Pineapple growing in New Zealand

Growing pineapples outdoors in New Zealand is limited to the winterless north and other warm, frost-free spots. However, planting in a glasshouse or growing as a houseplant is the next best thing.

Pineapples are surprisingly small plants, as they are low-growing bromeliads with a spread of less than a metre in height and width. It can take several years for a plant to reach cropping stage, and when it does, each rosette will produce one pineapple on a stalk.

A article describes how pineapple plants can be grown outdoors in a warm and sheltered position. They can withstand a very light frost, but do not tolerate longer periods of low temperatures as their roots can't handle cold, soggy soil. Pineapples can also be grown in a pot on a sunny deck to keep roots warmer; just bring them in under cover in winter.

In a glasshouse or tunnel house, either plant directly into the ground or in a large pot. Pineapples grow readily in a hothouse in New Zealand as long as you can keep the temperature above about 5°C on the coldest winter nights. "They grow best and quickest if they're kept around 25°C most of the time," he said.

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