What Can One Do With Pineapple Seeds?
While pineapple seeds may be quite important to the pineapple itself, they are in general of little use to anyone else. These small, kidney shaped seeds mostly go unnoticed, principally because they're usually not found in commercially grown pineapples. When we think of pineapples, it is either in terms of the deliciousness of the fruit, or the somewhat odd shape of the plant, resembling a giant hand grenade with leaves, and not the flowers or seeds.
The pineapple, Ananas comosus, is one of some 2,000 species of plants making up the Bromeliaceae family, a rather diverse grouping, which includes among other species, Spanish moss. In the United States we associate the pineapple with the state of Hawaii, assuming wrongly, that all the world's pineapple comes from that location. In truth, the pineapple is not even native to Hawaii, but instead to the Caribbean area and South America, having been introduced to Hawaii by way of Europe in the 18th or 19th century. While virtually all of the pineapple consumed in the United States is from Hawaii, only about 2% of the world's pineapple crop is grown there. Hawaii doesn't even make the top 10 in the list of the countries growing and exporting pineapple.
Why Not Grow Pineapples From Seeds? - The pineapple is essentially a plantation crop, and on many of these plantations there are pineapples growing as far as the eye can see in any direction. One would naturally think that all of these pineapples must grow from pineapple seeds. That is a logical conclusion, but it is not a correct one. Of all the ways to propagate the plant, propagating by seeds is probably the poorest. That isn't to say that growing pineapples from seeds isn't possible. Why do plants have seeds anyway?
The short answer is that growing pineapples from seeds would be very time consuming, and somewhat risky, as there is no guarantee whether a plant grown from a seed will be true to the parent plant, or that it will produce quality fruit, or any fruit at all. Plantations do make use of pineapple seeds, but for breeding purposes, and not for general planting. The pineapples you purchase in the supermarket are almost always hybrids, which means if you do save and plant the seeds, the fruit probably won't resemble that what you purchased.
It's A Challenge You Want - Usually when we propagate a plant from a cutting, it’s to insure that once the plant matures, it will be a clone of its parent. In addition, for many plants, a year is saved when growing them from cuttings instead of from seeds. For the pineapple, that can mean waiting three years for the plant to bear fruit if planted from seed, instead of two years, and in some cases a single year, if planted from cuttings or the crown. Planting your own pineapple seeds is neither illegal, nor is it a hopeless cause. You have to consider it more a challenge than anything else, and it could be a source of great enjoyment to nurse the plant through three years of bringing to and from the outdoors, and re potting it several times when it gets root bound. It becomes like a baby except you may have no idea what it's going to turn out like. For starters, it can take a seed up to six months to germinate, and even after it sprouts, you're going to spend a good amount of time wondering if it's actually going to do anything. The plant can give some nice surprises along the way though.
Growing plants from pineapple seeds in the United States is strictly an indoor project, unless you happen to live in that part of southern California which has temperatures that never fall below freezing, combined with a dry climate. There's nothing wrong with growing your plant or plants indoors though, unless you're looking to sell your crop commercially. Then your best bet would be to move to Hawaii. Maybe Dole has a few spare acres to lend.