For those of us who don’t live in an area with amazing tropical weather and exotic fruit trees growing in our front yards, here’s a little trick to bring the tropical feel to your home: a potted pineapple! It’s quite simple and immediately makes you feel like you’re on vacation in some tropical destination.
To grow your pineapple in your home, you don’t need any special seed. All you need is a ripe pineapple from the grocery store or market. You can tell it’s ripe by the yellowing color coming up from the bottom of the fruit and the pineapple should be firm but give somewhat with gentle pressing. You can also smell it — if it smells sweet you are good to go, if not, it’s probably not ripe yet.
To remove the top of the pineapple for re-growing, the best method is twisting it off — which is pretty simple. Just grasp the top firmly and begin to twist while putting a little downward pressure. You will feel the top start to give and twist right off the top. Twisting the top off like this allows you to get just the right parts for re-growth — any additional fruit or flesh will just rot during the rooting process, so it’s best to avoid cutting the top off.
Our main goal is this pineapple top to sprout roots for planting; we want to make it as easy as possible for them to have room to do so. For optimal rooting, begin peeling back the bottom leaves off the base — they should peel right off around the base and are perfect for pitching in the compost bin. Once you’ve peeled off enough bottom leaves to expose several layers of the pineapple base, just slice off the tip of the base to rid it of the excess fruit and expose more area for root nodules to come through.
Now that the top is prepped for sprouting roots, it’s time to submerge it in water. Fill the container with enough fresh water to cover the peeled back base of the pineapple. At this point, you are good to just place your pineapple top near a sunny window and wait and watch for roots to grow over the next several days. Make sure to keep the water fresh by changing it out every few days and keeping it filled to cover the peeled back base of the pineapple top.
You should notice root nodules beginning to pop out of the base and the green leaves beginning to grow longer and wider.
Once roots have fully formed, it’s time to plant the top in a soil filled container or outdoors if you live in a warm or tropical climate.
Keep the plant moist and warm. It needs a sunny, warm and humid environment. If conditions are dry, mist the plant regularly. You can keep the pot outside if you live in a warm climate. If you have cool winters take it indoors during the winter season and keep it in a sunny window. It’s important for the plant to get a lot of sun all year round. Give the plant food and water. Water the soil lightly once a week. Fertilize the plant with half-strength fertilizer twice a month during the summer.
It can take 1-2 years, but eventually a red cone should appear from the center of the leaves, followed by blue flowers and eventually a fruit. It takes about six months for the fruit to fully develop. The pineapple will be smaller than the ones you buy at the supermarket, but it will be much better.