Growing a pineapple from the store.

Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

I am a bartender and as such I routinely prepare pineapples for garnishes at my job. I live in Zone 5b, but I saved a top that looked healthy two years ago. I got it to root and I planted it in a 10" pot. Now it is 4' by 4' in my room as a decorative plant. I have put it outside every summer and It is thriving. However I did not follow common practice in getting it to live. The searches on the web tell me that I should not have succeeded in my endeavor. I took my plant home, tore off the bottom leaves and placed the crown in a pint glass of water in the sun and waited 5 weeks. The top put out roots and I planted it in it's pot with miracle gro potting soil, and since then it has been doing just fine. Since that time I have not been able to get a crown to become a house plant again, and my friends really want one. Did I just get lucky? I really want to be able to give my friends either advice or a plant that I have grown for their own household enjoyment, but I am failing at producing another plant. It is almost winter now, and I got mine to root by leaving it out in the July Illinois sun, but what are the chances that I can get the same results either in a window during an Illinois winter, or under grow lights in my basement, that I would get repeating the outdoor July treatment? I have found the pineapple plant to be very resistant to sunscald, I put it out on the deck straight from being in my room, and other than 3 or 4 leaves browning, it does just fine. Any help would be appreciated. I am a pepperhead at heart, tomatoes coming in at a close second, but I figure there are Bromeliad pros out there that could set me straight.
Thanks, Mike

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Mike,

I've had good luck at letting the cut (the very top of the pineapple with plantlet) callous for a few days, then placing it on top of Perlite in a vase with no drainage. I keep the Perlite wet but don't let the pineapple stand in water. I don't ever remember doing it in winter though since warmth and filtered sunlight would be best for starting these. After it roots, then it can be placed in a good potting mix with drainage. I let mine out for winter kill this year since I have no room for something that can be easily started. I will probably grow another one the next time we buy fresh pineapple.

Here is an attractive alternative that was purchased at one of the home building stores.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

I am a lazy gardener at home. I take my top, leave the 'fruit' or yellow flesh on, drop it in a half fullpot of good soil, bury it up to the second row of leaves, and water it lightly everyday until it starts to show growth. Water less often after it starts to grow and they like bright light or sun.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

let me try that image again.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Spooks in the computer world just ate 3/4 of that photo...ahh here it is, finally.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

And here are some I planted in the ground last spring, hope it has fruit next fall.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Melbourne Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I too just plop the tops in the ground. Here's a pic of one this summer -- look what I got from it!

-- Vicky

Thumbnail by vcb1
Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

I went to school with a Mike Kilhoffer. His family was great at growing football players =^)

This link http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/Pineapple/pineapple.htm is to a site that has step by step instructions, with pics, on how to grow a Pineapple from a top. Very easy to follow. Mine is still sitting in a glass of water with a ton of roots, and it's still growing.

If the link doesn't go directly to the right page, just scroll down on the home page and click on "grow a pineapple."

Good luck!
Heather

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Hey I have a question :
(I too just stick them in the ground and they grow on their own.)
but one of them had a baby already. I have several plants but only one had a pup.
Will they all reproduce like this?

also how tall and wide will they get?
Mine are still pretty small.

Melbourne Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Sylvia,
Pineapples are in the bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae) so they get pups -- that plant in the pic above has a pup now! If the plants are happy and healthy they will all eventually produce pups. The plant above is about 18 -20 inches across and about a foot high. Yours will grow come spring -- they like water (not water logged; they want to be well drained) and feeding. So make sure they don't dry out and feed them regularly. Mine are in full sun.

-- Vicky

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks vicky,
I knew they were in the brom family , but wondered would they have babies if I was the one to plant them. LOL
I have about 4 and only the last one I planted has a pup. the other ones that I've had much longer have none. so i was wondering what was going on.
Maybe it just needs time.

ty,
GG

Melbourne Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

The only one of mine that has had a pup so far is the one I've had the longest and it's the one I got the pineapple from last summer. The others that I planted last summer haven't pupped yet and they haven't pineappled yet either. I'm waiting to see what happens this summer. The pineapple one was one my mom had in a pot for about 6 months and when she moved in with me I planted it in the ground. That's when the pineapple began to grow.

So maybe it has something to do with either time (like you suggested) or putting out fruit. Let us know what yours end up doing and I'll do the same!

-- Vicky

Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

I forgot this thread was out there... It's three years later, and the houseplant pineapple is putting out fruit!
I hear that the plants die off after fruiting so I started a new top and it is just putting out roots after 3 weeks. Odd though, it chose to fruit in a south facing window in late January in central Illinois. Thanks for the replies and the advice.

Thumbnail by mikekilhoffer
Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

Another close-up of the same plant.

Thumbnail by mikekilhoffer
Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

And one more from the side....

Thumbnail by mikekilhoffer
Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

Pineapple normally fruits in the winter when the days are shorter. The mother plant dies after it fruits but like most bromiliads, it usually will put out baby plants before it dies. You will end up with fruit and several babie to plant.

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

Your pineapple looks great, I really enjoyed the pictures. I started my pineapple last spring and she's doing really well, I hope someday she will give me a fruit :>)
Christine

Coffs Harbour, Australia

I had my first fruit a couple of months ago. It was alot smaller than the store bought ones, but much tastier (in my opinion) I have put in another dozen or so tops, as they grow quite well in the vege garden here. Unfortunately, I didn't realise they would put out pups, and I threw the old plant out when it finished fruiting. Doh!

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Mike, you were not just lucky, you have stumbled upon a charactersitc of bromeliads in general. Here is the relevant info from the Bromeliad Society's website:

"With rare exceptions, bromeliads only flower a single time - once the plant stops producing leaves and produces its flower, it will not start making leaves again. It will, however, vegetatively produce new plantlets called "offsets" or "pups". These plants will feed off the "mother" plant until they are large enough to set roots of their own and survive as a separate plant. The mother may sometimes survive a generation or two before finally dying off. Pups are usually produced near the base of the plant - inside the sheath of a leaf. Sometimes, however, pups may be produced on long stolons or atop the inflorescence (flower spike) of the mother plant. The green, leafy top of a pineapple is in fact a pup that may be removed and planted to start a new plant."

Hammond, LA(Zone 8b)

Wow, I am glad I found this! I have a new project!

Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

nomosno - thanks for the info. I have added a page to my hobby/weather page just showing the pineapple as it matures. If anyone is interested it is on the "pineapple project" link at "http://sites.google.com/site/mkilhoffer/pineapple-home" I plan on updating it's progress as it matures.

This message was edited Feb 18, 2009 1:56 PM

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