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How to Plant the Top of a Pineapple

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How to Plant the Top of a Pineapple

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Overview

Most people discard the leafy top when working with a whole, fresh pineapple in the kitchen. However, if you hang onto that portion of the fruit you can grow a unique houseplant. When planted in a clay pot, these leafy sections can take root. Though pineapple plants grown from the top of the fruit rarely reach the point where they can produce fruit, they are hardy enough to do well indoors for an indefinite amount of time as long as they receive adequate water and sunlight.

Step 1

Lay the pineapple on its side and slice off the top of the fruit about 1/2 inch below the leaf cluster. Set aside the bottom of the fruit.

Step 2

Trim away the excess flesh from the pineapple top with a sharp knife, leaving just the cylinder-shaped core connected to the bushy leaves. Strip off the bottom few leaves from the top.

Step 3

Fold several paper towels into a rectangle and rest the pineapple top on the paper towels. Leave the top out in a cool, dry place for up to a week to allow it to dry out. A pineapple top that is still moist or sticky will rot once it's planted.

Step 4

Fill a clay pot with coarse sand and slide the pineapple top, core down, into the sand. Bury the top up to the base of its leaves and water it lightly, until the sand is just damp. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight.

Step 5

Water the sand lightly each day for six to eight weeks, or until the pineapple top develops roots. After about two months turn the pot on its side and, gripping the plant gently beneath the base of the bottom leaves, slide it from the pot. Dump out the remaining sand.

Step 6

Fill the pot with well-drained potting soil mix and slide the plant into the soil, burying it up to the bottom leaves. Water the plant lightly, then place the pot in indirect sunlight.

Step 7

Water the pineapple top plant lightly each day. After two to three weeks, move the pot to a warm spot with direct sunlight. Treat the plant with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer twice a month in late spring and summer, and once a month in the fall, winter and early spring. The plant can be moved outdoors in late May, but must be moved back indoors before the first frost.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towels
  • Clay pot with a drainage hole
  • Coarse sand
  • Clay saucer
  • Well-drained potting soil
  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Iowa State University Extension: Rooting and Growing a Pineapple
Keywords: pineapple top plant, growing pineapple top, planting pineapple top

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.