When the pineapple is mentioned, people often think 'tropical'. And, to some extent, this is true. The pineapple was discovered in Central and South America over 500 years ago and has a long tradition of being grown commercially in tropical climates around the world. That's because pineapple is very easy to propagate.
In fact, you can start a pineapple plant in your own home and grow it as a house plant. Once established, it will produce long, spiked, silvery green leaves. You can even encourage it to flower and produce another baby pineapple.
Sprouting the Crown
Get a fresh pineapple. The crown of pineapple should have leaves on top. Tug on a few of the individual leaves to test its freshness. If they don't come out easily, the pineapple is good for propagation.
Cut the crown from the pineapple with about 1 inch of fruit attached.
Cut what is left of the fruit from the crown, a thin slice at a time, until you notice little root buds around the outer edge.
Strip off about 1 inch of leaves from the base of the crown. You will notice little brown bumps around the crown base. These are primordia and they will be where the plants roots will grow from. Set the crown aside to dry for a couple of days.
Put the base of the crown, once dried, in a glass of water so that the primordia are under water. Place the crown and glass in a warmer, dimly lt area. Allow the crown to sit for about 2 weeks.
Examine the crown for roots. If they have formed, you are ready to plant the crown.
Planting the Crown
Place 1 to 2 inches of small rock in the bottom of an 8-inch flower pot. Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil mixed with perlite.
Plant the crown by putting the base in the soil and pressing it around the plant and water lightly.
Place the pineapple plant where it will get around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Room temperature is perfect for your new plant.
Water your plant as it grows, keeping the soil moist, but not wet. Move your plant outside during the summer months to get more sun.
Feed your pineapple plant with diluted liquid fertilizer for the first 2 months. After that, you can use full-strength fertilizer.
Growing a New Pineapple Fruit
Observe your new plant as it grows. Over the next few years, it will reach a height of 2 to 3 feet. Re-pot your plant as it gets bigger.
Encourage your pineapple plant to flower by sealing it in a large plastic bag with an apple. The apple emits ethylene, which will trigger the pineapple to flower.
Remove the pineapple from the bag after 4 or 5 days. In a few months, the plant should flower. as time goes by, a little pineapple will grow on the end of the flower stalk.
About this Author
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.