Gardener's spiky planting bears fruit - 10 years on

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 06/01/2014
David Klenner

FANCY FRUIT: After about 10 years of trying, New Plymouth man David Klenner’s pineapple plant has finally produced fruit. ntsG

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The pineapple is a fruit normally associated with the tropics, not Taranaki.

But New Plymouth man David Klenner has sprouted the spiky bromeliad's fruit on his sun porch in Vogeltown.

The perfectly formed green pineapple is about 15 centimetres tall and has developed at the top of a leafy stalk attached to the main plant.

Mr Klenner said he had always wanted to grow the fruit, so he planted a cutting from the top of one about 10 years ago.

The 82-year-old said the only secret to his pineapple success was a good sunny spot.

No fertiliser was used and he gave the plant very little water.

"I nearly lost it a few times, it's taken a long while to get there," he said.

The pineapple plant had even moved house with Mr Klenner to its current north-facing, glass-enclosed location.

When it started forming in about September it looked like a flower, he said.

He was not sure how long the fruit would take to ripen, or if it would at all, but if it did he would certainly be eating it.

"I might take it up to show the kids at Huatoki school first."

Mr Klenner said he had heard of people growing pineapples in Taranaki before, but had never seen it for himself.

Adrian McLeod, owner of Fairfields Garden Centre, confirmed that pineapples could be grown in Taranaki.

"Yes, it happens quite often. You just sit the leafy part in sand in a bucket in a conservatory."

He said he knew of people in New Plymouth who had grown pineapples quite successfully.

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