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I wondered if I could use that big top from a pineapple I had bought at the grocer's and so I researched and found out that I can grow a plant from it! Here's how you can too!
Total Time: Just moments to prep and plant and nature does the rest.
Cut the top "way back" to leave only the convex curved plug where the pineapple leaves meet at the top of the pineapple and peel off the outer leaves. See photos.
Plant in some potting soil and wait!
The few outer leaves may die off and that's fine. The new leaves start in the very center. This is the plant at about 1 and 1/2 months. It's just small now, but I wanted to share this while pineapples are still abundant in the grocery stores so you can start your own for some winter fun!
Before I put mine in the soil, I put it in a glass of water so the roots can start. You only want a small amount of water, so it doesn't cover any of the leaves. I've actually had mine in a glass with water for a year and just planted it in potting soil last week. Just cut off dead leaves as needed. It will NOT produce fruit!
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Hardiness Zone: 5b
Bubbasmom from Paris, Ohio
Find yourself a nice, fresh mature organic pineapple at the supermarket. Take the pineapple by the leafy crown and twist off the top (it will come off with a little bit of the stalk still attached). Seal off any openings from potential decay by letting it dry out for about 5 days. Then bare the stalk by removing the lower 15 or so leaves from the crown by pulling them in a downward fashion. If you see some tiny roots forming at the base of these leaves, try not to damage them. Success will ultimately depend on the stalk rooting, not rotting, so if you would like to, let the stalk dry for a couple of more days.
Start with a 6-inch pot filled with 2 parts potting mix and 1 part perlite or peat moss for drainage. If you prefer, lightly dust the stalk with a commercial rooting powder before planting. Place the pot in bright light(at least 6 hrs per day), but not direct sunlight and keep the soil warm and moist, but not wet. You may need to wait 2-3 months before seeing substantial roots and new growth.
When you see new growth (light green in color), repot to a gallon-sized container. Use less perlite/peat moss at this stage, and start fertilizing once per month during the growing season. You can put pots outside during the summer and bring them in to over winter. Plan on the plant remaining in a gallon-sized pot for at least 1 year.
If you have successfully reached this stage, you can move the plant into a five-gallon planter, adding in some manure or nutrient rich compost. Be sure to allow plenty of drainage and keep the soil moist, but not wet. After about a season at this stage you will see a large surge in growth. Watch for short-lived delicate blue flowers, followed by fruit in 3-4 months.
This is what I have done and what worked for me. First don't cut the top off the pineapple. Put on gloves to protect your hands and grab the top and twist it off. Yes, it will come off that way. Once the top is off, remove several layers of the lower leaves. You will notice little white bumps, these are where the future roots will emerge from. I then put the the top in a few inches of water on a sunny windowsil. The roots should start poking out within a week. Once you have a good growth of roots you can plant your cutting in a pot. Use a rich potting soil that will drain easily and not hold the water. Pineappples don't like to be soggy. Also, a clay pot is best. Cover the bottom drainage hole with a few pieces of broken pottery or some stones. Start out with a small pot, about 6" wide. When your top really starts to grow then you can go up a size on the pot. Keep your pineapple in full sun. Don't water too often. It will take a while before you get a pineapple, maybe 2 years or so. It's a long wait, but it is so worth it! I can't describe to you the thrill I got when I saw my first pineapple growing. It took about 6 months for it to fully emerge and ripen, but boy-oh-boy, was it ever delicious!
BTW, I have heard people say that you can just cut the top off of a pineapple and then plant it, but every time I have tried that, it has rotted. The twist off method works the best. This advice was given to me by a professional nurseryman.
I am going to try the twist off method. I have grown 6 pineapple plants and have cut each top off, let them dry after a few days and then put in water and then planted a week after that. Never had an issue, but twisting off sounds much easier and I don't lose any of the pineapple to eat. How far down did you cut yours?
I have done both to twist off and cut off methods. Long-term side by side, The Twist off and peel method has produced a larger healthier plant. When using the cutting method, I literally just cut off the first inch of fruit with the top and set it on top of the soil. Do not mess around with trying to start it in a glass of water. You are just wasting time when you could put it in dirt and enjoy it in your garden right away