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

Updated on September 2, 2016
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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 can help you lose weight and even prevent cancer. You can either eat them fresh, juiced, cooked, or preserved. If you want them in your garden, this versatile tropical fruit is actually easy to grow. You chop off the top, plant it and leave it on its own. A couple of months later, you can harvest this tangy and sweet spiky fruit.

Is it that easy? Yup. And if you really want to know how to grow pineapple from 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:

Which Pineapple Variety You Want to Plant?

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

How to Tell if Pineapple is Ripe?

It is ripe if the color is yellow, which forms from the base up. Some variety is 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.

Grow 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 even have them indoor.

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

Once you bring it 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. But if you read in most internet articles they ask you to peel off about an inch from the base. Hence, you get more area for the root buds to sprout through. I find better success if I don't do that.

Note: Make sure all fruit flesh are 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. In some cases, root sprouting may result in 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 these 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.

Water and Sunshine

Pineapple plant prefers a well-drained soil, so do not over water the plant. 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.

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.

When Can I Harvest?

Ananas is a late-bloomer and 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 it 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 to 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?

It can grow as tall as 5 feet and 4 feet wide. Most of the varieties will average about 2 to 3 feet tall.

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.

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.

Loves to Hear From You

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

Whichever is the case, we love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

Cheers.

See How Dole Plant Their Pineapple

© 2016 Mazlan

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    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 10 months 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

      Valene 10 months 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 11 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Good idea! I might just do that.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 11 months 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 image
      Author

      Mazlan 11 months 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 11 months 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.

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