So, you’d like to start a garden. Maybe you’d like to save some money at the grocery store or teach your children where their food comes from and encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables.
A great place to start is to learn how to grow a pineapple! You don’t even need seeds to get started!
I can assure you that you will be amazed at how simple the process is and will probably wonder like I did why you haven’t been growing pineapples for years already.
Why should we even bother to learn how to grow a pineapple anyway? Isn’t that what the state of Hawaii is for?
Actually, learning how to grow a pineapple and other plants like it that easily grow from cuttings is important to teach our children while they are living under our roof the basics of growing their own food.
Gardening is also a life skill that helps manage stress, gets us in touch with nature, and fosters a sense of accomplishment that anyone can enjoy at any age.
With pineapples, the process is so simple because you don’t even need to buy potting soil or seeds. A new pineapple plant will grow right from the top of an existing one in poor quality soil. It will also grow in full sun or partial sun and doesn’t need a lot of water either.
Pineapple Health Benefits
Why start a garden by learning how to grow a pineapple? Well, pineapples are very tasty for one thing as well as nutritious.
They also make a great ornamental plant while you are waiting for them to fruit so they are highly practical for landscaping purposes too.
Pineapple contains significant amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (thiamine, the appetite vitamin) and the mineral manganese, an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important for energy and antioxidant defense of the body.
Bromelain, however, is the extract for which pineapple is probably known best. Bromelain is a group of enzymes that treat indigestion and reduce inflammation, which is no doubt why pineapple has been used traditionally for such purposes in ancestral societies in Central and South America.
Ready for the full details about how to grow a pineapple plant for your very own? The shockingly easy steps are as follows along with a video how-to from my kitchen.
How to Grow a Pineapple
There are six easy steps to successfully grow a healthy pineapple plant.
- The most important task is to buy a pineapple that is the best quality you can afford. I would suggest going organic.
- Make sure the pineapple top is nice and green and not partially brown and/or wilted.
- Hold the bottom part of the pineapple firmly with one hand and using the other hand, quickly twist off the top. It’s not hard and won’t take much strength.
- The next step is to cut off the bit of fruit flesh still attached to the pineapple top. This will expose the root buds as I demonstrate in the video below.
- Remove the small leaves around the bottom of the pineapple top in order to expose an inch or so of the crown or stem.
- Push the exposed stem of the pineapple top into the soil and firmly press down on the dirt around it so that it stands up straight. I don’t advise putting the top in a glass of water to grow roots first before planting. This doesn’t work well in my experience.
If you are more of a visual learner, this video demonstrates the six steps above.
How to Care for Your Newly Planted Pineapple Top
Pineapple leaves are hardy and in the early months after planting, the leaves will be the primary source of nourishment, so be sure to fertilize gently via the leaves with a diluted, liquid fish or seaweed emulsion.
Mulch around the top to minimize evaporation from the soil and water as needed taking care that the soil can drain properly. Pineapples don’t need much water and don’t like soggy soil so be sure not to overdo.
How Long From Top to Fruit?
On average, it will take about 2 years for the top of a store bought pineapple to produce fruit. Although this may seem like a long time, remember that pineapple plants can be used for lovely ornamentals along footpaths or driveways in the meantime as they can get rather large (3 feet high and 3 feet across). Be sure to plant them no closer than a foot apart.
By caring for your pineapple tops well, you can shorten up the time to fruit so that they produce flowers as quickly as possible.
Once a pineapple flower appears, it takes another 6 months to ripen.
While pineapples will grow in most any climate, they don’t like frost to make sure to protect them from exposure in colder months. They also don’t like concentrated fertilizers so stick with compost or organic liquid fertilizers.
Tropical Permaculture, Growing Pineapples
Pineapple plants grow slips and suckers. Well, not always but if the growing conditions are good.
Most people prune those to encourage fruit growth on the original stalk.
If you let them grow by either just leave them be or by pruning and planting the suckers you get more fruit. Each sucker will grow one fruit.
From my experience, after the original stalk gave fruit, it will not grow another one.
Farmers also pull the plant out of the ground after it gave fruit. They may have a different reason though.
Hi Sarah, that was amazing! I never knew that about pineapples. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m sure there are quite a few people that didn’t know that about pineapples…that they can be grown that way. Wow!!