How much water does a pineapple need – When to irrigate pineapples

First, it is essential to point out that understanding the consumption rates over a crop’s phenological stages and how that relates to the outside environment is key to making good decisions about how much water to apply [1]. More specifically, among other factors, the amount of evapotranspiration during the different phenological stages of the crop determines how much water it needs. This amount changes with each growth stage and is highest near the end of the vegetative stage of pineapple [2]. When pineapples do not receive enough water during this vegetative stage, flower induction is delayed, which delays fruit maturation and harvesting. 

Evenly distributed rainfall (or irrigation) of 600-1000 mm per year is considered adequate for maximum growth. It is important to note that pineapples need between 80 and 100 millimeters (mm) of rain each month in general. Irrigation is required when the annual precipitation falls below 500 mm. All in all, if the monthly rainfall is less than 15 mm for three consecutive months, less than 25 mm for four consecutive months, or less than 40 mm for five consecutive months, irrigation is still required [3].

One thing that makes pineapples unique is that they can grow well in places with little rain. This is because they have a photosynthetic adaptation called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). This allows them to photosynthesize during the day but only open their stomata for gas exchange at night. This reduces water loss since the temperature is cooler then and is a valuable adaptation for plants growing in arid conditions [3]. Therefore, when cultivated in arid environments, this greatly enhances its effectiveness in using available water. However, a shortage of water can reduce the yield of pineapples; therefore, it is essential to install and use an irrigation system, creating optimum conditions for a pineapple to grow and maximize its yield [4]. In addition to that, irrigation is essential to ensure a year-round production of fruits.


Irrigation systems

The irrigation of pineapples can be done both by sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. It is important to mention that each of these systems has its advantages and disadvantages during the different developmental stages. Numerous farmers choose to use a combination of both. For example, during the initial stages of plant development, it is crucial to use sprinkler irrigation soon after planting as it helps the plants establish themselves well in the soil and allows smooth root development. However, overhead sprinkler irrigation is not ideal for watering plants during flower induction and the fruiting stage, as it can increase the incidence of fruit diseases. Drip irrigation, on the other hand, can be used after root development has occurred. It is critical to supplement drip irrigation with plastic mulch, especially in areas with limited water sources. The following is an example of plastic mulch installed on beds to achieve efficient irrigation (4).



 [1] Allan R.G., Pereira L.S., Raes D. & Smith M. (1998).Crop Evapotranspiration-Guidelines For Computing Crop Water Requirements-FAO Irrigation and Drainage.


[2] Azevedo P.V., 

Souza C.B. , Silva B.B., & Silva V.P.R. (2007).Water requirements of pineapple crop grown in a tropical environment.


[3] Carr, M. (2012). The water relations and irrigation requirements of pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus): A REVIEW. Experimental Agriculture, 48(4), 488-501. doi:10.1017/S0014479712000385


[4] Umi H.N., Tricahya R.A., Farid A.M. & 

Murtiningrum.(2020). Performance analysis of drip and sprinkler irrigation on pineapple cultivation.

Pineapple History, Uses and Nutritional Value

Pineapples Plant Information and Environmental Requirements

Pineapple Variety Selection

Soil Requirements and Land Preparation for Pineapple

Planting of Pineapple – Pineapple Plant Density

Pineapple Water Needs and Irrigation Systems

Pineapple Fertilization Requirements

Pineapple Flowering, Pollination, and Pruning

Pineapple Crop Protection

Pineapple Harvesting, Handling, Storage, and Selling


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