Growing Pineapple Plants from Pineapple Tops Review – Does it Work?

4 out of 5 leaves

4 out of 5 leaves

Pineapples are yummy tropical fruits that originated in South America, but can be grown in most any warm climate.  A popular science project for children is to propagate your own fruit from any pineapple you pick up at the grocery store.  But does it work?  Can you actually grow your own pineapple at home?

The Good

  • Better for the Earth – growing your own food dramatically reduces the carbon footprint vs fruit shipped halfway across the world
  • Saves Money – if you grow your own, its pretty much free
  • Easy – sprouting your own pineapple is about as easy as it gets
  • Is a great learning opportunity for the kids

The Bad

  • Takes 2-3 years for a mature fruit to grow
  • You typically only get one pineapple per plant
  • Plants must be kept indoors if you live in a climate that has a cold winter
My Experience

(full disclosure: this gorgeous pineapple plant was sprouted and given to me by a friend.  So, really I’m writing about her experience).

An easy pineapple sprout all depends on picking out the right piece of fruit at the store.  You should look for one that has not been cored, has all the center leaves on it, and has fresh, small leaves in the center.  Make sure it is relatively soft and ripe.

When you get home, grasp the top of the pineapple carefully and twist up slowly so the core comes out.  You should be able to see little white nubbins which are the where the roots will sprout from.  Place the top in a shallow dish of water, and leave it in the sun.  It’s as easy as that!  When you get a good root ball going, it is time to plant in a sunny spot with well draining soil.

Look at that gorgeous root ball!

Some trouble shooting tips: keep the water just below the level of the leaves.  You don’t want the leaves to get wet.  If they do, and they start to rot, you can just remove them and place the top back into the water.  You can plant in a pot (keeping in mind that these can grow up to two feet in diameter and be rather spikey).  Or you can plant outside if you live in a climate that is warm year round.

I’ve planted mine in a corner of the garden.  In a couple years when/if it flowers and grows fruit I’ll do the second half of this review.  Do you think we’ll get a pineapple?

Have you ever tried sprouting your own pineapple?  Have you ever actually gotten one to grow big enough to fruit?

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17 Responses to Growing Pineapple Plants from Pineapple Tops Review – Does it Work?

  1. Betty says:

    Pineapples can bear fruit in about a year. To encourage fruiting, place an apple core or a piece of apple at the base of the plant. Decomposing apple give off an enzyme that stimulates fruit and flower production in certain plants, such as bromeliads and pineapple. Also, our dozen or so thriving pineapples plants were never started indoors. They were twisted off the pineapple, planted right in the ground, and watered daily for about a week until new growth was evident. Easy peasy.

    • Dea says:

      That’s great…but where do you live? I doubt this would work in Oregon. I’m thinking start in a pot and keep indoors during winter.

      • Victoria says:

        I’m in sunny southern California, so this would be an outdoor project for me. But I’ve read that some keep the pineapple plants in pots and bring them in for the winter.

    • Victoria says:

      Great adds – thanks Betty!

  2. Paloma says:

    WOW! I would’ve never imagined you could do something like this with a pineapple! Very interesting!!! Yes… it sounds like it takes a long time but it’s probably even a great project for children too!

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  4. Danielle says:

    I live in Baton Rouge & I started my pineapple tops in Ragu jars. Once they established good root growth, I transplanted them outside. I planted them in between the sprawling ground roots of an old oak tree that is beside my house. That was 2 years ago. This year, 1 of them has a baby pineapple growing out of the top. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!

  5. Lori Moore says:

    I started propagating pineapple plants with my children about four months ago. We have 8 tops with roots on them. I have potted two and put them outdoors. I quickly discovered that the recent drought and extreme heat was not good for them. I moved them to a shady spot and keep them very wet and they are doing great. I use narrow necked salsa jars for mine and it works perfectly to begin the roots. I am enjoying them as plants and will feel really blessed if they ever produce fruit in pots. We are in West Tennessee and the winters can get pretty cold.

  6. Lyza May says:

    I love this idea, thanks for the tip!

  7. Kimberly says:

    We live in Central Africa and have a backyard full of them! Yes, it really works! Here the soil is rich enough and rain plentiful enough that we just plant them straight into the ground. We’ve had a little trouble keeping our dogs away from them, not breaking off the leaves, but we harvest pineapples weekly from our yard. :) Love that about Congo! They really love bat guano or cow manure for fertilizer too.

  8. Marilyn Culverson says:

    I started 12 of these from tops the store. I simply put them directly thrown out at the grocery were be in the ground. They ALL started to grow and produce new leaves. Then the deer found them . Seems deer love pineapples! they chewed them down and then pulled them out to finish them off. I live in central Texas and get only short freezes.Figured they could be covered. Will try again once I have fencing.

    Other things can be started from leftovers. Sprouted potatoes, lettuce, onion , celery, cabbage, You can plant pieces of ginger root. Carrot tops re root but don’t make carrots They do make nice ferny plants though. Many thing can be started from the seeds and pits. Avocados, and mangoes come to mind.

  9. Terry says:

    We live in Oregon and started a pineapple plant last year…we brought it in the winter…haven’t tried to make it bloom yet!

  10. Pat Matthews says:

    Think I’ll give it a try.

  11. Yes, I have, and I did a post back in Sept 2011 with very detailed pics: Maui Jungalow: How to grow a pineapple from a pineapple top.. It’s been interesting to see variations of this post on pinterest and also see it reblogged by others (with their own original pictures and text). I’m really not sure who/what posted info on this originally online, or whether several people did it at the same time. I found out about doing this when I moved to Maui in 2004, and it was common knowledge. I’d be curious if you find any posts older than Sept. 2011 using the water technique to grow pineapple from the crown. Aloha! I do recommend getting the sweetest pineapples, like the Maui Gold pineapples.

  12. Kathy says:

    I live in Indiana – every time we have a fresh pineapple, we cut the top off, clean the fruit from under it and put it in a pot of dirt. In the summer, we put this on the deck, and just water daily, in the winter, we put in the front window. We then transplant (after several months) around a cherry tree and blueberry plants which I have out front. We have found the deer and rabbits do not like the “spikes” on the plants so they tend to not be interested in that area of our yard.

    You have to clean the fruit off the underside or it will attract raccoon’s and squirrels – they’ll dig up and eat the fruit and leave the plant. This happened a few times, we just transplanted and the plant was fine.

  13. joann says:

    After you harvest the new pineapple, if you continue to care for the plant will it bear a new pineapple the next year?

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