Pineapple Tops

Karyn RourkeMarch 4, 1998

This is a very strange question, I know...

I have always thought that the tops of pineapples are beautiful. I bought a pineapple yesterday and an going to try planting it. A friend told me that it should be in a hot moist area with lots of sunlight and it needs to be kept moist. Does anyone know of anything else I could do? I really appreciate it!

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David Sizemore

Pineapples are very easy to grow from their tops. Since you are going to plant it, I hope you bought it based upon the condition of the leaves. Just cut the top off about two inches down from the top of the pineapple. Let it sit on it's side for about two days to allow the cut to skin over. Then dust the cut area lightly with Rootone rooting hormone and pot it up with the dirt up to the base of the leaves. Go easy on the sun and the water for about one month or so until it establishes it's roots. The plant will benefit from a daily misting of water on its' leaves during and after this period. Then it can stand all of the heat and sun you can give it. Be sure not to overwater it though, especially in Winter. They like to get slightly dry between waterings. I was in Maui, HI last Nov. and most of the pineapple fields were at the 1000-2000 ft. elevation where it is slightly cooler than at sea level.. They seem to like it! Be sure to lightly fertilize every couple of weeks with Peter's or Miracle-Gro to really make it take off. Be advised that the plant should be planted in at least a 2-3 gallon pot; they can get quite large. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 1998 at 9:53PM
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Joe Cavallo

I did the old "plant the pineapple top" trick. I tried two pineapples, I twisted one top off and I cut the other off. The difference is that in the twist off, you get part of the top thats lower down and almost inside the fruit. I noticed that between the lowest leaves of the twist-off one, there was some brown root-like growths. I assumed that they were what would grow into roots. So I pulled off some of the lower leaves to exposes these "roots" to the soil. Then I let it sit for two days. Then I planted them both.
Its been a month now and the tips of the leaves are brown but the rest is green, and no new leaves are growing. I lifted them out of the soil to have a look and the supposed "roots" have not grown one bit on the twist-off one. And nothing has grown on the cut-off one either. Yet I have to beleive that if they weren't living then they would be all brown by now. So the question is: How long ought it take before some kind of roots begin to grow? And how could they have lived this long with no roots? And if they do die, how long would the leaves stay mostly green like this, in the direct sun.
I had them indoors where I keep the temp in the high 60s but the light was quite indirect. Then I put them outdoors with good light but the temp is in the low 60s in Boston these days. They were about 2 1/2 weeks of each. Could this have put them into some kind of hybernation until it gets warmer?

Thank You

    Bookmark   May 7, 1998 at 4:40PM
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There is a web page, but I forgot the address. It is called the Pineapple page though and it goes into great detail about how to get your pineapple top planted and to fruit. The main thing is though to know that it will take a year and a half or 2 years really of growth before it can flower and fruit. I don't know how long it takes to start to root, but if it takes that long to even begin to flower, it could well take a few months to firmly root.

    Bookmark   May 11, 1998 at 4:56PM
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Purple Sage

We just twisted off the top and put the top over a glass of water just exposing the crown to water. It took about two months to see roots starting to grow. The nice thing about water is you can see the roots grow. When we had a good bunch of roots we planted it. It has been green all along and putting out new leaves. It has only partial sun in the morning, filtered at that. We will put in the atrium soon, which is 5 hrs of sun.

good luck, it has been very interesting.

    Bookmark   May 17, 1998 at 3:08PM
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Mary Farrell

Two years ago I experimented with a pineapple top planting it next to the roof drain where it would receive plenty of water. (I lived in a condo where my amount of "garden space" was almost nonexistent.) The plant just grew and grew finally and when the fruit ripened it was the sweetest pineapple I ever ate. This year I planted two tops. I am now living in another area where I am allowed to plant. However, my tops are just sitting there. Green but no growth. It can be done. Guess I will just have to be patient.

    Bookmark   May 19, 1998 at 7:21PM
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one website tells me that the pineapple will grow to
approx six ft tall and three ft wide.
Doesnt sound logical to me..
Anybody know the true size when harvested?

    Bookmark   July 26, 1999 at 12:36AM
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here is the URL of the pineapple page

Here is a link that might be useful: how to grow a pineapple

    Bookmark   August 27, 1999 at 12:14PM
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Alice Barkman

My pineapple is 24 inches tall,fruit included and 7 feet across. It took 3 years for the fruit to appear and a baby plant grew from the roots. It is growing something out of the side of the plant that looks like the top of the fruit and not like another offspring. What is it? Will the plant grow more than 1 fruit at a time?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2000 at 3:33PM
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Here is a link that might be useful: GARDEN WEB

    Bookmark   February 15, 2001 at 11:36PM
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I actually go on the lighter side with the watering. When established, I think they are quite tolerant of an occasional lack of watering. Still, if the leaf tips are getting brown, I suppose that means they want more humidity. I have several plants, and some have brown tips and others don't. Go figure.

