Posted by Tim Vidra / February 8, 2013
How To: Plant & Grow a Pineapple Top
After successfully regrowing vegetables from their scraps like celery, Bok Choy, sweet potatoes and green onions, we got lots of requests and comments from folks who have also used these methods to regrow pineapples in their own homes — so what did we do? We are trying to regrow a pineapple we bought and ate from the grocery store with its leftover top!
After researching how it can be done on none other than Pinterest, it looks like growing a pineapple from the leftover top is fairly easy with just a few simple steps and a lot of patience. Evidently, once your plant gets going, it can take up to 2 years for it to bear fruit, so just like with our avocado tree, we are in this one for the long haul and hope to enjoy this little pineapple growing experiment as a house plant along the journey.
In our naivity, I have to admit, we always thought pineapples grew on trees, like coconuts, but in researching how to regrow them like we're attempting here, we learned they actually grow up from the center base of a single plant, like this:
Image by hiroo yamagata, via Twisted Sifter.
Pretty interesting, right? Seeing this field of pineapple plants helps makes sense out of why they can make such a great container house plant. It also makes us appreciate where these fruits come from and how long they take to grow — something to think about on the next trip to the grocery store.
So, let's get this thing started already!
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. Our pineapple was just at the point of final ripeness where the leaves were completely dried out, so you don't have to go by the look of ours if you have a fresher one with green leaves.
UPDATE: It turns out greener and fresher leaves work best! We tried growing our pineapple with fresher leaves in this post — see how it's doing here!
To remove the top of the pineapple for regrowing, the best method is twisting it off — which is pretty simple (I actually could have done it without the gloves). 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 regrowth — any additional fruit or flesh will just rot during the rooting process, so it's best to avoid cutting the top off. You should end up with something like this:
Since we are trying to get 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:
Poke 3-4 toothpicks along the base of the pineapple just above the area you peeled back and suspend the pineapple top from a clear glass container (you want to be able to watch the progress, right?):
Fill the container with enough fresh water to cover the peeled back base of the pineapple:
You should notice root nodules beginning to pop out of the base (within a few days to a week) 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. With water and sunlight, you should have a new pineapple beginning to emerge from the center of your plant in the coming months. We'll of course detail each of these steps and our progress as we get further along!
Right now, our little pineapple top is hanging out with the rest of its windowsill garden plant buddies, thinking about and mustering up the energy to sprout roots:
We're excited to have a new addition to our growing windowsill garden and are hoping to see some new life brought back to this dried out little pineapple top. We've got high hopes for it and you know us — we'll be sure to keep you updated on whether or not we're able to make any magic happen.
UPDATE: We're seeing success! See how our pineapple plant is doing in this update post!
Tell us, have you successfully re-grown a pineapple from it's top or are you in the process already? Were you able to get your plant to bear fruit? Maybe you're like us and just can't wait to try it out for yourself! Let us know in the comments section below.