The pineapple—fierce top top the outside, sweet top top the inside—was offered its English name for its resemblance to a pine tree cone. Christopher Columbus lugged this indigenous of southern America back to Europe as among the exotic prizes the the new World. In later centuries, sailors brought the pineapple home to new England, whereby a new pineapple shown on the porch meant that the seafarer was residence from international ports and ready come welcome visitors. No one knows when the an initial pineapple (“halakahiki,” or international fruit, in Hawaiian) arrived in Hawai‘i. Francisco de Paula Marin, a Spanish probe who ended up being a reliable advisor come King Kamehameha the Great, properly raised pineapples in the early 1800s. A sailor, Captain john Kidwell, is credited with starting Hawaii’s pineapple industry, importing and testing a variety of varieties in the 1800s because that commercial crop potential. But, it wasn’t until James Drummond Dole arrived in the islands that the pineapple was transformed from an American price of friendship and also exotic locales into an American family members staple.

You are watching: How do pineapples grow in hawaii


It takes knowledge, time, and also plenty that patience come grow and also harvest a pineapple crop. Most of the procedure cannot be automated, and must be excellent by hand.

Starting through the right conditions is critical first step. Many of the pineapple in Hawai`i is grown on the vast island levels between and also around hill ranges, commonly at elevations below 3,000 feet. Good pineapple-growing regions have actually a mix of fairly cool night temperatures, a high percent of clear days, and also day temperatures varying from 70–85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pineapples are also harvested by hand. The an initial crop, dubbed a “plant crop,” take away 18–20 month to be ready for harvest. The next crop, referred to as the “first ratoon,” takes an additional 15 months. Because that the harvest, workers walk through the pineapple rows, pull on in special gloves and also clothing to safeguard them indigenous the spiky bromeliad leaves. Many Wahiawa pineapples are offered fresh. After ~ the last crop is harvested, the field is “knocked down,” and a new growing cycle begins.


Select a pineapple that is plump and fresh-looking. The pipeline in the crown have to be fresh and green, and the body of the pineapple firm. The bigger the pineapple, the greater the relationship of edible fruit, yet a larger fruit won’t necessarily be much better tasting or riper than a smaller one.

The color of the pineapple’s external shell is not necessarily a authorize of maturity or ripeness: a pineapple’s flesh deserve to be ripe, sweet, and also ready come eat when the covering is still quite green. Ease in pulling leaves from the crown is not a authorize of ripeness.

Once the pineapple is picked, it i will not ~ ripen any type of further or get any sweeter, since unlike most fruits, a pineapple color etc its sweet from starches in its plant base. Fresh pineapples indigenous Hawai`i are picked at maximum ripeness for distribution to U.S. And Canadian markets: the sooner they are eaten, the better. If you don’t arrangement to usage your fresh pineapple right away, store it in her refrigerator, where it will save longer.


Coffee has actually been farming in Hawaii because the 1800’s and can be uncovered on all the major Hawaiian Islands. Coffee plants typically take seven years to reach complete production. Hawaiian coffees are human being famous Arabica varietals such together typica, catuai, caturra and also mokka. The typica variety was very first introduced to Kona farmers from Guatemala, and also is currently grown on Oahu’s north Shore together Waialua legacy Coffee.

In the spring, complying with heavy rains, coffee plants develop small, fragrant white flowers, i m sorry last only a pair of days. The fruits thrive for 6 months and slowly readjust from eco-friendly to yellow to a glossy deep red at which allude the cherries are ready for picking. Harvest cherries must first be wet-milled to eliminate skins and also dried as environment-friendly bean coffee. Next, the eco-friendly beans are dry-milled to eliminate hulls or parchment, classified and bagged for roasting.


Pineapple and sugar were as soon as the undisputed queens of Hawaii’s agricultural industries. In the 1950s, when more than 20,000 acre of agricultural land to be being farmed in the phibìc Shore area, about fifty percent were pineapple, and the other half were street cane. One of the area’s major sugar employers to be the Waialua sugar Company, which in ~ its height employed practically 2,000 workers.

Many of the at an early stage pineapple and sugar plantation laborers came to Hawai‘i indigenous Asia. Workers from China, Japan, and the Philippines resided in plantation villages or camps collection up to house them through nationality. These towns reflected the different cultures the laborers lugged with them, and many social aspects of this plantation villages still affect life in Hawai‘i today.

Rising production costs and also flat street prices resulted in Waialua Sugar agency to avoid production in 1996, after virtually a hundred years in operation. The mill still stands today, home to many of the small, artisanal businesses that are currently an integral part of the phibìc Shore economy.



