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Pineapple Fertilizer: How and When to Fertilize

Pineapple cultivation demands soil fertility, requiring soils rich in nutrients and with good drainage. The soil pH should preferably be 4.5 to 5.5. This article is all about pineapple fertilizer and how and when to apply it successfully.

Pineapple is a plant belonging to the Bromeliaceae family. It is grown in tropical areas at altitudes of 0 to 2000 ft (0 to 600 meters) above sea level. Pineapple plants grow favorably in temperatures of 68 to 86 °F (20 to 30 °C).

To grow and develop, pineapple requires a large number of nutrients. When the necessary nutrients are not applied to the soil, both the pineapple plant and the fruit present weight, shape, and quality problems. Continue reading to learn about the best fertilizer for pineapple.

What Kind of Fertilizer for a Pineapple Plant

Pineapple, like all other crops, needs nitrogen, as lack of nitrogen stunts growth and results in dwarf plants and yellowing of the leaves. The lack of nitrogen in the pineapple plant impairs the appearance of the fruit and affects the stems.

Pineapple fertilizer should also be rich in phosphorus and potassium. Lack of potassium causes yellow spots on pineapple leaves. A shortage of these nutrients can cause problems with fruit weight, shape, and quality.

Pineapple fertilizer can be solid or liquid. Nitrogen should be spread in small monthly portions and applied in a few applications for potassium. In addition, nitrogen should no longer be applied to the pineapple plant two months before flower induction.

Apply NPK 6-6-6 or 10-10-10 fertilizer to the pineapple plant. Either of these two types of fertilizers will be suitable for the pineapple plant. Young pineapple plants can be fertilized with 1 to 2 oz (28 to 58 grams) of fertilizer every 8 weeks, then increase the dose as the pineapple plant grows.

The University of Guam mentions that it is also possible to use foliar spray fertilizers but recommends reading the manufacturer’s directions so as not to cause leaf burn. In my house, I have had several times pineapple plants, and they were always fertilized with granular fertilizer, obtaining excellent results in the growth and development of the pineapple.

what kind of fertilizer for a pineapple plant
Slow-release granular fertilizer is very good for pineapple plants.

Best Fertilizer for Pineapple Plant

As mentioned above, the best fertilizer for pineapple is an NPK fertilizer with 6-6-6 or 10-10-10 values. Solid fertilizer applications are made in months two and four after planting the pineapple, while foliar fertilizers are applied every two weeks from months six to fourteen.

I always recommend reading the manufacturer’s directions when applying fertilizer for pineapples. Each manufacturer has a different dosage. A slow-release fertilizer is not the same as a fast-acting fertilizer.

Pineapple plants grow and absorb nutrients best in soils with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. I recommend measuring soil pH to ensure that nutrients will be maximally utilized by the pineapple plant.

Then the best fertilizer for pineapple plants will be a 6-6-6 or 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. In the next paragraph, I will explain how to make homemade fertilizer for pineapple plants. Learn more about how to propagate pineapple.

How to Make Pineapple Fertilizer

If you do not want to use a commercial NPK fertilizer for pineapple plants, you can make your own pineapple fertilizer. To fertilize the pineapple plant, you can use coffee grounds, eggshells, rice water, or the compost made by your red worms. I recommend our article about how to make a worm composting bin.

I have used compost from my compost bin with a little coffee grounds and rice water, and I have had excellent results on my potted pineapple plant. It is very important to have a good pH in the soil of the pineapple plant so that the plant absorbs the nutrients as much as possible. Learn more about Pineapple Plant Care & Grow: Indoors & Outdoors.

When to Fertilize Pineapple Plant

Pineapple plants are fertilized much more than almost any other type of plant. Depending on the climatic factors and the quality of the soil where the pineapple plant is grown, fertilization should be done about 6 times a year, approximately every two months.

As I mentioned before, I recommend reading the pineapple fertilizer manufacturer’s label to know the exact dosage. Fertilize your pineapple plant every two months.

The pineapple plant will be fertilized from the moment it is planted and throughout its productive life.

when to fertilize pineapple plant
The pineapple plant needs fertilization during the whole production cycle to obtain large and tasty fruits.

How to Fertilize a Pineapple Plant

I will now explain how to fertilize a pineapple plant with NPK 6-6-6 and 10-10-10 fertilizers. Please note that the dosage may vary from fertilizer manufacturer to fertilizer manufacturer, but these are standard measurements.

For NPK 6-6-6 fertilizer:

  • 2 ounces (57 grams) of fertilizer for the first two applications.
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) for the third and fourth applications.
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) for the fifth and sixth applications.

For NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer:

  • 1 ounce (28 grams) of fertilizer for the first two applications.
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) for the third and fourth applications.
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) for the fifth and sixth applications.

In the 10-10-10 fertilizer, less fertilizer is used because the nutrient concentration is higher. After fertilizing, water the pineapple plant so that the nutrients are absorbed.

In the warmer months (spring and summer) you will apply a little more fertilizer to the pineapple plant. I recommend applying the fertilizer to the pineapple plant in the afternoon or evening.

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How to Fertilize Pineapple in a Pot

Fertilizing a potted pineapple is very simple, you can use liquid or granular fertilizer for your pineapple plant. For example, you can use a pineapple fertilizer NPK 10-10-10.

Before applying fertilizer to your potted pineapple, I recommend measuring the soil pH. A soil pH between 4.5 and 5.5 will favor nutrient absorption.

Then, apply fertilizer to your potted pineapple every two months, following the directions above or on the fertilizer package you purchase. Water your pineapple plant after applying fertilizer.

In the image below, you can see a potted pineapple that was not fertilized properly and did not have the necessary nutrients. The fruit is tiny. Also, the lack of nutrients in the potted pineapple caused the appearance of yellow leaves.

how to fertilize pineapple in a pot lack of nutrients
After fertilizing your potted pineapple, water the soil abundantly.

How Often to Fertilize Pineapple Plant

Pineapple plants should be fertilized six times a year, so fertilize them every two months. Once the flowers appear, you can fertilize them every two weeks or a month, depending on the type of fertilizer you use.

The pineapple requires rich and fertilized soils to grow properly and develop large and tasty fruits. After fertilizing your pineapple plant, always remember to water it abundantly.

Final Conclusions

As you may have learned, the pineapple plant is very demanding as far as nutrients and fertilizers are concerned. It is still a beautiful plant to have in the home and then enjoy its tasty fruit.

The experience of watching a pineapple grow at home is unique, especially if there are children at home. I hope this article about pineapple fertilizer will be very useful and that you will have excellent fruits. I recommend our article about how long it takes for a pineapple to grow to learn more about this process.

best fertilizer for pineapple
Pineapple fruit is in total development. With a good fertilizer, pineapples grow much better.

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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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