Grow pineapples in your garden

Most people don’t realise they can grow a pineapple from the the piece they usually cut off when slicing the pineapple to eat. There are a couple of ways to start your pineapple growing,

Most people don’t realise they can grow a pineapple from the the piece they usually cut off when slicing the pineapple to eat. There are a couple of ways to start your pineapple growing, but first let’s look at some pineapple facts:

  • Pineapples don’t need much water. They have very tough leaves so they don’t lose much moisture through evaporation.
  • Pineapples don’t need much or high quality soil. They belong to the family of bromeliads, and do not have a big root system.
  • Pineapples take in most of the water and nutrition they need through their leaves.
  • Pineapples like slightly acidic soils, which is why they can be grown in most gardens.
  • Pineapples grow in full sun, even in the hottest climates, but they also do well in dappled shade.
  • Pineapples grow happily in pots or tubs.

Pineapples don’t like:

  • Soggy, waterlogged soils.
  • Having their leaves burned with concentrated fertilisers.
  • Frost.

Preparing your pineapple

Cut the top of the pineapple off, just below where the leaves start. Or you can twist it off by carefully grasping the lowest part of the leaves and twisting until it pops off. Remove the bottom leaves and any remaining fruit flesh.

Some people prefer to then dry the pineapple top for a couple of days before planting directly into soil. Others suggest you sit the pineapple top in a container of water, so the base but not the leaves are wet. Then let the roots grow for about three weeks before planting directly into soil in a sunny location.

Make the soil firm around the base so the pineapple top sits straight and doesn’t fall over. Water if the soil is dry. The roots don’t need much space but the plant itself grows to an impressive size. Pineapple leaves are very spiky, so make sure you put them in a place where they can spread without becoming a nuisance.

The only problem with growing pineapples from their tops is the time it takes to mature — 18  to 24 months is normal — so don’t assume you’ll be planting in spring and enjoying pineapple at Christmas. But if you have the space and the patience you can grow your own juicy pineapple(s) and if you remove suckers from the mature pineapple plant and replant them, you will eventually reap new pineapples.