As far as rooting, most of mine were done in water. A lot depends on the quality of the cutting, and of the time of year (season). I have always waited until I saw roots growing before putting them in soil. Even then, some did well, others grew no further. The tops can stay green for a while, even though the roots are doing nothing.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2001 at 12:50AM
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Jacob D

I have tons of Aloe Vera plants because I don't really have to do anything to maintain them. 2 HUGE plants and tons of smaller ones. (huge meaning 2.5 feet tall).
My friend saw some of the other things I grew and just brought over a pineapple top that was cut the night before, and I just burried it up to the bottom of the leaves on top and left it alone...watering it maybe twice a week... It was burried in maybe half a gallon of soil. Left it alone not paying attention to it, and the tips of the leaf were already brown, but the fact that no more of the leaves turned brown seemed like a good thing. I looked maybe a month later and noticed the top leaves were entirely green and had sharper spikes (new leaves). The plant has pretty much taken off now and is just sitting in the ground in my back yard... maybe shaded one quarter of the day. They seem to do fine here without much work. I live in Houston, humidity may play a role.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2001 at 7:54PM
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as i only have a window ledge to put my pot on i was wondering what is the smallest size pot a pineapple can be grown in and still produce fruit

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 10:20AM
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I've been wanting to grow a pineapple plant. I live in Southern California, Anaheim, zone 9. I see lots of you seem to use a Sunset Zone something as well as the whatever the zone 9 would be. I think I'm somewhere in a 22-24 zone??? I found a pineapple info site, but it says grow in a pot, bring in to overwinter... SIGH, believe me I have nowhere indoors to bring plants, can't grow houseplants in my house ( not enough light) due to how house was built (also never need AC except maybe 1 or 2 days a year, so there is a payoff LOL). So my question is this: If I plant it in a pot or the ground in my backyard, which gets plenty of sun (south side or west side) could it stay outside all year, and should it be in a pot or in the ground?? Also, if anyone knows how to help me figure out my other zone # (22-24 or whatever) I would appreciate that (Hehe I am ZONE CHALLENGED) lol Thanks, Lilly

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 12:21PM
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I have recently posted a picture of a Pineapple flower close up at just type in pineapple in the search window and go to pics..

Here is a link that might be useful: hortiplex database

    Bookmark   September 17, 2002 at 8:49AM
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Nancy5050(7a - 7b)

Neat idea

    Bookmark   September 17, 2002 at 5:48PM
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Here's how I've planted several pineapples. I figured it out myself and haven't found a simpler way. I don't know why people bother with soaking, drying, and bits of fruit attached.

1. Twist off top. Don't cut, twisting is easier and retains all the top.
2. Pull off the lower leaves to expose tiny brown bumps of roots.
3. Plant immediately in a pot and water well.
4. Water regularly. The plant will grow roots immediately.
5. The original leaves will turn mostly brown and new growth will come out of the top. Cut off any brown areas.
6. Pineapples prefer lots of light and water, but will also grow in lower light and pretty dry conditions. Mine have been very forgiving and one of the easiest plants I have grown.

I have two 2-yr-old plants in the windowsill of my basement apartment. They don't get that much light here and they grow slowly but steadily. I water them about twice a week, but they have gone as long as 3 weeks without water.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2002 at 6:24AM
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Jacob D - Your pineapple should be okay outside if you protect it from frost. I started planting them outside a couple of years ago when we bought this house (zone 9, Florida) and they have lived through two winters. They are in a fairly protected place, southeast corner beside the back porch, morning sun only, and we are getting our second pineapple. The first one was delicious! I totally ignore them except to cut off the tips of the branches so they don't puncture the porch screen. They are in dense, sandy soil with absolutely no nutrients. This is one tough plant! I will throw a sheet over them if it gets down into the 20's.

The only problem I have with them is I can't bring myself to throw a pineapple top away. We just cut the tops off and I let them dry for a few days, or a few weeks if I forget about them on the top of the fridge, then I just stick them in the ground. They are all thriving, which is unfortunate as I now have five in the ground, and two more in pots because I ran out of space beside the porch. Now I am going to have to dig more holes in the yard to plant these.

I only wish my roses were doing this well...........

    Bookmark   September 27, 2002 at 3:00PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

I would have to disagree with the information that says pineapples prefer humidity. I have been growing a pineapple top as a houseplant for over a year now. It looks great, and believe me, the air around it is VERY dry. (We live in the desert.)

