Growing a Pineapple (Or Not)

My air fern looked much like this one, except that it was in a pretty little purple container.
My air fern looked much like this one, except that it was in a pretty little purple container.

Green Thumbs of Non-Inheritance

The most random things seem to stand out in our minds, and sometimes those things are in regards to other people. Sometimes they even seem to be of no real significance. That is, until we wish we had that talent or ability. For me, there is a memory of my grandpa always having plants around, particularly various kinds of cacti and ivy. At the time, I didn't think much about it. They were just his plants, always there and always alive and healthy.


There are a few other childhood memories I have of him. To name a few, going to Fourth of July parades and firework shows with him or haunted Halloween trains. Or when he let me try beer for the first time in my five years of life, perhaps as a distraction to me poking around at the cigarette package in his pocket. (Yeah, that may or may not have promptly come back out of my mouth into his lap. Shhhhh...I still don't like beer.) I even remember being called a stink pot or Half Pint and sometimes he asks if I am still his Half Pint and I, of course, say always. He does not, however, still have that many plants, if any at all now. It's been over five years since I've been able to go home for a visit.

All childhood memories aside, though, I didn't inherit that green thumb of his. He may not take care of plants too much anymore, but I would love to. They bring beauty, but they are also functional. They help cleanse the air, which is always a good thing. A good thing, if only I could keep them alive. But, I somehow let a fern that lived on air die. That's right. I said it didn't require water and I still let it die somehow. Well, okay, technically it was not alive to begin with and was, apparently by definition, dead when I got it. However, I am confident that had it been alive, I would have found a way to kill it.

So there you have, my favorite mug, my very dead plant, my dying plant, and the pineapple that hopefully will live.
So there you have, my favorite mug, my very dead plant, my dying plant, and the pineapple that hopefully will live.

My Hydrangeas

See these beautiful hydrangea plants? I got them a couple of months ago maybe. I have been so happy they remained alive and healthy. Not. They were for quite some time, but one bit the dust in the last week or so. I'm not sure how, though I think it had something to do with placing it outside for more sunlight and forgetting about it over night when the temps dipped low. I can't be sure of that, however, because I am not sure what temperatures are too low for them. I know they do well as indoor plants if they have enough sunlight, something they got much less of when the window they thrived in became blocked from the outside with opaque plastic because the siding there leaks and needs to be replaced. It will be, but apparently not in time for my plant to be happy again. It gave up.

As for the blue one, it was still doing quite well despite it's loss of floral beauty. It was sprouting new bright green leaves and seemed happy enough. Then I found it on the counter tonight looking like that with a brown, blackish stem. Shocked, I picked it up to see if it needed water and decided it did need some. So I watered it. To my surprise, it started draining brownish liquid. No wonder it looks so pitiful! I have absolutely no idea which family member is guilty of spilling coffee or coke or some other beverage of choice all over the counter and apparently into the potted plant, too. Whoever it was cleaned up the mess, leaving behind only the liquid inside the plant soil to drain on the counter. I cleaned up the remainder of it, which stained the counter top as it drained through the pot, after discovering it today. I also ran water through the pot until it started draining clear water again. I have no idea if that will save its little life, but I have hope. I have hope because there are still some bright green leaves on the stem. Wish it luck!

Look, look, you see that? Roots, roots, whoot, whoot!
Look, look, you see that? Roots, roots, whoot, whoot!

How to Grow Grow a Pineapple Plant

Once upon a time I heard somewhere that you can grow a pineapple plant from the fruit, just as a piece of ivy cut from the main plant will sprout roots if placed in water. I thought why not, I'll give it a try. That was a failed attempt, but I learned a few things. One is that plants don't survive a house fire very well even if they were not in a room full of ash. The other is that the closer the crown is cut from the fruit, the better. Trust me, the less fleshy fruit to rot away, the happier you will be.

This time around, I cut the top off the pineapple in much the same manner I did before. Then I decided to cut it even closer to the crown. Again, less fruit left. How untimely for me, but I have since read that there really is no need to cut the crown off. One can simply grab it and pull it off the fruit with a twisting motion. Supposedly this method leaves less fruit left on the bottom of the crown, too. All that is left to do is to peel back some of the leaves on the very base of the crown to expose more of the area where the roots will sprout from.

I tried to peel back some of the lower leaves as best I could, too, but I've since ended up peeling more of those off as they died, probably due to being soaked in too much water. Of course, that is also because I did not originally have the pineapple in that jar. All I initially had was a huge glass mixing bowl. A jar definitely works better because only the bottom will be in the water and not many of the leaves.

At that point, all that is left to do is set the pineapple crown in the sunlight and wait for roots to sprout. And they will grow, though it Change or add water as necessary. As for my new pineapple plant, I hope to be potting it sometime soon. Then the only question will be how long it will live before it somehow gets killed. Any bets? No? It's okay, I wouldn't bet on it either!