Pineapple cut is made easier with Dole Plantation’s pineapple knife.


Waialua Estate coco is manufactured from the seed or “beans” the the cacao tree. These trees traditionally thrive in humid tropical regions in a narrow band 10 degrees over and listed below the equator. The Hawaiian Islands, at 21 degrees north, are among the couple of exceptions with distinct micro climates that promote the especially deep, complex flavors discovered in the chocolate. Hawai‘i’s chocolate industry is relatively new and young, and also is quickly establishing itself as a resource for several of the best and rarest chocolate in the world.

Located top top O‘ahu’s phibìc Shore, the 25-acre Waialua Estate™ cacao operation has been producing cocoa beans because that chocolate since 2004. The rich volcanic soil, excellent cultivation conditions, and high quality chocolate-making practices have allowed Waialua Estate™ to end up being the undisputed leader and also producer that the best chocolate in Hawai‘i.


Over the years, Hawaii’s farming land has actually undergone a dramatic transformation, shifting from a two-crop, sugar-and-pineapple kingdom come a multitude of smaller crops, consisting of coffee, tomatoes, pineapple, cacao beans, and tropical flowers. Today, the 50th state’s agricultural industry is now much much more diversified, with more than 40 different plants grown commercially in Hawai‘i. Return its role has diminished, farming still remains critical part that Hawaii’s economy, generating practically $3 billion every year and supporting an ext than 40,000 jobs.


Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a protelytic enzyme that breaks under protein. Include pineapple come a marinade to flavor and also tenderize her meat the choice. That same enzyme action means that gelatin made through fresh pineapple i will not ~ set, and you should wait to mix head cheese, cake cream and also other dairy products with fresh pineapple until just prior to serving.

James Drummond Dole

James Drummond Dole come in Hawai‘i in 1899, stop newly produced Harvard degrees in business and agriculture, and eager to prove the Hawai‘i could take part in the boom times because that farming the were sweeping across America. The following year, that bought a 61-acre tract of land below in Wahiawa, whereby he established the first plantation the what would certainly in later years become an farming empire the reached about the world. Dole wasn’t the very first person to grow pineapple in Hawai`i, however he to be the first to realize its significant potential—and that eventually came to be known across America as the Pineapple King.

Dole knew the there could be an enormous market for pineapple outside of Hawai‘i, and the technology to distribution it had ultimately arrived. The then-high-tech procedure of canning food to preserve it had actually been approximately for decades, but had just been perfected in recent years. Packing and sealing pineapple in a hard-traveling have the right to was the perfect method to save it new over lengthy distances—and for this reason Dole’s first pineapple cannery was born in Wahiawa in 1901. Numerous years later, the cannery was moved to Honolulu harbor to be closer come the job pool, shipping ports, and also supplies. The Honolulu site, at once the world’s largest cannery, remained in operation until 1991, the landmark pineapple-shaped water tower visible from every part of the city.

In many ways, building the cannery to be the simple part. Although the pineapple was thought about a desirable exotic fruit and had appeared for centuries in the arts and crafts of brand-new England and also Europe, very couple of Westerners in reality knew what to perform with one. Dole joined pressures with Hawaii’s various other pineapple distributors and set out to create a national sector for the tropic fruit by mirroring the civilization how sweet a pineapple could be. Nationally spread advertising campaigns featured recipes because that pineapple pie and also pineapple salad and also taught readers just how to choose and also use different grades the fruit. In 1925, the standard American recipe because that pineapple upside-down cake to be popularized during a pineapple recipe challenge sponsored through Dole. The dispute drew 60,000 entries. Box pineapple had secured a ar in the American pantry.

As the demand for pineapple grew, for this reason did the need for more land. In 1922, Dole purchase the Hawaiian Island the Lana`i and transformed it right into the largest pineapple plantation in the world, through 20,000 farmed acres and a plan plantation town to house an ext than a thousand workers and also their families. For virtually 70 years, Lana`i supplied an ext than 75% of the world’s pineapple, becoming widely recognized as the “Pineapple Island.”

By the 1930s, Hawai`i was famed as the pineapple capital of the world. The Hawaiian Pineapple agency James Dole had founded was currently processing end 200,000 tons of pineapple a year, help to make pineapple Hawaii’s second largest industry. By the 1940s, eight pineapple suppliers operated in Hawai`i. By much the biggest was James Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple agency (often shortened to HAPCO), with vast plantations on Oahu and Lana`i and a cannery in Honolulu, employing about 3,000 permanent and 4,000 seasonal employees.

