Friday, 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:


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 (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.

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73 comments:

  1. Omg, this is SO exciting. I just have to try it. I feel like going to the grocery store right now to get a pineapple of my own. Thank you for sharing this!

    xx Kaisa

    http://reindeertrails.blogspot.com.es

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  2. Our neighbor has done this and actually had his very own little pineapple sprout up! It took some time for it to happen, but I have seen it done.

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  3. How exciting !

    I will try I am sure :)

    Thanks :)

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  4. My plant is at least 2 years old... I didn't track my timing very well, did I? No fruit, yet, but I also live in Washington state. The idea of it even flowering seems improbable. Good thing it's already pretty!

    https://twitter.com/no_entry_here/status/323222716192788480/photo/1

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    1. I live in WA state also. Is your plant inside or outside all year? Thanks! Heather

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  5. Cant wait to try this! I live in the desert, wonder if thats to much sun?

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    1. I live in Phoenix and have tried this with two pineapple tops. They're a little over a year old and have been doing great! I have them in pots on the west side of my yard so they get the morning sun, but get covered by my lemon tree's shade by noon. I'd definitely recommend the try. :]

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  6. my brother told me to do this two days ago.. and now I have a pineaple in my fridge waiting to be eaten and planted!

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  7. I already putted them in water : ) Can't wait to see the fruit!! : ) We bought 10 of pineapples
    (they were $1 each in Fred Mayer) and now I have a little pineapple farm on my balcony : ) One of them was in the refrigerator for a few days...hope it will still survive... We live in Washington but now it's really warm outside. I will keep pineapples outside for now, but for the night and bad weather going to take them inside : )

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  8. This is so exciting! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm in the process of growing my own celery and pineapples now, with your help.

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  9. I clicked on this to just see about it. Now I can't wait for stores to open so I can run out to get a few pineapples. The plant itself looks cool even w/o fruit on it so I am totally doing it today. I have a greenhouse house in my backyard so I will stat it in there. I love the fact that I can start it from the fruit we eat anyway. Last year we have pumpkins growing in front yard from a halloween pumpkin decoration that just got rotten. Kids thought that was the coolest thing. They are goin to love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so glad now I clicked on this.

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  10. I have done this and after 18 months I have a small pineapple growing from the center. I wonder how big it will get and whether I can eat it.

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  11. Did this last year but used a different method. During a visit to the Big Pineapple (in Australia) they tell you to do pretty much as you have done with a slight diference. Instead of putting it in water afer you peel away the lower leaves, you leave it outside for 3 -4 days to let it dry out a little, and then you plant it directly into the ground. Has gone well so far in the pot I planted it in, has gotten bigger and am about to plant it in the garden.

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    1. I am try to grow a pineapple tree and i saw the tree was growth and

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  12. my husband told me to do this and at first i didn't believe him and thought he was trying to be funny, so i googled it and found this!! now i am giving it ago, i too thought they grew on tree's lol!!

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    1. We were not really familiar with pineapples either so do not feel bad! Good luck on yours!

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  13. A friend was going to throw out her top when I had the idea to try. Living in Spain most things grow. I don't buy tomatoes very often, I plant mouldy ones and they grow from there. Last year I had 4 different varieties from one mouldy beef tom, squashed into a tub of compost and water. That's it, now I have 14 plants from one cherry tom, we'll see what happens, they are in flower just now and I squashed it late April.

    Good luck all us avid gardeners.

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  14. I have a question, I have done this, and I am eating a most delicious pineapple as I type this! The plant remaining is very healthy, will it reproduce another? I have not seen any comments about this anywhere?

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    1. Yes, unfortunately you will only get one pineapple per plant.

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    2. Was reading what you wrote, my brother called me, and said he has three, did I want one? I said yess. than he reply'ed, how do I keep them threw winter? can you help me?

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    3. We have seen people plant these in a large pot and have them indoors as houseplants. Hope that helps!

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  15. I am sure i will try this, That's truly great learning for me, Thanks for it..

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  16. I got a pineapple today, and I am trying this method. It seems a good for success. In addition, the pineapple I purchased came with some roots. So, I think this pineapple top will grow well. Thank for a great method.

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  17. I started doing it my plant already grew some roots but how long do they need to be to be transplanted? theyve been in water for a week and a half or maybe two weeks now.

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    1. Alejandra, We believe you are ready to transplant! Good luck and be sure to send us a photo once you have a pineapple!

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  18. About three weeks ago I stuck a pineapple top and a glass of water and forgot about it today I have a small pineapple which has appeared in the center where can I send you the pictures

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    1. Don't know if I should just leave it in the water or try to plant it at this time

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    2. You can reach us through our contact page. We would be happy to take a look.

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  19. I tried this while living in Florida with no avail. I'm currently in Arizona & have successfully rooted TWO pineapple tops. They haven't fruited yet, but they're growing steadily!

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  20. I have waited two years for my plant to produce a pineapple. I was so excited when it did recently but devastated to know it will take about six months to reach maturity, by then I would have moved house so will not be eating it.

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  21. Do you think I could transplant it? By the way I live in Australia.

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    1. We do not see why you could not transplant it.

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  22. i made it, but it dried and became stale. do you know why?

