Have you ever noticed the green top of that tasty pineapple that you’re about to cut into? Did you know that you can actually plant it and grow a beautiful plant? Growing your pineapple tops is an easy and affordable way to enjoy beautiful, tropical plants without paying all the high costs that you would pay at your local nursery.
Some gardeners have been able to care for, and maintain their plants long enough to actually bear fruit; although not very tasty, it’s beautiful nonetheless. Here are five easy steps to growing and maintaining your own pineapple plants that have successfully worked for me.
I’ve grown a number of them, and have learned all of this through trial and error:
1.) Cut the green top off of any pineapple. Get as much of the fruit off of the bottom as possible. This will make it easier for the roots to form and push through.
2.) Place the pineapple top into a clear container (such as a jar or glass), with just enough water to cover the bottom of the plant. It’s imperative that the container be clear so that the sunshine can come through the water. Like myself, many of you may remember as children, your mother or grandmother placing various plants in the window in a clear glass, or jar of water. This process is referred to as “rooting.” In other words, growing/developing roots. The combination of the water and the sun will cause the plant to grow roots; if you’re fortunate enough. Not all pineapple tops will form roots. But most will.
3.) Place your container with your plant in a sunny window, or outside in a safe spot; free of any danger of being knocked over and causing spillage. Remember that these are tropical weather plants. So, be sure that all danger of frost has passed. If you’re nearing the end of winter, but you have a warm, sunny window, your top will be just fine there.
4.) Maintain the water while waiting for your Pineapple top to root. Change the water every few days, as it will become quite dirty. Once a week is usually fine. This also gives you the opportunity to check for any root growth. Not only will the water be dirty, it will smell quite rancid. If you’re like me and have a sensitive sense of smell, I highly recommend dumping the dirty water outside or flushing it down the toilet. Simply pouring it down the sink will leave the smell behind, and it will linger for the following few hours.
Most importantly, remember to be patient. It may take a few weeks for you to notice any roots forming.
5.) It’s time to plant when you begin to see root growth and the temperature conditions are good outside. I’ve planted and have had successful growth with just a few small roots as well as very long ones; it doesn’t seem to matter.
If you’re planting in a pot, as with all of your plants, it is extremely important that you use well-fertilized soil and place it in a pot with good drainage. If planting in a garden or bed, be sure that you plant in a spot where the top can receive the most direct sunlight in well-tilled soil.
In both cases, place your plant in the soil just deep enough to cover the bottom and the roots. There’s no need to cover any parts of the leaves. Upon planting, make sure that you water extremely well. Your plant will grow rather quickly with plenty of sunlight and moist soil. Placing mulch around the base of the plants will help to keep the soil moist.
To help maintain the beauty of your plants, there are numerous natural, and not so natural, tips and articles available online pertaining to fertilization and pest control. In the cooler months, keep your plants covered. However, they will most likely not survive any freezes or a lot of frosts.
Again, bear in mind that these are tropical plants. I’ve personally been able to keep my plants throughout the winter months when I can move them inside where it’s warm and place in a sunny window. They don’t look as healthy as when kept outside in the warmer seasons. If you can sustain them inside, then once you place them outside again, they will soon perk right back up and become healthy once again.
~ Kelly Brown