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Planting Pineapple Tops: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Pineapple Plants at Home

Did you know that the leafy top of a store-bought pineapple can be rooted and cultivated into an attractive houseplant? By selecting a fresh pineapple from your local grocery store and following a few simple steps, you can enjoy a unique, tropical addition to your home. Opt for a pineapple with appealing or variegated foliage to make your plant even more special.

How to Grow Pineapples from Tops

Rooting and growing pineapple tops is a straightforward process. Begin by cutting off the leafy top of the pineapple about half an inch (1.5 cm) below the leaves. Remove some of the lowest leaves and trim the outer portion of the pineapple top at the bottom of the crown or stem until you expose the root buds. These buds appear as small, brown-colored bumps around the stem’s edge. Allow the pineapple top to dry for several days to a week before planting. This drying period helps the top heal and prevents rotting issues.

Planting Pineapple Tops

While it’s possible to sprout a pineapple top in water, most people find better success rooting them in soil. Use a light soil mix that includes perlite and sand for best results. Insert the pineapple top into the soil up to the base of its leaves. Water thoroughly and place the pot in bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist until roots develop, which usually takes about six to eight weeks. You can check for rooting by gently tugging on the top; if you feel resistance, roots have formed. Once significant root growth is evident, gradually increase the plant’s exposure to light.

Growing Pineapple Plants

Pineapple plants require at least six hours of bright light daily. Water your plant as needed, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. During spring and summer, you can fertilize your pineapple plant once or twice a month with a soluble houseplant fertilizer.

If desired, you can move the pineapple plant outdoors to a semi-shaded location during late spring and summer. However, bring it back indoors before the first fall frost to overwinter it. Pineapple plants grow slowly, so do not expect blooms for at least two to three years, if at all. However, mature pineapple plants can be encouraged to flower with a few techniques.

Encouraging Pineapple Plants to Flower

To promote flowering, lay the plant on its side between waterings to enhance ethylene production, a gas that induces flowering. Alternatively, place the pineapple in a plastic bag with an apple for several days; apples emit ethylene gas naturally. With some luck, your pineapple plant should begin flowering within two to three months.

Learning how to grow a pineapple top is an easy and rewarding way to enjoy the tropical-like foliage of these plants year-round. With a little patience and care, you can transform a simple pineapple top into a beautiful and exotic houseplant.

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