Here's How You Grow A Pineapple Plant From The Fruit

You might have heard that the juicy pineapple you picked up from the grocery store can be a two-for-one deal: Enjoy the tasty yellow fruit, then plant the top for more pineapple to enjoy! Unfortunately, it's not as easy as simply popping a pineapple top in the dirt and waiting for results, but it's not terribly complicated either. Starting with a good-looking pineapple and some gardening supplies, you can have a plant teeming with positive energy in your living space in just a few weeks (even if the fruit takes slightly longer to appear). 

Notably this funny-looking fruit is full of lore linked to a happy home. From decorations on homes in the south signifying hospitality to a Chinese ritual meant to bring you good luck, a pineapple plant appears, by all accounts, to be a living symbol of all things good. With some help from this research-backed guide and a bit of patience, you too can convert what would otherwise be food waste into an eye-catching and productive houseplant.

What supplies do you need for your pineapple plant?

Firm green, leafy tops and yellow-gold skin entices you to eat a pineapple. These traits also tell you whether it's a good candidate to propagate. Avoid fruits with brown spots, as they may be overly ripe. Get a head start by counting the leaves since the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension warns that plants with fewer than 25 full-sized leaves will not bear fruit. Likewise, keep in mind that it can take several years for a plant to grow that many leaves after it's been planted. 

Thankfully, if your candidate has a healthy crown packed with leaves, it may take less time to grow its own pineapple. Once you've enjoyed your tropical treat, it's time to gather your supplies. You'll need a sharp knife and a plate or paper towel for day one. For a few days later, set aside a one-gallon pot, rooting medium, a clear plastic bag, and coarse potting mix. Save yourself a few bucks by using cinnamon as a rooting hormone.

How to start a plant from a pineapple top

First, remove any fruit still connected to the top as well as a few of the lower leaves, revealing the small dots where new roots will emerge. Let the stalk dry on a plate or a piece of paper towel for two to three days. Once the stalk is dry, dip its end in a rooting agent, and plant the crown about 3 to 4 inches deep in a coarse potting soil mix. Water the soil, and cover the plant loosely with the clear plastic bag to create a humid environment. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight, and in five to eight weeks, your plant should have developed a strong root system. Ensure you're watering the soil daily to keep it moist. 

Once you see young leaves growing from the center of the crown (it will take a few months), telling you that the roots are fully developed and the plant is beginning to grow, remove the plastic bag and place the pot in a warm area with full sunlight. After around 12 months, you'll likely need to rehouse the plant in a bigger pot to better facilitate its growth, ideally around five gallons. Then, with monthly fertilization and regular watering, along with a little TLC, your plant should bring you fruit in a couple of years.