How to Grow a Pineapple From a Pineapple
Because what else do you have to do these days?
Growing your own pineapple is an incredibly easy—albeit incredibly slow—process. Here’s how to grow a tropical fruit in your kitchen with just a glass of water:
How Do Pineapples Grow?
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A pineapple is a tropical fruit native to South America. (Fun fact: Its name comes from its resemblance to a pinecone).
Pineapples grow from a central stem that is planted in the ground. If you want to grow a pineapple, it’s important to be patient—it’ll be several years before you’re able to literally enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Related: How to Grow Potatoes From Potatoes
Who Can Grow a Pineapple?
Anyone! But, because it’s a tropical fruit, it’s best suited for a warm climate.
The Great Glass Debate
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Pineapple growers disagree about the best way to start the growing process. Many think it’s best to start the crown in a glass of water (this is the route I’m taking) to allow the roots to develop before moving the plant to soil. Others say it’s best to skip the middleman and move the crown directly into soil.
So what’s the right way to do things? I have no idea. From my research, it looks like both methods produce perfectly healthy fruit.
If you have kids, though, I think starting the plant in a glass of water is more fun and educational. They’ll be able to actually see the roots appear through the clear glass—pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
Disclaimer: I don’t have kids. I have a cat (see below). My theory that children will enjoy the glass of water method is purely speculation, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
How to Grow a Pineapple From a Pineapple
Choose a healthy pineapple. It should have an abundance of green, healthy-looking leaves.
Twist the leaves off the body. Firmly hold the pineapple with one hand and grasp the base of the leaves with the other hand. Grabbing them from the base (where the leaves join together) is important—it ensures the leaves stay intact and come off in one piece. Once you have a firm grasp with both hands, twist the leaves off of the pineapple.
Strip off a few of the bottom layers of leaves to expose the stem. You should be left with about an inch of exposed stem. Let the stem dry for a few days Since pineapples are prone to rot, it's important to let the wounds completely heal before you move on to the next step.
Submerge the exposed stem in water. Pick a glass or jar with a mouth that’s large enough to accommodate the stem, but small enough so that the whole thing doesn’t fall in. The leaves should be exposed over the top of the jar, while the stem should be submerged. Place the jar next to a window that gets a lot of sunlight—you’ll start to see white roots growing within a week or so.
Caring For Your Pineapple Plant
- Once the roots are fully formed, it’s time to transplant to soil. Use fast-draining potting soil and a 6- to 8-inch pot with bottom drainage.
- Keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering. Lightly watering once a week should be enough to keep your plant healthy and thriving.
- Fertilize about once a month during the growing season.
- You can move your plant outside during late spring and summer to an area that gets partial sunlight. Move it indoors during winter.
- Note: Over time, the original leaves will start to turn brown. Don’t panic! It’s a part of life. Simply remove the dead leaves to allow room for new ones to grow.
- After a couple years (remember, patience is a virtue), a red cone will emerge. It’ll be followed by flowers and then (finally!) fruit. If all goes according to plan, the fruit will be ready to harvest about 6 months after it appears.
- When the pineapple is ready to harvest it’ll look like, well, a pineapple. Don’t be discouraged if your fully ripe fruit is smaller than ones you see in stores—that’s common among pineapples grown from crowns. Allow the pineapple to fully ripen before you harvest it. It won’t get any sweeter once it’s picked.
- Enjoy your pineapple! You earned it.