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4 Important Tips For How to Harvest Pineapple

Pineapple is one of those fruits that just screams hot summer days and vacation vibes. But not all of us can find ourselves on a tropical island away from the hustle and bustle of life.

This is why many have started to grow their own pineapples. But growing them yourself means knowing how to harvest pineapples correctly, so you’ll leave your pineapple plant healthy and strong, enabling it to continue to produce.

How to Harvest Pineapple

In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps of making sure your pineapple is ripe, how to harvest pineapples, and ways you can store them so you can enjoy these tangy sweet treats for as long as possible.

How to Tell if Your Pineapple is Ready for Harvesting

Growing pineapple, unripe

Before we get into how to harvest pineapple, you’ll need to know the different indicators to ensure it’s ripe. Knowing when to harvest pineapple is just as important as knowing how to.

Unlike some other fruits, your pineapple won’t ripen once it’s been picked. Instead, it’ll become soft without growing in sweetness.

Bloom

Once the plant itself has bloomed, you’ll want to wait about 6 months before you even consider picking it. This is because pineapples take about 5.5 months to ripen after it’s bloomed.

When your pineapple plant is ready to produce fruit, you’ll find it starting to grow a cluster of blue flowers. This is nothing to worry about; it means that your plant is healthy, and in a couple of months, you’ll have a mouthwatering treat to sink your teeth into.

Quick note, if you have taken the top of a pineapple and used it to start your pineapple crop, it may take up to 2 years for your plant to bloom.

Color

The color of the pineapple is a great indicator if it’s ripe or not.

If your pineapple appears green, then it still hasn’t reached maturity. A clear indicator that your fruit has started the ripening process is if you see a yellow heugh start to appear at the base of the pineapple.

Suppose your pineapple is about 3/4 of the way yellow. In that case, it’s reached “maturity,” but that doesn’t mean it’s time to harvest pineapples just yet, because all though it’s “ripe,” it hasn’t reached its sweetness potential.

If your pineapple has started to turn brown, then it’s become too ripe and started to ferment.

Scent

Next, check the smell of your pineapple while it’s still attached to its leafy plant. A pineapple has a relatively strong tropical smell when ripe.

You’ll be able to get whiffs of this scent if you get close enough. The scent will be strongest at the base of the fruit, indicating you should prepare for harvesting pineapples.

Sound

This might come as a surprise, but did you know the sound could be a good indicator of when to harvest pineapples?

Much like you’d flick a melon to check what sound it makes before you pick it, you’ll want to do the same to your pineapple.

Firmly but gently, hold your pineapple with one hand and tap it on the side with your other. Listen closely; does it sound solid? If so, your pineapple isn’t ready.

How to Harvest Pineapple

Pineapple growing

Now that you know when to harvest, it’s time to get to the fun part of learning how to harvest pineapple.

How to Hold the Pineapple

When preparing to harvest pineapples, it’s important to know how to hold them, so you can cut them in the correct spot.

Take your non-dominant hand and place it at the top of the pineapple. You can also grab the pineapple itself, but it’s important to hold it steady, so you don’t accidentally cut yourself when you take it off the plant.

Tools to Harvest Pineapples

Gloves

Gloves are a must when it comes to harvesting pineapples, and this is because the leaves of the pineapple plant can be quite sharp and will poke you if you don’t have something to protect your hands.

The leaves aren’t the only thing you’ll want to watch out for. The skin of the pineapple is also quite rough and sharp to the touch.

Shears

Shears are just one tool you can use when harvesting pineapples. With your dominant hand, take the gardening shears and cut the stem right below the base of the pineapple.

Make sure that you leave some of the stems; if you cut too low, that plant will no longer be able to produce pineapples and will die.

Knife

Don’t have gardening shears? No problem, you can also use a sharp knife to harvest pineapples too, preferably a garden knife.

One thing to look out for if you’re using a knife instead of gardening shears is to ensure that when you cut through the stem, you don’t nick or cut any other leaves around it.

Storing the Pineapple

Storing pineapple

Now that you know when and how to harvest pineapples, you’re probably wondering what to do with this tasty treat; know that you have it in your hands.

Here are some ideas to help you prep and store your pineapple.

Keep in mind that if you aren’t ready to prepare your pineapple yet or are planning on prepping it for later in the day, you can keep an uncut/ripe pineapple on the counter without refrigeration for up to 3 days.

Prepping Your Pineapple

First, cut off the top of the pineapple and then carefully cut off the sides. Make sure to get rid of any brown bits, or “eyes,” as they’re called.

Next, take the pineapple and cut it the long way, and then again, which will turn the halves into wedges.

Then remove the center core, and you’ll be left with your pineapple ready to eat or store.

Refrigerating Your Pineapple

You can store a whole pineapple in the refrigerator or store it after you’ve already cut it up.

You can store a whole uncut pineapple for up to 6 days in the fridge before it starts to go bad.

If you’ve already cut up your pineapple, you can store it in an airtight container for 7 days.

A quick tip: If you start to eat your pineapple and there is a slight burning sensation against your tongue, it means that your pineapple has started to go bad, and you should throw it away.

Freezing Your Pineapple

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to enjoy your pineapple year-round. If that’s the case freezing your pineapple after you’ve cut it up is a great way to store it.

Your pineapple can last for up to a year in your freezer, making it a great little snack on a hot day or perfect for making mind-blowing smoothies and other yummy treats.  

If you’re looking for fun and exciting ways to use your pineapple throughout the year, there are over 1000 pineapple recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

Wrapping Up How to Harvest Pineapple

At Minneopa Orchards, we know how gardening and harvesting can become a form of self-care. And what better way to spend a warm day than with a sweet and juicy pineapple that you recently harvested from your own crop or garden?

With its beautiful bloom and mouthwatering smell, you’ll be glad that you added this magical fruit to your harvesting know-how.

Knowing how to harvest pineapple and how to store it is a beneficial tool that ensures that you’ll have a tasty treat for your whole family to enjoy year around.

Plus, pineapples are a healthy alternative to overly processed sweets. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of pineapple, check out our post How to Enjoy the Health Benefits of Pineapple.