How to Plant & Grow Pineapple Top in 4 Easy Steps (With Photos)

Updated on July 11, 2018
greatstuff profile image

Mazlan acquired his love of gardening at a young age and it has been his passion for over 55 years.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is one of the healthiest food that helps you lose weight and prevent cancer. You can either eat them fresh, juiced, cooked or preserved. If you want them in your garden, this versatile tropical fruit is easy to grow. You chop off the top, plant it and leave it on its own. A few years later, you can harvest this tangy and sweet spiky fruit.

Is it that easy? Yup. And if you want to know how to grow a pineapple from its top, here's the guide. I have included photos as well for better illustration.

Have fun!

But before we go to that, ask yourself the following questions:

Pineapple planting infographic
Pineapple planting infographic

Which Pineapple Variety You Want to Plant?

There are several varieties available in the market. Decide which variety you want to plant. Is it for the fruit plant or an ornamental plant? Ornamental pineapple plants are showy. They have small red or pink fruits which are attractive but not flavorful.

This article is for the sweet and juicy fruit variety but the planting methods apply to the ornamental variety as well.

How to Tell if a Pineapple is Ripe

To enjoy the health benefit of pineapple, eat only the ripe fruits.

It is ripe when the color is yellow, which forms from the base up. Some varieties are ripe even if it is green color on the outside. So go to the next test; smells it. If it smells sweet, then it is ripe. It should also be firm but give in slightly to a soft pressing.

Other things to watch out for are:

  • no soft spots and bruises (signs of damaged fruit)
  • no darkened “eyes” (this is 'old' with soggy flesh).

An over-ripe pineapple is also not recommended. You can tell this if you can easily pull off the leaves.

How to Grow a Pineapple from Top in Four Easy Steps

Now that that is out of the way, follow these four easy steps to plant it in your garden or have it indoor.

#1: Get a Fresh Pineapple & Cut the Top Off

Once you bring the pineapple home, cut off the leafy top part (about an inch below the leaves). This top is now ready for peeling, drying, and planting.

Some people prefer to twist the top off. To do this, wrap the leafy top with a piece of cloth. Hold it firmly and with a hard twist pull off the top (like unscrewing a lid from a jar). This method gives you less excess flesh to remove.

I prefer the 'cut the top' method as it is a lot easier even if the fruit is not that ripe.

#2: Remove Excess Fruit Flesh & Strip the Lower Leaves

Remove the excess fruit flesh and slice the bottom part of the crown. This will expose the root buds, which look like small dots.

Next, remove some of the lowest leaves. Not too many, though, as you do not want to expose too much of the root buds. In some of the internet articles, they ask you to peel off about an inch from the base. If you do this, it claimed that the additional exposed area has better chances for the root buds to sprout through.

I don't agree as I had no problem with my method of removing only the lowest leaves without having to expose an inch from the base.

Note: Make sure all fruit flesh is removed from the base. This will prevent the plant from rotting.

#3: Let it Dry Out for a Few Days

After removing the leaves from the stalk, let it dry for two to three days. This will allow the wound or the cut end to dry and heal. This is another step to prevent rot.

#4: Planting

After the top or stalk has dried, you can proceed to plant.

Some people will root sprouting the stalk in water before planting. But this might lead to a moldy or rotting plant.

Plant Directly Into the Ground

I prefer to plant it directly into the ground. I get good results for all the pineapples planted this way. See photo below of my one-year-old plants. Their roots do not need much room, so you can plant them in flower pots as well.

If you plant them in pots, get a 10” flower pot or bigger. Repotting may damage the roots so I prefer to plant directly into the bigger pot. Use sandy soil mixed with organic matter.

If you prefer to re-pot then use the 6" flower pot instead. Wait for about three months before re-potting.

How to Grow Pineapple from Top
How to Grow Pineapple from Top

Water and Sunshine

Pineapple plants prefer a well-drained soil, so do not over water the plants. Keep the soil slightly moist and not waterlogged. Water the root area and the center part of the plant i.e. at the rosette whorl of leaves.

