Pineapple leaves turning yellow and soft

jiffypop27(MA 6)October 7, 2013

My niece and I planted a pineapple top in a pot back in March of this year. It was doing great up until this week. Its leaves used to be green and thick. Now some of the outer leaves are turning yellow in the middle and getting soft. I live in Boston and the nights are pretty cold, down in the lower 50s. I've been bringing it in at night but putting it back out in the daytime even when temps were in the 60s.
I don't have any photos of it just now but will try to have some tomorrow. My niece is 4, and she asks to look at it every time she comes over, so I'm really hoping it can be saved.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

A pineapple can go colder than that without damage...but the key is what type of potting mix you're using. A fast-draining soil is essential for those of us in colder areas. Fertilizing is also essential.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sounds like it may be getting too much water and is experiencing root rot. Pineapples are bromeliads. I've grown a couple from the tops of store bought pineapples. This was many years ago before I learned about gritty mix, which I think would work well for them. I grew them in an orchid mix that was mostly fir bark. I didn't water often and hardly ever fertilized. They eventually grew pineapples of their own. If only the outer leaves are dying off, you may be able to save it by removing them and getting it into a much drier potting mix. They grow new leaves from the center. Their roots are sparse and don't need much room.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Ohio, and never water down the center, I grew mine in a gritty soil mixture and let dry between watering. I dont bring plants in & out, once in they stay in. I'm one of those believers that you confuse plants by moving them around to much.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jiffypop27(MA 6)

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I was watering about once a week around the base since the roots aren't very long, and water sometimes went down the center.
I'll repot it right now into drier soil and bigger pot. The leaves are looking worse than they did yesterday. Sorry for the bad pics.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jiffypop27(MA 6)

And a close up of the leaves.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jiffypop27(MA 6)

One more question - should I cut off the yellowing parts of the leaves?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

No, don't trim the leaves yet...let them dry back naturally.
To my eye, that doesn't look like typical yellowing associated with overwatering, but others can help confirm. That almost looks like sunburn...or external chemical burn.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I agree with Josh -- it doesn't look like the result of overwatering. That would start at the base of the leaves. It could be sunburn, but I think that would only happen if you had put it in full sun after an extended period (weeks) in shade. I've seen pineapple growing in full sun all day in the tropics where nothing like that happened. Any chance of drift from an herbicide in a neighbor's yard? Did you try foliage feeding? The rapid deterioration suggests chemical burn, as Josh suggested. It may survive. Pineapples are very tough.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I grow quite a few Bromeliads and have always made watering into the leaves the routine not the exception. I am not growing pineapple but don't see any difference. Mine are blooming regularly and producing pups. Al

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Pineapples are terrestrial bromeliads, unlike most bromeliads people grow as houseplants, which are epiphytic. They get most of their nutritional needs and moisture from their roots. Although it doesn't hurt for a little water to get into the crown of the plant when it is growing vigorously in warm summer sun, when temperatures drop or the pineapple is grown indoors, pouring water into the crown can lead to rot. There is a bromeliad forum on Gardenweb where someone may be able to tell you what's going on with your pineapple.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info on growing pineapples from the Bromeliad Society

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jiffypop27(MA 6)

Just wanted to give an update on the pineapple plant. It's doing better after being transferred to a bigger pot and brought indoors under some T8's. I had to cut off the yellowed leaves since they weren't drying out and were just hanging limp, but very little yellowing has occurred elsewhere.

I'm still not sure what caused it. Ohiofem mentioned herbicide nearby but I don't think it's that since the weather is cooling off and there aren't that many insects around here now. As for myself, I've only used BT and a garlic/onion spray on the other plants around it. I had a jug of the garlic/onion water sitting near the pineapple plant for a while. Could the vapors have an effect on the leaves?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I'm glad to hear your pineapple is doing well. I was really thrilled when mine grew a baby pineapple. It took me about 5 years to get that baby, but I didn't grow it under the best conditions. Since you are growing it under lights, you may get a flower spike in two or three years. You can remove unsightly leaves at any time. They produce a lot of them and they get longer as the plant grows. My pineapple grew to more than three feet in diameter and had very painful barbs on its leaves.

You will probably never know what caused your problem. I was thinking of drift from Roundup, which my neighbors use in early fall to kill poison ivy. I highly doubt that onion or garlic would hurt a pineapple.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 5:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wicking more water retentive soils
I was wondering what the disadvantages are when using...
Jacques (MP, South Africa) S
Growing Dahlia and Sweet Pea in same container? (advice)
I have a few very large planters, and while I do love...
Indoor vegetables and 5-1-1
I'm growing vegetables indoors in containers. Is the...
"tapla" root pruning question
Hi Al, I bought another Brush Cherry, and wanted your...
Al's Gritty Mix -- A Learning Experinece
I came to this forum a few weeks ago in an attempt...
Sponsored Products
Nourison Country Heritage H301 Area Rug - Yellow 605 Multicolor - 53168
$79.00 | Hayneedle
Heirloom Treasures Solid Brass Relic Knob
Signature Hardware
Calandra Crown Wingback Chairs (Set of 2)
Arturo Alvarez | Gea Pendant Light
$927.90 | YLighting
Linden Green - Satin Yellow Shade Ovo Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Laura Ashley Classic 16 in. Butter Yellow Pagoda Shade SFG816
$46.50 | Home Depot
Juggler Wall Clock in Silver Black Red Green Yellow Orange Purple
$30.00 | LexMod
Oatmeal and Quince Yellow Polyester Filled 22 x 22 Pillow
$79.80 | Bellacor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™