Yes, you can grow a pineapple plant from the top of the fruit. This shows you how to prepare the fruit, take the right cutting, and root it in water for a new plant.
Growing Pineapple Indoors
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.
- What to Expect
- How To Grow a Pineapple Top
- Pineapple Plant Care Tips
What to Expect
How long does it take a pineapple to grow?
It takes a minimum of 2 to 3 years for a pineapple houseplant to start flowering and the producing fruit.
Step one is to grow the top into a houseplant, where it takes up to two years to mature.
From there, if growing conditions are optimum, the plant will send up a stem that flowers and gradually produces fruit. This is usually one small pineapple.
But that can be challenging, especially in a cooler climate with long winters unless you provide grow lights as well.
Some indoor pineapple plants never flower or produce fruit but do grow quite large (up to 6 feet tall indoors). Others stay fairly small if light levels are lower than desired or the pot is just a few gallons large.
The fastest growing pineapple plant I have seen was propagated from a top using the same method shown in the instructions (below). The plant was kept in a bright, south-facing window receiving full sun here in Canada.
Despiste lower light levels in fall and winter, after three years the plant was several feet tall and producing its first fruit. That’s as fast as you can possibly expect indoors in a cold climate if conditions are right.
If you enjoy this stuff, grab a copy of The Kitchen Propagation Handbook for more items you can grow from kitchen scraps.
How to Grow a Pineapple Top
1Select a Healthy Pineapple
Select a healthy, ripe pineapple.
- Look for healthy, vibrant green leaves (not all gray or brown) with no sign of disease or insects.
- The ripeness is indicated by the gold color, which forms from the base up: the more gold, the sweeter (and riper) the pineapple.
Over-ripe pineapples are orange and have a fermented fruit odor.
It’s a safe bet that a name-brand pineapple in the grocery store will be adequately ripe.
- 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.
3Remove Lower Leaves
- 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.
In tropical climates, home gardeners can just plant this right in the ground. But for container growing, it’s best to follow the next steps.
Want to grow more?
These pineapple propagation tips are included in the ebook,
Kitchen Propagation Handbook: 7 Fruits & Vegetables to Grow From Scraps.
Lay the crown on its side and leave it to dry for 1-2 days out of direct sun.
The idea is to make the crown less susceptible to disease. Some gardeners skip this step and put the crown directing in water as shown in Step 5.
Next: You can root the plant directly in moist potting mix or use the water method shown below.
5Root Crown in Water
- 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. Some stay green, some do not.
- 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.
6Plant in Potting Mix
Pineapple plants do not like to have their roots restricted, so choose a pot with room to grow.
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.
Pineapple Plant Care
Here are some highlights:
- Pineapple is a tropical fruit plant, so provide bright sun without burning the plant or drying out the soil. A summer holiday outdoors near a wall for extra warmth is something to consider.
- You can also use grow lights (shows what I use) if you do not have natural sun available.
- Pineapples will die in freezing temperatures.
- Growth halts below 60°F (15.5°C) and above 90°F (32°C).
- The sweet spot is right in the middle: 68°F and 86°F (20-30°C).
I highly recommend using a simple moisture meter for both houseplants and outdoor container plants. It’s a simple way to know how moist the soil is at root level and learn to keep water levels nice and even.
- Pineapples are somewhat drought-tolerant but it’s too easy to over do it when growing indoors in a container. For this reason, I keep mine moderately moist at all times.
- Drought also slows or halts growth. Leaves become light green, then yellow or red and curled when drought is present.
- Overwatering is just as harmful: yes, even watering is key!
- It’s not unusual for the tips of the leaves to turn brown. I have seen this happen from both overwatering and underwatering. If it happens, trim off the brown with clean scissors. If the middle of the plant turns yellow or brown, it’s likely the entire the plant is dying.
- As your plant grows, it will need a balanced, slow-release organic fertilizer (5-5-5 N-P-K) or similar product. Follow the instructions on the product label.
To fruit or not to fruit, that is the question
Pineapple plants need at least 2-3 years of maturing before flowering and fruiting can take place.
If you started with a small container, 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, this has tips for forcing blooms. It may just need that extra boost.
Eventually, if you’re lucky, it will indeed flower and fruit.
Suspenseful, isn’t it?
- Growing Pineapples | University of Florida Extension
Pineapple Plant with Fruit
This is what a potted pineapple plant looks like when it is producing fruit.
I photographed this pineapple plant with fruit at a local garden nursery.
Kitchen Propagation Handbook
Regrow Food Scraps
by Melissa J. Will
Learn how to grow houseplants from avocado, oranges, lemons, ginger, and more using leftover pits, seeds, and roots.
This ebook is a digital file you save to your device.
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
How to Propagate Pineapple From the Grocery Store
- Grasp ripe pineapple and gently twist off leafy top.
- Remove lower 1 to 2-inches of leaves.
- Let crown dry for 1-2 days.
- Sit crown in jar of warm water, submerging leaf-free area.
- Change water every few days.
- When roots are at least 3-inches long, you can plant crown.
- To pot the rooted crown, fill flower pot with potting mix made for cacti. Bury roots and water.
- Keep in warm location with indirect, strong sun. Water as needed.
- Signs of new growth may be evident after 7 to 14 weeks.