Use water-soluble fertilizer to feed the plant. Dosage as per your fertilizer-brand instruction. I use Miracle-Gro fertilizer for all my plants and I am pleased with the results.

Pineapple is a tropical fruit and the plant needs lots of sunshine. So choose a spot in your garden that receives the most hours of sunshine, ideally for at least six hours.

If you want them indoor, find a location that has full sun for most of the day. It is also advisable to do daily misting to raise the room humidity.

Pineapple plants that I planted near my house
Pineapple plants that I planted near my house

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Pineapple

Ananas is a slow-growing plant and a late-bloomer. It will only bloom after two to three years. It will take another three months or more before you can harvest the fruit.

What Can I Do If It Is Not Blooming?

You can induce pineapple plants to bloom by exposing it to ethylene gas using over-ripe apples. Wrap the plant in plastic together with a few over-ripe apples close to the rosette whorl of leaves. The decompose apples will release the ethylene gas which will then induce flowering.

Or you can induce it chemically by using two small pellets of calcium carbide mixed in a cup of iced water. Pour this mixture into the center part of the leaves.

More Photos to Help You Grow Pineapple from Top

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Green Pineapple Variety that is Ripe Despite its Green ColorSlice the Bottom to Expose Some of the Root BudsAlternative method to cut the crown is to twist the top like unscrewing a lid from a jarDon't Remove too Much of the Lower leaves as You Don't Want to Expose too Much of the Root BudsTwisting the pineapple top method gives you less excess flesh to removeOrnamental Pineapple with Pink Leaves and Pinkish Red Fruit
Green Pineapple Variety that is Ripe Despite its Green Color
Green Pineapple Variety that is Ripe Despite its Green Color
Slice the Bottom to Expose Some of the Root Buds
Slice the Bottom to Expose Some of the Root Buds
Alternative method to cut the crown is to twist the top like unscrewing a lid from a jar
Alternative method to cut the crown is to twist the top like unscrewing a lid from a jar
Don't Remove too Much of the Lower leaves as You Don't Want to Expose too Much of the Root Buds
Don't Remove too Much of the Lower leaves as You Don't Want to Expose too Much of the Root Buds
Twisting the pineapple top method gives you less excess flesh to remove
Twisting the pineapple top method gives you less excess flesh to remove
Ornamental Pineapple with Pink Leaves and Pinkish Red Fruit
Ornamental Pineapple with Pink Leaves and Pinkish Red Fruit

Trivial Fact - Pineapple for Abortion

In the Orient, a pregnant woman is not allowed to eat pineapple, especially the UNRIPE GREEN fruit. Whether fresh or in juice form it is strictly no as it can cause spasm for the uterus that leads to miscarriage. Young ladies take advantage of this fact for their do-it-yourself abortion.

This old wives' tale is now scientifically proven to be correct. Ananas has Bromelain that can make uterus soft and can kill the fetus.

How to Propagate More Plants

Besides planting from top, you can use suckers that come out in the axil of the leaves for growing new plants. Likewise, for suckers that come out below the fruit.

For large scale plantation production, they use the in-vitro micropropagation techniques.

How Big Does the Plant Grow?

Pineapple plants usually grow up to only 3 feet but can go as tall as 5 feet and 4 feet wide.

Will The Plant Dies After Fruiting?

Yes, it will.

But you can re-grow from the suckers that come out at the base of the plant and below the fruit.

More Trivial Fact - Pineapple as Meat Tenderizer

Bromelain is a natural meat tenderizer and ananas is loaded with this enzyme. But don’t leave the meat too long in the juice as bromelain will make it mushy. Use it just before cooking and the meat is firm enough to chew to enjoy the flavor

Loves to Hear From You

Do you have any success, failure or tips to share on pineapple planting? Did it bear any fruit? Or you are now thinking of trying.

Do you still have the problem on how to tell if a pineapple is ripe?

