That how long it has taken for us to grow a six inch pineapple! Here it is:
Just look at that top! I see a future pineapple there! In Florida it is really easy to grow a pineapple. This one might have been bigger if we had planted it in the ground instead of a big pot. All of our more recent pineapple plants are in the ground. We gave this potted pineapple encouragement:
Then one day we noticed that the fruit had turned yellow. We cut it off at the base of the pineapple. Mr. M will eat it because I cannot since I am allergic to bromelin, the natural enzyme in fresh pineapple. I just love the way the plants look and find it a hoot to grow my own pineapples.
That lovely top will become a new pineapple plant. They are really easy to grow if you live in a temperate climate or have a warm place to over winter the plant because it take about 1 1/2 to 2 years to produce a fruit. To grow a new pineapple from a top is easy. First twist the top off of the pineapple. Don’t cut it off, you don’t want any of the fruit left on the top because it will just rot. Look at the part you twisted off. The leaves will graduate in size from the base to the middle then smaller to the center of the cluster. Carefully peel off a few leaves from the base, maybe 10 or so. As you peel the tiny leaves off look at the stem and see if there are any rootlets between the leaves.
Try not to break them if possible, If your pineapple top doesn’t appear to have any rootlets or if they look dried out don’t worry.
Set the pineapple top aside for a couple of days. The part that was attached to the fruit needs to dry off and callus..After a couple of days you can plant the top with the rootlets down down in the ground or in a pot with rich soil. I haven’t ever found it necessary to use a root starting hormone or any extreme measures to start the plants. The only caution I found is that the top needs to dry a couple of days and not to have any fruit remnants that might cause rotting.
Pineapple plants are relatively drought resistant when established but need adequate water if you want fruit. They are an attractive member of the Bromeliad family with sword shaped leaves. The plant grows to be about 3 to 6 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Yes. there are different types of pineapple but usually will be clones of the fruit from which the top is removed.
I feed my pineapple plants about once a month with an organic plant food that is higher in nitrogen. Ants can be a problem especially the fire ants here in Florida. The only other real problem is an unusual one: hummingbirds! They love the pink and purple flowers that precede the fruit and are the pineapple plant’s natural pollinators. Pollinated flowers can produce a hard black seed in each section. Avoiding that issue is easy, just cover the plant with some fine netting when it is in bloom. Pollination is not needed to produce the fruit we know as a pineapple.
Next time you buy a fresh pineapple, try growing the top. Even if your weather is too cool the produce a fruit, the top will make an interesting and attractive plant. Let me know if you do try it!