Did you know you can grow a pineapple plant simply by planting the top part of a pineapple from a grocery store?
If you have just finished cutting up a fresh pineapple, keep reading and learn how to turn those scraps into a beautiful tropical houseplant in only a few minutes!
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to grow one. We’ve researched all the techniques and in this article, we’ll show you the quickest and easiest way.
If you are in a hurry, here’s the quick answer: simply twist the top of the pineapple off, pull off about 4 to 5 layers of the green leaves near the bottom. Then cut off any remaining fruit on the stem. The result should be a top that has a freshly cut stem with some roots already showing.
Let the pineapple top dry out for a day or two, then you can plant this directly in a pot of dirt or put in a glass of water (only submerging the roots).
POST UPDATED: I did two different tests – one where I planted a pineapple top immediately after twisting it off and trimming the fruit, and another where I did the same but let the top dry out for two days.
The first way (planting immediately) did not work and I ended up with a rotting pineapple top that did not grow roots.
The second way did work. So, make sure you let the top dry out for at least a day or two before planting.
Ok, that was the abridged version. Keep reading and follow along below with detailed instructions, photos and video!
Step 1: Find a Good Pineapple
The first step is to find a healthy looking pineapple at your local grocery store. Try to pick one that appears to have a lot of healthy green leaves, with as little damage as possible.
Step 2: Remove the Top of the Pineapple
There are two ways to do this – you can either cut the top off or twist it off. Some people recommend cutting the top off with a knife leaving about an inch of the fruit still on the top. Like this:
I’ve tried this method more than once and usually end up with a rotting mess in a few days. So, I do not recommend cutting the top like this with a knife.
A better, easier way is to simply twist the top off. It’s faster and decreases the chance of failure due to decaying fruit.
Simply grab the top section with the green leaves with one hand, hold the fruit with your other hand and twist the top off – gripping tightly to the bottom of the leaves like this:
If you twist correctly the end result should look like this:
Some gardeners recommend letting the top dry out for a day or two. Sometimes this technique is effective, other times it does nothing but waste your time and send your plant to an early grave.
In this example I’m skipping the drying stage to see if a plant will grow by immediately placing in water. I’ll know in a few days if skipping the drying phase was a good idea or not. If so, I’ll update this post. My gut tells me it probably won’t make a difference.
For now you can set aside the fruit part of the pineapple, or cut it up and have a healthy snack while you work on this project.
Ok, now that you have the top off, let’s prepare it for planting…
Step 3: Prepare the Pineapple Top for Planting
First you will want to remove around 4 or 5 layers of leaves on the bottom of the pineapple top. Simply pull the leaves off and it will gradually reveal the stem.
More than likely you should see roots already growing after you remove the leaves. Here is a close up example of what they may look like:
You will notice a small amount of fruit still remains on the stem. I recommend cutting this off to reduce the amount of rotting/decay while the plant starts growing roots.
This helps keep everything clean and minimizes odor or the decaying area affecting the water or healthy sections of the plant. Be careful not to accidentally cut the roots:
Ok, now you’re almost done!
Let’s move onto the final step – planting!
Step 4: Planting the Pineapple Top
You have two choices as far as planting is concerned. Either plant the top directly into pot with soil, or put in a glass of water.
Personally I prefer putting the top in a glass of water, as I can tell if rooting is successful simply by looking through the glass or lifting up the top to check its progress.
If you plant directly in a pot full of soil, it is harder to get an accurate picture of what is going on. Is the pineapple top growing or is it simply rotting?
The choice is yours of course. Here are the instructions for both methods:
Planting in a Glass of Water:
One of the best glass containers I’ve found is a 16 ounce Ball Mason jar as the plant sits nicely without going too far into the water.
You can also use a regular glass and if necessary use toothpicks to keep it from getting submerged.
Hyacinth Glass Bulb Vases are even better if you have one. Javeness from the YouTube channel “A Girl With a Garden” channel shows you in this video below.
They not only work perfectly, they look great too!
Over the next several days and weeks you should notice roots growing. Replace the water in the glass at least every other day so it doesn’t get stagnant/smelly as this could hinder progress or hurt the plant.
Once the roots appear to be established and get enough momentum, you can then transplant to a regular pot with soil.
UPDATE: Here is a photo of roots growing on my pineapple plant. This only worked on my second attempt when I let the top dry out before putting in a glass of water.
Planting in Soil
If you prefer to start growing directly in a pot, simply place the top in soil, preferably using a clay pot so it isn’t too soggy.
Moisten the soil so it is nice and damp, then you can simply twist the top into the soil only covering the exposed stem. Make sure the top is sturdy and won’t fall over.
You can then water the pineapple by pouring directly onto the center of the leaves as needed.
What Soil is Best for Pineapple Plants?
I recommend using a sandy loam, well drained soil such as Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix. This mix is fast draining, includes plant food to help provide proper nutrients and speed up growth.
To save money, you can make your own DIY succulent/palm soil with a crude recipe of 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand and 1 part perlite/pumice.
Questions & Answers:
This Q&A section will be updated as new tips are discovered or reader questions are answered.
Q: How long does it take a pineapple to grow from a top?
A: In commercial cultivation, it can take 18-30 months to bear fruit. Plan on it taking a little longer indoors – estimated 24 months from the time you start.
Q: How many pineapples do you get from one plant?
A: Each plant will produce one fruit before it dies, but can create what is known as “pups” which can also be grown just like the
Q: How much sun does a pineapple plant need?
A: Lots of sun recommended – consider geographic locations like Hawaii where they are commercially grown where they will get a few hours each day.
Q: Are pineapple plants toxic to cats or dogs?
A: The leaves are not toxic, but do contain a sap which could cause an allergic reaction to their skin. The leaves are very difficult to digest, so that should be your biggest concern.
Q: How can I stimulate my pineapple plant to bloom?
A: For best results, place your plant near a bowl of ripening apples as they emit ethylene gas which can help stimulate blooming.
Plant Update: Here is a top down view of my current pineapple plant showing nice, green, healthy leaves and no sign of rotting:
The next time you are about to throw away pineapple scraps, consider turning them into a beautiful, tropical houseplant instead. It only takes a few minutes and can also be a fun family project as well.
Soon, I will add a YouTube video to summarize this post. I just started growing mine today, so in the coming weeks and months I’ll add new photos and videos documenting my progress.
If you have any other questions not covered here, feel free to contact me at any time and I’ll do my best to help you with this or any other plant.