pollination is rare, and so it is much more likely to find underdeveloped seeds in the flesh, if any at all.
How Do Pineapples Reproduce?
Pineapple plants can reproduce either by their seeds, requiring pollination, or they can reproduce asexually, by the planting of the crowns, slips, and suckers.
Pineapple plants reproduce by their seeds once they are pollinated, by hand in the case of artificial growing, or typically by hummingbird in a natural growing environment.
Although pineapple plants can produce seeds this way, pineapple seeds are rarely used for propagation. Instead, three different types of vegetation from the plants can be used to propagate, depending on the specific strain of pineapple.
There is the crown, or the top, which can be cut off a pineapple fruit. Then there are the slips, which can be extracted from the stem at the base of the fruit, and suckers (including the ratoons) which are a way the pineapple plant reproduces asexually naturally.
Although any of these methods will work, some are preferred over others for different situations. Generally, seeds are the least convenient method, and are only used in breeding programs.
Propagation by crown is a great option for someone looking to grow a pineapple plant at home, as the crown can be easily gathered from the top of any pineapple purchased from the supermarket. However, it might take a long time for a plant grown from a crown to flower and fruit.
Plants grown from suckers, or “pups”, will likely produce fruit quicker, depending on the maturity of the sucker. Slips, plantlets that grow at the base of the fruit, can be utilized as well, but it has been determined that plants that produce more slips also produce smaller fruits.
Finally, if pineapple plants are left alone at the end of their life cycle, the suckers will still reproduce a new crop of pineapple plants. This is called the “ratoon crop” and will typically yield less fruit.
How Long Do Pineapple Seeds Take To Germinate and Grow?
Pineapple seeds are tough, and take some time to germinate once planted, and more time to grow after that. Overall, seeds are by far the slowest method of pineapple propagation for fruit production and will take 3-4 years to produce fruit.
Pineapple seeds can take up to 6 months to sprout. The seeds can be treated with sulphuric acid to germinate in about ten days, but untreated seeds germinate with more regularity and grow more vigorously than treated seeds.
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