Pineapple plants are fun to grow, and can easily be propagated from fruit bought from a supermarket or greengrocer. Although it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get a crop of home-grown pineapples, you may be in with a chance if you provide the right growing conditions. Be patient though – it can take three years for the plant to develop fruit.
Choose a pineapple with a healthy green rosette of leaves or topknot, then eat the fruit. Save the rosette, as you’ll be using this to grow the plant from.
Do pineapples grow on trees?
You might assume that pineapples grow on trees but in fact pineapples do not grow on trees. The pineapple plant is a member of the bromeliad family, and looks like a small, strap-leaved palm tree with a pineapple growing from the centre, on a long stalk. Low-growing, pineapple plants grow on the ground and are pollinated by hummingbirds. They’re native to tropical regions of South America but they will grow happily in a greenhouse or conservatory in the British Isles.
Each pineapple plant produces one pineapple, which grows rom the centre of a plant on a long stalk. Like all bromeliads, once the plant has produced a pineapple it will die, but small plants or ‘pups’ growing at the base of the plant can be potted on to make new pineapple plants.
You Will Need
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- Horticultural grit
- 20cm diameter pot
Carefully cut the rosette off about 2cm from the top of the fruit, and eat the fruit.
Trim off all the fleshy fruit and cut around the base of the rosette to leave the clean central core surrounded by leaves.
Carefully peel away individual leaves to reveal a length of stem. This is where the roots will develop from.
Trim the base of the stem neatly, just below the leaf scars, removing all the white stem tissue.
Fill a pot with multi-purpose compost mixed with horticultural grit, then position the pineapple rosette in the centre, firming more compost around it.
Water well and allow the pot to drain. Place the pot in a heated propagator or in a warm, bright spot indoors, until roots have developed. New leaves will soon form in the centre of the rosette. Once roots start growing from the base of the pot, transplant your pineapple into a larger container. Keep the plant in a warm conservatory or greenhouse, or on a window sill, and continue feeding and watering regularly, potting on as required.