How to grow a pineapple from a pineapple top is a simple process. Here’s a step by step guide to growing a pineapple in a container.
The pineapple is a well recognised symbol of hospitality and as a Cocktail/Spirit, Food and Travel Writer with a strong penchant for cocktails, growing my own pineapple was a priority on my list.
About a year ago, I was making tepache, a fermented drink made from pineapple skin and I was left with a pineapple top. In the interest of sustainability and minimising waste, I started looking at what I could do with it beyond using the leaves as cocktail garnish. This exercise led me to attempting to grow my first pineapple.
The pineapple plant is a type of bromeliad. Growing a pineapple plant from a pineapple top is so easy, anyone living in a warm climate with a lot of sun can do it. Waiting for the fruit to form is an exercise in patience. It can take up to 2 years to fruit but it doesn’t need much care and you end up with a beautiful plant.
How to Grow a Pineapple from Pineapple Top – A Step by Step Guide
1. Look for a ripe pineapple with a decent sized top.
2. Cut off the crown. Chop it or twist it off and remove any remaining flesh and bottom leaves, leaving a clean stem.
3. Using toothpicks secured in three spots around the base, float the pineapple top on a jar full of water.
4. Place it on a windowsill and change the water daily. Tip: don’t throw out the water, use it to water your indoor plants.
5. Roots will soon start to form and once they’re about 10 cm long, it’s time to get planting.
6. Fill a large pot (30 cm wide or more) with quality potting mix, make a hole big enough and plant the top.
7. Add a good layer of sugar cane mulch on top and give your new plant a good watering.
8. Put it a spot in the garden that’s sheltered and gets the sun most of the day.
Another method is to leave the cut pineapple to dry for about a week, and covering the cut with powdered sulphur to stop it from rotting then planting it in soil. I have not tried that method so I can’t relate my experience.
Tips for Growing Pineapple
Pineapple like full sun, free draining soil and don’t need much water so only water your plant about once a week. If you overwater, the plant will show signs of stress and can end up with root rot.
That’s exactly what happened with my first attempt at growing a pineapple. The leaves looked scorched and developed brown tips. Once I realised I had overwatered the plant, I gently removed it from the pot, put it in shade and left the roots to dry out for a while. I then repotted it in fresh dry soil. Since the roots were still wet, I only watered it every 7 to 10 days. It took some time to show signs of recovery and as you can see in the photo below, the new growth in the middle is looking green and healthy.
Growing a pineapple is a simple process. Buy one with a nice top, cut it off, float the end in water to grow roots then plant it in good quality soil. It’s really that simple.
Here’s an update on my pineapple plant taken on February 9, 2021.
Want to Know More?
You’ll find more information on how to grow pineapple, which varieties to try, how to pair it with food and spirits, and how to use pineapple in cocktails including a full recipe in my 260+ page digital book GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN available now.