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    1. Not really sure and we have certainly had several of those happen to us! We just kept trying until we got one to take!

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  23. Why do we need to poke 3-4 toothpicks along the base of the pineapple? Sorry, I don't get it :(

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    1. You just want a small portion of the pineapple in the water. The toothpick allows for you use those as anchors to the glass so it does not just complete submerse itself in water. Hope this helps clarify.

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  24. So it's been almost a year. Is there an update? :)

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  25. You don't actually have to root the top in water first. it can be planted directly in soil. I use regular potting soil, put it in a sunny place and give it plenty of water. It does take two years to get a new pineapple but worth the wait.

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  26. I have a plant about 2 1/2 years old, in a pot, and has a fruit now. However the leaves are looking very wilted. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

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  27. I just started my first one! *fingers crossed*

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  28. I am so happy after many years with my pineapple plants I finally have two with fruits and one with blossoms! Hang in there it's worth it!

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  29. I am so happy after many years with my pineapple plants I finally have two with fruits and one with blossoms! Hang in there it's worth it!

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  30. Just started one today. As for anon up there Pineapples need specific nutrients, make sure it is getting all of them.

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  31. I did the exact steps you mentioned a few weeks ago. I used an over ripe pineapple. I thought it wasn't going to work because the pineapple was almost going bad, it was a really soft fruit. But I'm excited, I see roots poking out. Now I'll have to wait until the roots grow long enough to plant in the pot of soil. Btw this is the first time I plant anything. So I'm super excited. Thanks a bunch!

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  32. Pineapples can take up to three years from the time that they're planted, to the time that they bare matured fruit...

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  33. What happens after you harvest the fruit though? Will the plant die or does it just become a decoration?

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  34. Once the plant has fruited it will die. It should produce new little babies beforehand though called suckers. These grow between the leaves and are twisted and pulled off just like the pineapple top. Then you plant them.

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  35. I did it! Followed your instructions, but the pineapple tops sat in the water for weeks and weeks. Finally I was ready to give up but thought, let's just plant them. They both took roots, and I just saw today that one has 'sprouted' for a lack of better term. A little leaf stem is poking out just between the old leaves. Now what ? :)

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  36. I have successfully grown a pinespple...outside though. Took about 5 years to get a pineapple it was small but juicy. I planted Theo tip of IT as well abd now gave a 3rd Generation growing this one only took a out 2 years. This fruit is about 2 months since it was visible.

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  37. Hi, I have placed my pineapple top in the water and am excited to see what happens next.

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  38. We just ate the pineapple that my granddaughters started in late 2012. The plants are in containers and grew well. We live in Florida so are outside all year. All those little suckers aren't fruit and need to be planted?

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  39. i have been growing my pineapple top for 3.5 years and got my first fruit in jan 2014. she is approaching 6 months old and is aproximately 10 inches from bottom to top of crown. it has also grown 2 extra plants and has a sip about 4 inches tall growing right off the pineappple itself :) I live in Norfolk Virginia and plants are my love. So im wondering how much longer before i can cut it off the stalk???? She is still green on the crown and the fruit itself is still green and somewhat hard. doesnt smell yet and has been outside for 2 months now. Does it need more sun???

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    1. We would hate to guess on this one without seeing it but congratulations on getting fruit!

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    2. How do you know when to cut the fruit from the plant?

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  40. I planted my pineapple top 3 years ago. It's outside all year, partial sun, (live in Mexico) and thisyear I finally have a fruit. The plant is quite larger and I just noticed a new fruit starting to develope. I best harvest the first one, it's ready for the table.

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    1. Yay, thanks for checking in and letting us know.

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  41. My pineapple plant has a small pineapple on it, but as it gets bigger it is hanging farther and farther over. Do I need to prop it up to keep the fruit off the ground?

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  42. I planted the top and the pot is only 6 inches across. Will I need to put the top in a larger pot later? I live in Missouri and will be an indoor plant in the winter

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    1. It will probably be a while before you but yes, eventually you will. Good luck!

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  43. I took my top that bye the way looked totally dead and just put it in dirt about a week ago after reading this post I went to check on it and it is getting new leaves in the center of it so I up rooted it and removed the rest of the fruit and some of the lower limbs hope I didn't hurt it but I will see, it already has roots granted small ones so I tried not to hurt them

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    1. Great! Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

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  44. We just had the freshest, sweetest pineapple ever! My husband planted the top from the pineapple they served me for Mother's Day 8 years ago. Took a while to bear a fruit but it was so exciting to watch it grow. I've never had a pineapple where we picked it, peeled it, and ate it within seconds! Wow!! Now I'm going to plant the top from our own pineapple!

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  45. Replies
    1. We would love to see a picture and you can email to 17apart@gmail.com or post it directly to our Facebook page:

      https://www.facebook.com/17ApartBlog

      So happy this worked for you!

      Best, Tim and Mary

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  46. once you have a plant going, it may produce suckers from the base. you can use these by cutting them off and sticking them in the ground to grow another plant that will produce MUCH quicker.

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  47. Just cut the top of the pineapple off leaving some of the brown part. Stick in a pot with some good potting soil and it will grow. I have two of them growing right now

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