How Do You Grow A Pineapple From A Pineapple Top

Imagine picking a sweet, juicy pineapple from your own backyard (or balcony)! It might seem surprising, but growing a pineapple plant is an achievable project, even for beginners. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from selecting the perfect pineapple to nurturing your tropical friend and (hopefully) enjoying a homegrown treat!


Can You Grow a Pineapple Plant?

Absolutely! Here’s the key:

  • Tropical Paradise: If you live in warm, frost-free zones (USDA zones 10-12), you can plant your pineapple directly in a sunny outdoor garden bed.
  • Indoor Adventure: Everyone else can cultivate a pineapple plant indoors in a pot. You can even move it outdoors during the warmer months for a touch of the tropics on your patio.

How Do You Grow A Pineapple From A Pineapple Top

Choosing Your Pineapple Top

The starting point for your pineapple-growing adventure is the leafy crown on top of a pineapple. Here’s how to pick a good one:

  1. Ripeness Matters: Select a ripe pineapple from the grocery store. Look for golden yellow skin and fragrant, sweet-smelling leaves. Avoid soft or bruised fruits.
  2. Healthy Head of Hair: Choose a pineapple with a sturdy and healthy crown. The leaves should be green and free of pests or diseases.

Planting Your Pineapple Top

Now for the fun part – planting! Here’s how to give your pineapple top a good start:

  1. The Big Cut: Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the crown from the pineapple, leaving about an inch of stem attached.
  2. Drying Out: Twist off any excess fruit flesh from the stem and let the pineapple top dry in a well-ventilated spot for a week or so. This allows the cut stem to callous over and prevents rot.

Choosing the Right Pot

For indoor planting, select a pot with drainage holes that’s 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Pineapples prefer a snug fit initially, so don’t go too big.

Soil Success

Pineapples love well-draining soil. Here are a couple of options:

  • Cactus & Citrus Mix: This readily available potting mix is perfect for pineapples.
  • DIY Mix: Create your own blend using one part peat moss, one part coarse sand, and one part perlite.

Planting Time!

  1. Fill ‘Er Up: Fill your pot with your chosen soil mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  2. Planting the Crown: Gently insert the pineapple top stem-side down into the soil, making sure it’s secure but not buried too deep.
  3. Watering Wisely: Give your newly planted pineapple a good drink, but avoid overwatering. The soil should be moist but not soggy.

Pineapple Plant Care

Now that your pineapple is planted, here’s how to keep it happy and thriving:

  • Sunshine Seeker: Aim for at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily. A south-facing window is ideal indoors.
  • Water Watch: Water your pineapple plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Humidity Haven: Pineapples love humidity. Mist your indoor plant regularly, especially during dry spells. Grouping your pineapple with other plants can also help create a more humid environment.
  • Temperature Talk: These tropical natives prefer temperatures between 68°F and 86°F. Avoid exposing them to cold drafts or frost. If you live in a warmer climate, you can gradually acclimate your potted pineapple to spend the summer outdoors on your patio. Just remember to bring it back inside before the temperature drops below 60°F.
  • Feeding Frenzy: During the active growing season, fertilize your pineapple plant every two months with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer with added magnesium. Once flowering starts, you can increase feeding to every two weeks. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label for proper dosage.
  • Pot Up: As your pineapple grows, you might need to repot it into a slightly larger container. Signs it needs a new home include roots poking out of the drainage holes or the plant appearing unbalanced in its pot.

Flower Power (and Maybe Fruit!):

Pineapples can take a while to flower and fruit indoors, but it’s not impossible! Patience is key. Once your plant has around 30 leaves, you can try a trick to encourage flowering:

  1. Apple Surprise: Take a rotten apple and place it near the base of your pineapple plant. Cover both the plant and the apple with a plastic bag. The apple releases ethylene gas, which can sometimes stimulate flowering.
  2. Lighten Up: Keep the covered plant out of direct sunlight for about a week.
  3. Flower Power: With a bit of luck, a flower spike should appear in a few months, followed by a small pineapple fruit!
  4. Harvest Time: The fruit is ready to pick when the bottom half turns golden yellow and gives slightly to the touch.

Pineapple Problems:

Keep an eye out for common problems like:

  • Pests: Mites, scale, and mealybugs can be a nuisance. Wash them off with a strong spray of water or use insecticidal soap according to label instructions.
  • Root Rot: Overwatering can lead to root rot, causing discolored leaves and stunted growth. If you suspect this, carefully remove the plant from the pot and check the roots. Cut away any rotten parts and repot in fresh soil with good drainage.
  • Nutrient Deficiency: Yellowing leaves can indicate iron deficiency. Treat with a foliar iron spray.

The Joy of Growing Your Own

Even if your pineapple plant doesn’t produce fruit, it still makes a beautiful and unique houseplant. But with a little care and these helpful tips, you might just be surprised and end up enjoying a taste of the tropics right at home!

Bonus Tip:  After your pineapple finishes fruiting, it may produce “pups” or baby pineapple plants at the base. You can separate and plant these pups using the same methods described above to grow a whole new generation of pineapple plants!

Leave a Comment