Growing a Pineapple from the Cut Top

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Pineapples are a tropical fruit but with a bit of work you can even grow them here in temperate Sydney with the right microclimate. The easiest way to do this is to buy a complete pineapple (that is to say, without the green top bit removed as is so often the fashion these days) from your local organic shop or fruit & veg merchant. Make sure the green top bit (technical term) is complete and not damaged.

Then follow these steps –

  1. Cut down into the pineapple making two diagonal cuts under the green top bit, taking about 2 – 2.5 cm of fruit, so it can be removed from the pineapple.
  2. Leave it to air dry for a couple of days.
  3. Get hold of some potting mix (standard potting mix is OK or use my 1 part sand, 2 parts compost or worm casting, 3 parts cocopeat formulation) and a clay pot big enough to take the circumference of the fruit attached to the green top bit. Add a pinch of iron sulphate or iron chelate into the potting mix before planting.
  4. Plant it into the potting mix filled pot and then cover with a plastic bag, with some ventilation holes punched into it. This will keep the humidity high and keep the plant hydrated until it can grow some roots.
  5. Place the pot in a well-lit spot, but not in direct sunlight.
  6. Pineapples can absorb water and nutrients through their leaves, so watering with weak liquid manure solution every week or two is worthwhile.
  7. Roots should develop in 6 – 8 weeks at which point the plastic bag can be removed.
  8. Leave the plant in a well-lit spot and regularly spray the leaves to water and feed it. Add some more iron sulphate or chelate to the soil when the plant is starting to flower.
  9. Commercially pineapples can take 1.5 to 2.5 years to crop, so don’t get too impatient because in the less-than-ideal conditions of a backyard it may take even longer. Ripening fruit in proximity to the plant (eg apples or bananas) will emit ethylene which may stimulate the pineapple to flower.
  10. When the plant is flowering, move into a sunny position to assist the fruit in developing.
Here it is in a well lit area but out of direct sun

Here is a friend's productive pineapple

 


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