Also, when we were on vacation, I saw pineapple fields growing on Maui on the side of the island that gets very little rain. Since they are grown commercially in those conditions, that must be okay.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2002 at 7:59PM
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I have a large pineapple plant, leaf spread of two 1/2 feet, growing in a pot filled with potting soil. The plant was beautiful, as I kept it outside in mostly full sun until cold weather arrived. After bringing it in to avoid the unusual cold weather, the leaves are turning yellow, about 1/4 way down, which I trim. It isn't as pretty now but is still putting out green spikes in the center. Any suggestions from you great folks on what I should do now? Thanks bunches and happy growing. Swamprose

    Bookmark   February 9, 2003 at 2:56AM
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I have been growing pineapple plants successfully for over 14 years. Pineapples do love humidity. Yes, the desert does have low humidty but not at night when temps cool off and relative humidity raises.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 12:23PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Okay, I give in! I'm not a pineapple-growing expert, and maybe they do prefer humidity . . . but, truly, mine seems quite happy without it. Our local humidity level the other day was at 8%, and my pineapple just keeps on lookin' good! :)

The pineapple is indoors . . . maybe it couldn't handle the low humidity so well if it were out in the full sun. But as I mentioned, the commercially grown ones on the extremely dry side of Maui Island seemed to be doing fine.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 4:18PM
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If you want to start your pineapple plantation on a shoestring budget, you can halve, or then even quarter the crown of a store-bought pineapple and plant them in separate pots, thus attaining a 4-for-one ratio. Be careful of the sharp knife needed to do this!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2003 at 9:33PM
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rross(NSW Aust)

I was just browsing through this thread and got inspired to put a twisted-off pineapple top in a jar of water. It's already put out half-inch roots - in less than a week. I wouldn't mind if I got fruit on it in less than a month.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2003 at 7:00AM
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ShaqFanColette_34(Southern Cal.)

I've had my pineapple plant, "Mel", for about 5 years now. I started him by cutting off the top (about 1½" below the green top) of a Hawaiian pineapple I bought at the store and just set it in a clear tupperware type bowl, water filled over the fruit part and kept it in a sunny window sill in Hollywood. I did change the water every couple of days, and roots just started to appear. The green spikes were growing in the middle as well which surprised me. I used some good potting soil and it just kept growing indoors. Now, living by the beach, I've kept Mel outside - and within one year (and a large pot) I've gotten my first pineapple!! It's about the side of a baseball now. Was wondering if anyone knows how long it will take to mature, how I remove it, and how well is Mel going to take these winter months now - even though it rarely gets below 50 degrees?? Thanks in advance for any help... :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2003 at 5:48PM
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dropkickallies(z8 neTX)

i planted my pineapple top in the ground 5 days ago. i didn't know anything other than 'stick it in the ground, it'll grow'. so far all the spikes are still very green, only two spikes have any brown and it's the very tips. it's located about 15' away from a black walnut tree. will the black walnut toxins affect the growth of my pineapple?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2004 at 10:07PM
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babanna(z5 NY)

black walnut is known to kill many a plant....toxins in the ground....its natures self preservation i guess....your tree may not live there or at least probably won't do well only very few plants can

    Bookmark   June 6, 2004 at 12:31AM
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As a former Dole Agronomist may I chime in with a little advice.
TWIST off the CROWNS. Do not cut, do not leave any part of the fruit attached as that will atract bugs and also induce rotting.
Place the crowns upside down in the sun for a few days to allow the wound to cauterize (heal).
If the bottom leaves are curled, carefully remove. This will allow better soil contact with the roots.
Plant in SANDY soil, they must have good drainage.
Plant in a large pot, no less than 12" across.
Give the equal of 1.25" of water per month.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 12:36AM
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I have to mention that my 'soil' is primarily sand, and clayish sand at that. So just adding sand ain't a guarantee of improving drainage. Just ask my dear departed lavender.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 1:03AM
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What's the minimum zone required for growing pineapple outside.
Anyone know?
I'm in zone 8 and have a spot outside. I think a pineapple plant would be nice.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 7:06PM
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Here's my experience in Tampa (zone 9b), where I got the sweetest pineapple I've ever had after about 26 months.

I cut the top off and trimmed the flesh back unil root buds were visible, and let it rest about a week in the garage (hot and fairly dry). This was planted in a mixture of 1/2 commercial potting soil, 1/4 perlite and 1/4 sand in a 12" plastic pot with clay shards on the bottom.

