If you have been wanting to learn how to grow pineapples at home, I’d say go do it because it is a highly rewarding experience. All you need is a bit of patience, since it can take around 15 months or more to yield fruit, depending on where you live.
Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, which includes Tillandsia or air plants, the pineapple is a ground-level shrub which grows to around one metre high. The fruit is a result of the merging of 100 to 200 small florets that, once fertilised, produce individual fruits and swell. This results in a unified fruit when matured. A fully ripe pineapple typically weighs around 2kg or more, although this varies by species.
Photosynthesis for the pineapple takes place at night. The plant possesses Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), an adaptation that enhances water utilisation efficiency and is commonly observed in plants that thrive in dry environments. These include cacti, orchids and terrestrial bromeliads.
If you’re wondering where to buy plant fertiliser for your edible or foliage plants in Singapore, read on for a list of places in-store or online.
Fertilisers provide plants with three main nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), and contain secondary nutrients like magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) and sulphur (S) as well as micronutrients like zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and boron (B).
Fertilisers are essential for plant growth and development. Not only do they provide plants with the essential nutrients they need, they also improve the soil structure, water-holding capacity and aeration. Fertilising your plants is therefore a very important task that you should not fall behind on.
What kind of fertiliser should you buy for your plants?
This depends on what plant you are planning to fertilise, how often you prefer to fertilise, and whether you prefer organic or synthetic fertiliser.
The best fertiliser for your plants depends on what type of plant it is meant for, which is usually indicated on the product label e.g. vegetables, flowers, foliage plants. When buying fertiliser, also look for the NPK values so you will get a better idea of which plants it is more suitable for.
For example, a high nitrogen fertiliser that is suitable for your green leafy vegetables may not be suitable for cacti or fruiting vegetables. If you are growing green leafy vegetables, opt for a fertiliser with high nitrogen, while fruiting vegetables require more phosphorus and potassium to encourage fruiting.
Nova Ceceliana Nelson is a permaculture designer who wants to help people grow food regardless of how small their space is. At the Goodman Community Farm in Singapore, she uses the garden to showcase what urban permaculture looks like, where upcycled materials are used, and how one can create closed loop systems to turn waste into valuable resources.
At this space where food growers, artists and the community converge, she organises workshops for children and adults to connect them to nature and growing food.
The Goodman Community Farm consists of a forager’s garden and community microfarm. At the forager’s garden, there is a herb spiral, mandala garden, pond, three-bay leaf compost area and wormery, while the community microfarm is a place to test out different methods of growing food.
Nova sees waste as a resource and collects landscape waste, cardboard, logs, coffee grounds and food waste from a café on the premises and uses it around the garden. Nothing goes to waste here. Find out more from this video interview I conducted with her!
If you are looking for exotic vegetable, herb or flower seeds that are not already available locally in Singapore, here are a few international seed suppliers that might have exactly what you are after.
Can I buy seeds from overseas to Singapore?
Can you import seeds to Singapore? Yes, however it is recommended by NParks that you get a phytosanitary certificate. Many people don’t really bother because it can be expensive, but of late some gardeners have had their seed packages redirected by SingPost and redirected to NParks and have been fined. When it comes to bringing in live plants, it is important that you know what the regulations are. See here for NPark’s regulations on bringing plants and plant products into Singapore.
Personally I have ordered from a couple of these seed suppliers, such as Baker Creek Seeds and Strictly Medicinal Seeds, and I have found them to be highly reliable sources.
International Seed Suppliers
Here are some seed suppliers who readily ship overseas and offer a wide and unique selection of vegetable, herbs, medicinal and flower seeds.
Baker Creek Seeds
Baker Creek Seeds is popular with Singaporean growers. Here you will find a vast and exotic range of herbs, vegetables and flower plant seeds. For now, Baker Creek Seeds sells a maximum of 10 seed packets with a flat shipping fee of US$12. Shop their seeds here.
Australian Seed stocks a large collection of native Australian plant seeds and offers a great selection of flowers, herb and vegetable seeds. There is no minimum order required when it comes to shipping, however do note that all international orders are shipped using parcel post because it offers mail tracking and insurance, shipping costs more as a result. Shop here.