Pineapples are a very delicious and refreshing fruit that many enjoy during a hot summer day, may it be cut into pieces or made into juice. However, growing pineapples isn’t as refreshing as the fruit, as there are a lot of things to think about when caring for the plant. One complaint gardeners have had is, ‘my pineapple plant is falling over, what is happening?’
You’re not alone in this situation, as there are times you may have encountered a pineapple plant leaning over, which may affect the growing fruit or overall plant growth. Read on to learn why pineapple plants do this and what you can do to stop it from happening.
My Pineapple Plant is Falling Over: What to Do
Pineapple plants are terrestrial bromeliads growing in tropical climates around the world, a sun worshipper thriving in USDA zones 10 to 12 in North America. It would sulk if the temperatures are below 60 degrees F!
It does have pretty specific care requirements, though it is relatively easy to grow. Furthermore, it does take some time before rooting and a few more years to bear fruit. However, you’ll be able to enjoy the spiky foliage and tropical-looking plant as it continues to grow.
That’s why it’s worrying to find your pineapple plant leaning over, which can indicate that it is unhealthy and lacking in its nutrient requirements.
There are different reasons why your pineapple plant is falling over or leaning a bit. Here are the reasons why:
1. The Light Requirements
One of the most important things to provide your pineapple plant is light and proper temperatures. After all, it is a tropical plant that would grow best in hot weather!
This is why giving your pineapple plant enough light to prevent it from leaning over. You will need to treat your pineapple plants as if they were cacti or succulents, giving them as much sunlight or artificial light as possible. Place your pineapple plant by the sunniest windowsill or place the plant in your garden during the summer season.
The main reason why your plant would lean over would be from not rotating it enough. The pineapple plant would then fall or lean over to try getting as much light from the sun as the direction the plant faces. Rotate your plant from time to time, preventing it from leaning it from only one side.
2. Pineapple Crookneck
Do you notice that your pineapple plant leaves are curling, twisting, turning light yellow-green, or becoming brittle? This can indicate that it suffers from crookneck. Affected plants might even bend and fall over horizontally.
The main cause of crookneck is zinc deficiency, but not to worry, as it is easy to treat with a 1% zinc foliar spray.
To do this, dilute one part of 6% liquid zinc concentrate with 16 parts of water. Spray all the surfaces of your pineapple plant liberally until it runs off. This is micronutrient would work best when used regularly before the deficiency symptoms are noticeable. Give your plant all the zinc it needs to prevent deficiencies by spacing out 3 applications evenly throughout the growing season.
3. Overcrowding or Younglings Keep Growing
Another reason behind the plant leaning is because the plant is pushed aside by the younglings. The younglings would pop up through the leaves, causing the growing fruit to lean over. This is why it’s best to space out your pineapple plants from one another to prevent it from leaning over or even wilting if it ends up overcrowding.
If the cause is from younglings growing in your pineapple plant, it’s best to trim those leaves to control the sprawl. You can also prune the ground suckers properly, which are the shoots springing up from the soil since they would only produce very small fruits and are easy to dispose of.
4. Top and/or Root Rot
If your pineapple plant is falling over or leaning, it may actually be wilting from a disease like top rot or root rot. These are common fungal diseases that can be deadly if left untreated. Fortunately, it can be controlled and remedied in the same way, though they are two different diseases from different pathogens.
The only visible sign of root rot is plants that look like they require watering, which means it has drooping or falling leaves with some signs of distress. As for top rot, it would show as dead leaves around the plant’s center.
The causes of these two fungal diseases are similar. It is either because of overwatering and/or soil with poor drainage.
You need to change your watering practices and water it less, checking if your plant requires watering by checking the soil and its dryness. You will only need to water your plants once a week throughout the growing season unless it is raining. During the winter season, you will only need to water it every 10-12 days.
Water your plant just enough to moisten the soil’s surface evenly, allowing it to completely dry to the touch before you water your plant’s soil again.
Also, repot your pineapple plant in clean and dry soil with a well-draining pot. If you have outdoor pineapple plants, you’ll have to improve the soil bed drainage and consider paper mulching.
5. Pesky Pests
Another reason why your pineapple plant is falling over, to the point it wilts, is from mealybugs. Large colonies of mealybugs that feed on your pineapple plant would cause quick wilt. This means that the condition will rob the foliage of its strength and rigidity, causing leaf discoloration and droopy leaves.
You can kill off mealybugs with a 2% insecticidal soap solution made with 2 tablespoons of dishwashing soap with a quart of clean water. Apply this mixture to all of your foliage surfaces until it runs off.
Wrapping It Up
If your pineapple plant is falling over, it is most likely caused by poor conditions, ranging from a lack of light down to pesky pests. While some reasons can be easily remedied by giving the plant the nutrients it needs, others may require having to dispose of the plant and start anew. Don’t let this discourage you and allow it to be a learning experience as you grow a pineapple plant with patience and new experiences by your side!
I hope you learned a lot about how to grow your pineapple plant properly and why it may be falling over. Do keep these reasons in mind as you grow a pineapple plant to avoid it from falling over. Good luck and happy gardening!