This is a very simple way to grow a new pineapple plant from a grocery store pineapple. You may want to start a couple at once since it’s impossible to tell ahead of time which ones will succeed.
Ideally, you will end up with a nice, vibrant houseplant (in a bright, sunny location) that will eventually flower and produce fruit after several years. Some never flower and fruit but do grow quite large (up to 6 feet tall indoors). Others stay fairly small if growing conditions are not optimum. If nothing else, it’s always fun to experiment and see what happens as I like to do with lots of different food crops.
Select a healthy, ripe pineapple. There should be no sign of disease or insects on the leaves. The ripeness is indicated by the gold colour, which forms from the base up. The more gold, the sweeter (and riper) the pineapple. This one was picked early which is typical since it was shipped a long way. You can tell when a pineapple is over-ripe, because the colour is entirely golden and the leaves pull off easily.
Remove the top by firmly grasping the leaves and twisting. The crown will detach from the base.
Here’s what it will look like:
The base is now ready for carving and eating.
The crown is ready for peeling, drying and rooting.
Peel off several layers of leaves from the base of the crown so about 1-2″ is exposed. You’ll see little brown nubs that the leaves were covering up. New roots will sprout from these nubs.
Lay the crown on its side and leave it to dry for 3-5 days.
Place the crown in a jar of clean, warm water, with only the leaf-free area submerged in the water. A mason jar works well for this.
Change the water every second day. You want to keep the water clean and fresh.
Don’t freak out that the leaves start to dry and turn brown. This is normal.
If the plant is not going to root, the crown may suddenly dry out entirely. If this happens, try another pineapple.
Here’s the crown after a week. You can see roots are starting to form.
Here’s the crown after 3 weeks in the water. Remember to change the jar water every other day.
After a month or so, when you have lots of nice long roots (3″ or more), plant the crown in soil suitable for succulents and cacti.
For the next few weeks, keep the plant away from bright sun, and be sure the soil is consistently moist but not too wet. This is when the roots will grow in the soil.
After about two months, the plant should be snugly grabbing the soil (indicating root growth has taken place) and you should see signs of new leaf growth, coming from the middle of the plant.
When new leaves appear, it’s time to move the plant to a sunny location. Water lightly as needed (approximately once a week) and provide at least 6 hours of good light per day. You can also use grow lights if you do not have natural sun available.
To fruit or not to fruit, that is the question
Pineapple plants need 2-3 years of maturing before flowering and fruiting can take place.
During this time, your pineapple plant will outgrow its pot a couple of times and need repotting.
Cut away old, dead leaves as needed.
If, after all this time, your plant is healthy but not flowering, look up ways to force blooms. It may just need that extra boost.
Eventually, if you’re lucky, it will indeed flower and fruit.
Suspenseful, isn’t it?
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