The plant was kept in partial shade for a month then moved to full sun, and watered weekly during the dry season only. Miracle Grow or Peters was used about once a month, though during the rainy season I probably forgot for months on end. Apparently it didn't care!

The bud appeared in early December, and the fruit reached full size (6" high and about 5" in diameter) by mid-april. When the color began to change, I built an enclosure to keep the fruits rats, squirrels and 'coons away (see below) and let it change color fully before twisting it off.

The enclosure was easy to make, and is reusable and extensible (I hope to have 4-5 plants from the shoots still on the mother plant). I made five 3x3 panels out of 1x2's covered in 1/2" machine cloth. Two pairs of these were then hinged together and were then secured on the other edges with hook-and-eye clasps; the fifth panel was then laid on top to form a cube. To extend it, I'll just make a few more panels.

I have several questions, though: First, I've see the term "ratoon" used several ways, and wonder which is correct. One usage indicated that any subsequent fruiting from shoots on the mother plant was called a "ratoon crop", while another site indicated that "ratoons" are only those shoots that form at the base of the plant (vs. slips, stem-side shoots or suckers on the fruit itself).

Second, I've read that the shoots should be left on the mother plant for a month or two before removal and repotting. If I read correctly, they should be twisted off and allowed to rest for a week or so before planting. Is that correct? Also, I thought I saw where one or two shoots can be left on the mother plant and they will actually produce fruit more quickly. Has anyone had experience doing this?


    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 12:34PM
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The other day my mom bought a pineapple at the store to cut up for a fruit salad. Well it sat on the counter for a little too long. I decided to cut it to see if it was still good. Unfortunately it was not. As I was about to throw away the scraps, I remembered what I had heard about starting a plant from the top. Well I read up on it from some Google search and decided to try it. There was quite a bit of brown on the leaves, but I did it anyway. Many people say to let it harden and all that... But the commercial growers just twist the top off and put it back in the ground. I figure if it works for them, I should have a little luck with it:)

I had already cut the top off so i took a knife and removed the flesh around the base until I could see the little brown nodes. I then removed about 3/4 inch of leaves. I placed it in an old plastic hanging basket pot with the wires removed and watered it thoroughly after sitting it in full sun on a concrete pad by the garage. I then left for 2 weeks of vacation. I am not sure if my mom remembered to water it or not, but I know for a fact that she did not baby it any... She would just assume it die if you had to fool with it. Well to my surprise, when I came back from vacation it was still alive and had some new growth. I pulled it up from the dirt a little to see if there were roots (I know that is child-like, but I like to know whats happening under neath:p) and there were! It's doing great! Not sure what I will do this winter, prob just pull it inside and set it in one of the upstairs dormers in full sun. Hope that it does well:)


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:53AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

I have had 2 pineapple tops growing for about a year now. On one plant almost all of the original leaves have turned brown and died and a whole new plant has popped up and growing beside it. The other has not died at all and still looks healthy as the day I repotted it. What do I do with the second plant? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:52PM
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So see there is not very much activity on this thread but was wondering if I used a nice expensive hydroponic rooting gel and soilless plugs cut and spread around it and use the KLN additive from Dyna gro ( I believe that's how it's spelled) to keep the coco or pro mix haven't decided yet what one yet to keep the mix moist for the first month or so until I notice root growth and then begin a nuterient regime until harvest.. Of course adding mycos and and all the goodies along with a sweetener if all this extra care would speed up the fruiting process or just increase my over all yield of the fruit it self? Ill check back soon and see if anyone chimes in if not I'm Gona do it anyway so ill post back any findings I come across.. And when I say expensive I mean 12 US dollars for 4 fluid oz..

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Hey, my pineapple top is finally rooting. Yay me! I read somewhere that you could use potting soil meant for cacti since it should be loamier. Does anyone know if you can use regular Miracle Grow or if it has to be the cactus potting soil? Thank you all for your help!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Good to hear your Pineapple Top is finally rooting. I just read through several forums and most of them say to use Cactus soil or put some sand in with the potting soil.

In February after my wife cut it off I put a Pinapple Top into an empty plastic macaroni container just to see what would happen. Didn't know the first thing about it but it looked nice. Most of the forum threads say to water it once a week that they don't like it too wet. I never took mine out of the water and never changed the water and three of the leaves are 25" long. If it gets any bigger I'll have to find another spot for it.

This post was edited by Dutchman99 on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 19:49

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Just thought I'd post a picture of what this Pineapple Crown likes to grow in since I put it in the container in February. It kind of goes against everything I've read and the directions to grow one. I was just curious as to what would happen if I stuck it in water. Now I don't know where to put it. Anyone else have an 'illogical' Pineapple Crown?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:53PM
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