James Drummond Dole passed far in 1958 at the period of 80. The Hawaiian Pineapple firm he established is now recognized the people over as Dole Food Company, one of the most known brands in the people today.


Growing a new pineapple indigenous the crown the a ripe one is profitable and simple to do. It provides for a beautiful plant, a fascinating procedure to watch, and also an end an outcome that is just plain delicious. This is a good kids’ project, too.

First, twist the leafy crown indigenous the fruit. Place it in a dry, dark place for a complete week to permit the end to harden.

Layer an 8-inch porous clay pot through an customs of outlet gravel, then fill through a good, light garden soil combined with as much as 30% well-composted essential matter. Be certain the pot has good drainage. Later, once the fruit grows, you’ll desire to transplant to a 12-inch pot, again, through gravel and an excellent drainage.


Don’t forget to placed Dole Plantation, Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience,” on your itinerary as a must-see location on O‘ahu. Conveniently situated on the road from Honolulu to historic Haleiwa Town, Dole Plantation is the perfect rest prevent on the method to or native O’ahu’s scenic north Shore.

What will you uncover when friend drop in in ~ the Plantation?

Dole Plantation is likewise the home of the Pineapple Garden Maze, which the 2008 Guinness publication of human being Records named as the World’s biggest Maze. Our factory maze is both fun and also challenging—dare us say a-maze-ing?—experience amongst a document 3.11 mile of paths. Spend fifty percent an hour or fifty percent a day finding the eight an enig stations and solving this larger-than-life puzzle.

The Plantation Garden Tour offers visitors one up-close look at the astonishing selection of tropical crops that consist of the phibìc Shore’s contemporary agricultural landscape. And also in our pineapple gardens, acquire an up-close look at the means a pineapple grows. If you’ve never ever seen one, it’s guarantee to surprise you.

Got a question around pineapple in ~ Dole Plantation? We’ve got answers.

Q: After ns plant mine pineapple, how long will it be prior to I have the right to harvest and eat one?

A: It will certainly take about 18 months because that the an initial fruit to mature, and another 13-14 months for the 2nd fruit. However the wait is precious it.

Q: How countless crops space harvested every planting cycle?

A: we harvest either two crops in 3 years or three plants in four years. ~ the last chop of a bike is harvested, the field is “knocked down” and also a new growing bicycle begins, beginning again with land preparation.

Q: Why is the floor so red?

A: The red planet of Wahiawa, i m sorry is famed in Hawai‘i for staining everything from garments to pets v a irreversible rusty tinge, is brought about by decomposing volcanic ash that fills the soil v oxidized iron. This mineral-rich mixture might not be so great for your white t-shirt, yet pineapples love it, and also respond by growing large and sweet.

Q: those that black color plastic I view on the fields?

A: This invaluable plastic mulch has countless purposes. It confines fumigants, conserves moisture because that the farming plants, heats the soil to stimulate source growth, and controls weeds. It likewise serves as a planting mark.

Q: What is planting material for a pineapple?

A: You deserve to use either the crown of the fruit or the slip that grows ~ above the stem the the fruit. At Dole Plantation, we usage the crown.

Q: How countless plants room planted per acre?

A: A functioning pineapple plantation will certainly plant in between 27,000 and also 33,000 plants per acre.

Q: exactly how are pineapples planted?

A: They are all planted by hand—a labor-intensive procedure that calls for skill, patience, and also a strong back.

Q: carry out you irrigate pineapples?

A: contrasted to other fruit, pineapples don’t need much water to stay juicy, yet we perform irrigate. Classic methods used ditch irrigation, yet these days we use the more efficient drip tube an approach for each pineapple row.

Q: perform pineapples need fertilization?

A: Yes. We fertilize with mainly nitrogen and iron, in the type of a liquid sprayed on the plant.

Q: room pineapples harvested by machine?

A: all harvesting is done by hand and loaded ~ above a boom conveyor that deposits the fruit into a bin. The bins room then trucked the end of the fields instantly for preferably freshness.

Q: What happens to a Wahiawa pineapple once it’s picked?

A: about 60%–70% space sold and also eaten fresh, plenty of of these right here at Dole Plantation. The rest are processed and also sent farther afield for the remainder of the people to enjoy.

See more: Healthiest Energy Drink On The Market, What Are The Healthiest Energy Drinks

Q: do you tree year-round?

A: Yes we do. We must keep the new fruit market supplied v pineapple throughout the year, and also pineapples, being a dry fruit, room not wedded to a particular growing season.