Whichever is the case, we love to hear from you.

Let us know in the comments below.


See How Dole Plant Their Pineapple

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I planted a pineapple top about eight months ago in an average sized pot. Surprisingly, it has taken off and is outgrowing it. Should I transplant it into a bigger pot or the ground?

    A bigger pot is okay but if you transfer it to the ground, the plant grows better and from my own experience, you get bigger fruits. Of course, the standard fertilizer application applies to both planting in pot or ground.

  • Before I read your article, I had twisted the top off my pineapple. It has a small point protruding from the top and I don't know if that is flesh or roots. It's been trying for 2 days now. Do I cut the tip to make it flat or can I plant it as is? The tip is dry & looks like swirls of roots.

    If it is dry you can plant as it is and it should not be a problem. But I usually cut it off.

  • I have a pineapple that is leaning to one side. Do I stake it straight?

    Yes, you can do that. The plant fruit stem may not be strong enough to hold the heavy pineapple fruit so that's why you have the pineapple leaning to one side

© 2016 Mazlan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      9 months ago from Malaysia

      Andrew, Not sure of your climate condition but in our hot tropical country, I still fertilize with potassium (K) for fruit development and ripening. If your soil condition is good and you have applied a good amount of fertilizer during the growth stage, then you can skip it during the fruiting stage ( cost of fertilizer is not cheap any more)

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Growing two pineapple plants at different stages. I am aware that you can fertilise the plant during the summer periods. The mature one is fruiting, I wanted to know should you fertilise the plant during fruiting.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      10 months ago from Malaysia

      sqhetti girl, I did not notice these insects at the pineapple plant that I grew. But water might collect and stays at the leaves/stalk section and this might attract mosquitoes. So try to keep them dry a few hours alter after watering the pineapple plant.

    • profile image

      sqhetti girl 

      10 months ago

      when an if lol i can grow my pineapple per your way.. id like to put on my porch at certain sun hours.. will the pineapple cause lots of insects to come .. Ants, bee,s. misquitos any other insects i should look for .??

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      18 months ago from Malaysia

      Yes you can trim the pineapple leaves, Roberta. Make sure you use a proper shear of sufficient length and also to wear gloves to protect you from possible injury from their sharp spines.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      I have 7 plants in different stages growing. I harvested one 6 months agO so know it takes quite a while. My qUestion is can you trim of some of the fronds and not damage it

      some of them are very large and prickly when you walk by

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi Bob, thanks for dropping by and thanks for the compliment.

      You are actually in the tropics and it will be great if you can also share some of your gardening experience.

      Hope to see them soon!

    • profile image

      Bob Norris 

      19 months ago

      It's great actually having someone who lives in the tropics writing about plants. Most gardening topics are mostly about temperate zones. I live in Cooktown which is 15 degrees south of the equator.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi, Valene. Yes, you have to bring the plant indoors in winter and place it where it will get the most hours of sunshine. It is very easy to plant pineapple and you should give it a try. Then share your story here at HP. :-)

    • Valene profile image


      2 years ago from Missouri

      I got to see a pineapple plantation in Costa Rica and up until then, I thought pineapples grew on a tree, not out of a bush on the ground! I would love to try this. Do you bring the pot in the house in the winter, I assume?

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Good idea! I might just do that.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      I have a friend who tired this and the plant is now about three feet tall with tiny pineapples growing on it. I can see how this would be fun to do for families. Thanks for sharing the steps.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi, BlossomSB. Thanks for sharing your childhood experience with planting pineapple top.

      I have read of people in the US who had success by bringing the pineapple plant (in a flower pot) indoors during the cold seasons. Maybe you should give yourself a try and then write a hub on your experience!

      Have a great day.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      When we were children sometimes our mother would give us the pineapple top to grow on some cotton-wool. It was fun and stayed alive for a long time, but never resulted in a plant that would grow more pineapples. I'd like to try this, but I'm not sure it would work in our climate, as it can get quite cold in the winter.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)