I love a good pineapple. I also love to grow things. Therefore, it’s only natural that I try to grow pineapple in Idaho, right?
Before I get too far into this subject, I want to let you know upfront that this is an ongoing project. As new developments occur, I will post pictures to track the progress of my pineapple plants. 🙂
Growing a pineapple is no quick process. Sometimes it can take 2-3 years before your plant produces fruit. But, if you’re like me, then successfully growing the fruit will be enough of a reward to stick with it!
I started off with a pineapple I got from my local Bountiful Baskets site. It was pretty green, and we wanted to use the pineapple in some homemade pineapple salsa. So we were patient and waited for it to ripen up. By the time it was nice and ripe, the crown (top of the pineapple) still seemed in relatively good shape. So I decided I should try to add it to the 2 other pineapple plants I had already started to grow.
I usually start by cutting the crown off of the top of the pineapple as shown on the left.
Now you can’t pop the crown into your pot in this condition. The fruit will rot and kill your plant.
I like to trim the fruit down to a more manageable shape, usually a square. This way it doesn’t roll around and I don’t risk damaging the plant with my knife.
From here, you need to cut away the rest of the fruit so there is no rotting once it is planted. It is okay if some of the lower leaves fall away since you will be removing these anyway. After you’ve removed the fruit, then it will probably look something like the picture to the left.
Once the fruit is all cut away, thinly slice away at the bottom of the plant until you reveal the root buds. They look like small dots or lines as shown on the right. After you’ve exposed the root buds, you’ll want to pluck the leaves from the bottom of the plant about 1 inch. It’s not necessary to pluck these leaves, but they will die anyway and will have to be plucked then, if not now.
If you’re not ready to eat your pineapple yet, but are afraid that the crown will die before you are, you can also remove the crown another way, without cutting into the pineapple.
Carefully grab the crown in one hand and firmly grab the pineapple in the other. Twist and pull the crown away from the pineapple.
I’ve noticed some of them are more difficult to remove than others, so I prefer to use the cutting method above. As you can see, once the crown has been removed, you will still need to cut away any remaining fruit before going on to the next step.
Now you have a few more options. You can either fill a dish with water, and place the bottom of the plant in the dish until the roots grow. You also have the options of potting the plant right away. This is usually what I end up doing.
When selecting a pot, select a pot about the same size of the plant, with good drainage. Pineapples don’t like to be soggy. Use good potting soil and plant the base of the plant into the soil. You’ll want to place the pineapple plant in a place that gets a lot of sun and is safe from being tipped by pets or children. For the first little while, I like to make sure that the soil is moist, to encourage the buds to form roots.
It will take some time, but you can tell if your plant is rooting by gently tugging on it. If it moves easily, then keep waiting and watering. After some time has passed, (1-3 months or so) you will notice that it firmly has rooted itself. This seems to be different for each crown. I currently have 3 pineapple plants. One is about 5 months old, one is about a month old… and I just started my 3rd yesterday.
Above are my plants in order of their age. It seems like the oldest one has branched its leaves out a lot more, yet the middle plant seems to have better roots. The one on the right is the one I just planted.
After your plants have a root system, you really only need to water them about once a week. You don’t want to let them dry out, but you don’t want them to be soggy either. If the leaves start to turn really light green/yellow then you’re watering them too much.
You’ll start to notice new leaves develop and grow from the center of the plant. As the old leaves wither up at the base, you can gently tug them away. Since this is a tropical plant, you don’t want it to get cold. It will need to be inside during winter, but you can move it outside during the day. Just be sure to water the plant so it doesn’t dry out. They will grow the most during the summer months, and may require more water. During winter, the growing slows down quite a bit.
Once they are about 20 months old, you will start to notice more changes with your plant. This is around the time they will flower. The flower will only last a day before it starts to become a pineapple. As mine reach this state, I will be sure to add new pictures to this blog. If you decide to try this yourself, feel free to comment below and let me know how it’s going. 🙂
4-month update! (August 23, 2012)
Here is an updated picture of my pineapple plants. I moved them outside once the threat of frost was gone and they’ve loved it!! As you can see, I’ve added a few more to my group. 🙂 To give you an idea of their size, I set a 2 liter bottle of rootbeer next to the plants. The largest one on the left is the same plant as the one furthest to the left in the picture above taken in the window.
I realized it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this project of mine. My apologies, life has been busy! We’ve sold a home, purchased a new home, and added 2 children to our family. On February 18th of 2017 I noticed something fantastic! I was making my rounds watering the neglected plants throughout my home and found that the largest plant (shown above on the left) had finally sprouted a pineapple! I shouted in glee… which, as it turns out is not something you should do when you’re 9 months pregnant. Your husband will come running for reasons unrelated to pineapples. But there it was! The cutest little pineapple I ever did see. 😀
Here’s the pineapple on February 18th 2017. (Excuse my finger, I was excited)
March 10, 2017
April 26, 2017
May 18, 2017
The growth seems to be slowing down. This may be due to the fact that the last time I was trimming the plant and rotating it in the window that the pot broke and it fell to the ground. 😦 This particular plant has always had a weak root system. The roots broke during our move, but grew back. Most of the roots broke when the pot broke as well, but the plant seems to be doing alright. I hope that the pineapple isn’t stunted as a result but I will continue to post updates. Be VERY careful moving your plants because they may have a delicate root structure as well.