I love propagating food scraps. I get to eat yummy foods, I get a plant and it’s eco-friendly!
One of my absolute favorite foods that can be turned into a plant is pineapple. Growing a pineapple from the top is super easy if you take the correct steps to prevent rot and allow roots to grow.
Reading: Growing pineapple from pineapple top
Keep reading for everything you need to know about planting a pineapple top and growing your very own pineapple bush!
Note: If going through the trouble of pineapple propagation seems like a bit too much work for you, you can also just buy your pineapple plant online. We don’t judge.
Growing a pineapple top step 1: Choose your pineapple
Some pineapples are easier to propagate than others. When selecting a pineapple, look for one with green leaves that have some healthy looking new growth already forming. Some dead leaves or brown leaf tips are no problem but the center should be healthy and the leaves should be firmly attached still.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time the best pineapple crowns are attached to pineapples that aren’t at their best stage for eating. The longer the fruit lays around to yellow, the more time the top has to decay. We obviously want to eat our pineapple as well, so try to find a happy medium! You can always make a smoothie if the fruit doesn’t taste as sweet as you’d like.
Be sure to inspect the pineapple top in question for bugs. I’ve occasionally seen scale or mealybugs on there, which is not exactly the healthy start I want my new pineapple plant to have.
Tip: I used a mini pineapple for my propagation project. Not all stores always sell them but I liked that they had healthier crowns than the larger ones.
Growing a pineapple top step 2: Preparing the crown
Once you’ve acquired your pineapple, it’s time to separate the part you want to grow from the part you want to eat.
The best way to remove this bushy part from the fruit seems to be to twist it off rather than using a knife. It can be a bit of a difficult task if the leaves are spiny like they were on mine, so consider wearing garden gloves to get the job done. Just twist gently until the top comes loose and try not to smash too many leaves while doing so.
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When you’ve got your pineapple crown, make sure there is absolutely no flesh left on it. Then, remove a few of the lowest leaves to expose the stalk. This allows the roots to grow more freely and helps prevent rot.
Leave the pineapple crown to dry for a few days. This is another step to help prevent rot.
Tip: If you look at the underside of the pineapple top, you’ll see little circles. That’s what we’re after: they’re the nodes that roots will be sprouting from.
Growing a pineapple top step 3: Propagation
Growing a pineapple from the top is possible through both water propagation and soil propagation. Whichever you prefer! I like the look of cuttings in pretty glassware, so I tend to propagate in water.
How to root pineapple in water
After preparing the crown, the easiest propagation method is to simply plop it into a glass of water. Place the container in a light and warm location and leave it alone aside from changing the water once a week or so.
Succes may or may not occur in about 2-5 weeks. The nice thing about growing a pineapple top in water is that you can actually see growth happening in real time!
Your propagation is a success if roots appear and no traces of rot or fungus seem to be present. Keep in mind that not all regrowing attempts work out: some pineapple crowns are just not destined for succes. Prepare to end up buying multiple pineapples and trying a few times before you manage to succesfully grow your own pineapple plant.
Once you’re happy with the root growth on your brand new pineapple plant, move on to planting it.
How to root pineapple in soil
You can plant your pineapple top directly in soil or leave it to grow roots in water first and then pot it up. Whichever method you choose, once it’s time for potting, choose an appropriately sized pot with a drainage hole. Use a well-draining soil with some gritty material such as bark or perlite to enhance drainage. Cactus soil works well.
Place the plant in a location with bright but indirect light at first and gently acclimate it to full sun. Pineapple plants like as much light as you can offer them, almost like a succulent or cactus.
Tip: If you planted directly in soil, it can be a bit difficult to see if your propagation attempt was successful. You can give the plant a very gentle tug to check if it has rooted yet: any resistance means success! Once you see new growth appear you can be sure that things have gone well.
Growing a pineapple plant step 4: Pineapple plant care
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Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a brand new pineapple plant. So now what?
Pineapple plant care is not too complicated. Keep in mind that these are tropicals that like lots of light and moisture, so place yours in the sunniest location you can offer. Water regularly enough to keep the soil lightly moist (but never wet or soggy!). As mentioned before, a well-draining soil type is important to avoid rot.
Humidity is important for a pineapple plant. If you know your home to be on the dry side, your pineapple might prefer living in a more humid area like the bathroom. Alternatively, you can boost humidity by using a pebble tray, grouping plants together to create a mini rainforest or running a humidifier.
Your pineapple plant will love growing outdoors during the warm summer months (or year-round in warmer climates), although you should take it back inside well before the first frost. During the growing season, you can apply a light houseplant fertilizer once every week or so.
How long for a pineapple to grow?
If you’re successfully managed to grow a pineapple from the top, you’ve obtained a decorative houseplant. But the question on everyone’s mind is probably: How long for a pineapple to grow?!
Yes, your brand new pineapple plant does actually have the capacity to fruit. Of course, in order to actually grow a pineapple, time and proper care are needed. The chances of a fruit appearing are greater if you grow your pineapple plant outdoors, at least during the summer months.
It will take a good while for a flower to appear, but at the two-year mark you can start keeping an eye out for one. After flowering, the fruit takes around 6 months to develop. You can separate it from the plant once the fruit starts to turn slightly yellow and emits a sweet smell. Just use a sharp knife to free it from the mother plant.
Be sure to repeat the propagation process using your home-grown pineapple’s crown, since the mother plant will unfortunately slowly die after fruiting. An unfortunate reality of growing Bromelias like Ananas comosum!
Update on my pineapple propagation attempt
It’s been well over a year now since I tested growing a pineapple from the top over here at Houseplant Central headquarters and I gotta tell you, these are super hardy houseplants!
Pineapple plants also grow very large. I’ve gotten to the point now where I have trouble finding a spot for mine because the leaves grow in all directions, but I’d say that’s a luxury problem. All in all, I can say that growing a pineapple from the top is super easy and a fun project that results in a lovely plant.
If you have any more questions about regrowing pineapple or if you want to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. And if you’re looking for more regrowing projects, why not consider one of the following?
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