By Kelli from Sentani, Indonesia
Hardiness Zone: 10a
SMOODY from SACRAMENTO, CA
Just grab it by the leaves and twist it to break it off from the stem. Timing is important when picking pineapples, because once they are removed from the stem they will not ripen any further or get any sweeter. The outer shell color isn't always a good indicator of ripeness, in fact a pineapple can be completely green on the outside and still be ripe. Size isn't necessarily an indicator either. It just means that you have more pineapple that isn't ripe if you pick it too soon. Start by selecting a pineapple that is fresh and plump. The leaves should be green and fall off easily when you tug on them. Most ripe pineapples will have a pale orange complexion and the bottom of the fruit will have a pleasant, sweet smell. They are best when eaten immediately after being harvested, but will keep longer if stored in the refrigerator.
By Ellen Brown
I am growing a pineapple from a fresh pineapple. I am wondering the kind of soil it needs and how often to water. So far it has grown about 4 inches.
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Joyce from Laconia, IN
Pineapples grow in most soils, I live in Orlando and they grow in my slightly sandy soil, takes about two years to produce a pineapple.
I have a home grown pineapple plant and a strong wind broke its stalk. I have stuck the pineapple and old broken part of the stalk into the ground, it's green in color and about 4 inches around and 6 inches high. What should I do? Thanks.
By Sandy from FL
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Rodney from Dallas, TX
Yes! You can definitely start your own plant from the top of a store-bought pineapple. I would recommend starting with an organically grown pineapple, because it's likely to contain less chemical residues that could interfere with growth.
All you need to do to start is to grab the pineapple by the crown and twist off the top. A small portion of the stalk will remain attached. Let this piece dry out for a few days before you plant it to help prevent decay. After the crown has "cured", you'll want to strip the lower 1 inch of the stalk of its leaves or they'll rot when covered with dirt.
Fill a 6-inch pot with 2 parts potting mix and 1 part perlite (or peat moss). Place the crown piece on top of the soil mix and place it in a location with bright (not direct) sunlight (at least 5-6 hours per day). If you plant the stalk in the pot at an angle, so only part of it touches the soil, there is less chance of the stalk rotting. However, this is not necessary. Dipping the stalk-end in rooting hormone first is also optional. Keep the soil moist by misting it with water. You may want to cover the pot with a plastic bag to conserve moisture. Be patient. The stalk may root in as little as 2 to 3 weeks, but you may have to wait for several months before you see signs of new growth. Once you do, re-pot the rooted crown into a 1-gallon container filled with a well-drained growing medium.
Start fertilizing the crown once a month during the active growing season. Keep the pot outdoors during the summer and bring it inside for the winter. The crown should stay in this gallon-size pot for at least 1 year. After that you can move the plant to a 5-gallon container filled with well-drained soil and a bit of compost or well-rotted manure. Always keep the soil moist, but not wet. After yet another season (a total of 2 to 3 years time since planting), watch for small blue flowers. Three to 4 months after they appear you should have a pineapple.
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Twist the top off your pineapple. Do this by holding the fruit in one hand, the top in the other (you may want to wear gardening gloves for this) and twist the top in either direction. It will come out of the fruit with a stump on the bottom. Very carefully starting at the bottom, start pulling the leaves off, going around the whole stump. Pull several layers off, so that when you ultimately plant the stump there won't be any leaves touching the soil. Now, put the stump in water, making sure that the area where you pulled the leaves off is in water. This is where the roots will come out. After you have pulled the leaves off, you may see tiny white bumps. This is where the roots sprout from. Place it in a sunny windowsill, and in a few days you should see roots starting to sprout or at the very least, the tiny white bumps should be more pronounced. My last one only took two days to start sprouting roots.
After several weeks, when there are a bunch of roots, you're ready to pot it up. Use no more than a pot that is 6" wide, preferrably a clay pot, as they allow for better drainage and "breathing." Put a small piece of crockery or a small rock over the drainage hole, and use a good potting soil. Water it lightly. Don't place it in direct sun until it is established. Watch it so it doesn't get dried out, and just water again lightly when it gets dry. In a couple of weeks give it a gentle tug - - if there is resistance, then you know your plant has taken. From then on, just keep an eye on it. When you see roots starting to come out the bottom of the pot, you can go up a size with your pot. Now, since you are in Dallas (I lived there for 7 years), you'll be able to keep your plant outside most of the time. Bring it in if the temps are going way down, near freezing.
Now here's where the patience comes in. Both of mine that I grew in pots took two years to fruit. I've heard that this is normal. As your plant gets bigger, you will want to give some fertilizer occasionaly. Do not overfeed! When your plant is getting ready to fruit, if you look down into the center of the leaves it will look like there's a red golf ball in the center. This golfball will gradually get bigger and then it will change. At some point it will be covered with purple flowers and then you will notice that it is starting to come up out of the center on a stalk. After the purple flowers die off, you will notice that this "thing" is starting to take on a pineapple shape. Voila! Thats's your new pineapple. It takes about six months from the red golfball stage to the ripe fruit stage. Cut the fruit off and enjoy! They are sweet.
Each pineapple only makes one fruit, so after you cut the fruit off, you can keep your old plant if you want, but it won't really do too much of anything. However, you now have your new pineapple and you can plant that top and start the procedure all over again. It's fun. The one I'm growing right now came off of a fruit that I grew, which came off my first pineapple that I grew. Sorry this is so long winded.
Since you are in Dallas, I can tell you, the nurseryman who gave me these instructions worked at Sunshine Nursery and Greenhouse on Greenville Ave. (10/11/2006)
By Rodney Looney.
By Michael Grant
How can I start a pineapple top as a plant?
To start the plant, he cuts off the top part of the pineapple, leaving as little flesh as possible. Then places the top in the clay saucer of a flower pot, puts in some gravel, and adds water. If you keep it watered, it will slowly start to make roots. After there are many roots, you put it in some good rich soil, with some sand added to it. Then it will continue to grow. He has had some little pineapples to shoot up from the top.
This is not fool proof! Sometimes by using too much water, the top slowly died. And if he left too much flesh on the top, it would "rot" in the water, and die. But if this happened. We purchased another fresh pineapple, and started over, plus we got to eat that fresh pineapple! It is just trial and error. They really grew fast when outside on our deck in the summer. Have fun! (02/19/2010)