Tips, Steps to Take, and Things to Remember

  • It takes about two years for one pineapple plant to produce a fruit, and it only produces one at a time.
  • When purchasing a pineapple, look for one with fresh, green leaves that are not yellow or brown. However, it has to be all the way ripe in order to grow the roots. The skin of the pineapple should be golden in color, not green.
  • Check for insects at the base of the plant. They look like grayish spots on the bottom of the leaves.
  • Go ahead and strip some of the lower leaves off the bottom of the crown, off the stem. This will make it easier for the roots to sprout out of it.
  • Some recommend that the pineapple crown then be turned upside down for a week before placing it in water in order to let the scars from the cutting heal. I'll admit that I did skip this step and still saw the first indications of roots within a week or two.
  • Toothpicks can be inserted into the crown base to help suspend it without complete submersion.
  • Place the plant in a sunny window then wait and watch. It can take up to a few weeks for roots to begin to sprout.
  • After potting, it prefers a moist, humid environment. If this does not exist, mist the plant on a regular basis.
  • It needs sun year round and should not be in locations where temperatures fall below 65 degrees overnight.
  • Keep it watered lightly and fertilize the soil as needed, about once or twice a month during the summer months.
  • It takes about two years before a pineapple is produced and it only produces one at a time. First a red cone should appear, followed by blue flowers, then the fruit, which will take about six months to fully develop.

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Comments 28 comments

Sagacious Guy profile image

Sagacious Guy 2 years ago from Philippines

nice craft..


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Sagacious Guy. Maybe you'll have better luck at it than I likely will if you decide to try it.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

You grow things about as well as I do. I never give up though, and I really like the idea of giving a pice apple a second chance. Yeah, I am ever-hopeful. I sure hope you're able to go home soon.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Flourish, you must be typing from a phone with autocorrect. LOL. I am home. ;) And I have a pice apple so far, but we will see what happens after I pot it. Pretty sure the other hydrangea is not going to make it. More mysterious brown draining from the soil today. It's looking quite pitiful.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wonderful how you lead in with memories of home. I think I will give this a try and it is very nice to learn from your mistakes first. Great hub, as it is difficult to make such a mundane act so interesting.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Eric! That's quite the compliment. Perhaps it is less mundane because I made fun of myself? Gotta laugh, right? :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Good presentation, but I'll have to pass on trying a pineapple plant just now. My allotment of 'green thumb' genes and successful results are easily far outrun by my acquisition of 'brown thumb' tendencies and tragic results, so I shouldn't want to push my luck. Your experience brings back so many ventures I've had with various kinds of plant-starting, with varying degrees of success, but at times, with a lot of precious sentiment involved.

I may need to write it in a hub myself, because it's too much for a comment! haha.

Hope your pineapple survives, though; and good luck with the hydrangeas. That species might be a bit of a challenge to start with! Those I've planted outside didn't fare so well, either.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I love pineapple, but not sure about growing it. Maybe if you transplanted them into larger containers, they may be a bit happier? However, do not take my advice, as my green thumb is usually brown LOL

Blessings on your garden to be there!

(((Hugs)))


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

I think that would be an interesting hub to read, Nellieanna. To me, some of the most interesting things to read are of the personal experiences of others, depending on how the person relates the experience to others. And you are just interesting in general. ;)

As for my brown thumb, maybe that green one you sent me will help. Haha. Too bad I can't wear it. Maybe I should blow it up hug and print it - like a sign on my back? hehe

You know, I've wanted a hydrangea bush for a long time. They seem to do well down in Woodville in other yards, but we didn't have one in ours. These were on clearance for less than $2, so definitely worth trying to keep alive. It's still looking quite sorrowful, though. I doubt it will make it now.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Faith Reaper! No worries about advice from one brown thumb to another. If I tried to take any from someone with a green thumb, I'd still mess it up! I'd either forget to water it or not give it the right conditions or something. Maybe I should stick with ivy and cacti? LOL Ivy is hard to kill and cacti don't require much water. But, yes, I was planning to move it to a larger container when I got paid. However, I held off on that because, well, you can see the likelihood of survival by the picture of it.

Hugs back at ya, my friend! I love a good hug. And blessings to you as well!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Plants respond to attitudes, too. They need the positive energy and encouragement of one's feeling that they can make it. They actually respond to being told positive encouragement, especially when they're struggling to live. It doesn't cost anything, besides.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

A good attitude is good in general. People respond well, animals too. Why shouldn't plants? I've heard talking to plants helps them grow, even if it is just a result of exhaling on them.


Sagacious Guy profile image

Sagacious Guy 2 years ago from Philippines

yes i do agree with that idea for they are also living things like us.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Sagacious Guy. Glad you stopped by to read, too.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

My main New Year's Resolution in 2011 was to switch from keeping cut flowers on my coffee table to having and caring for live plants, especially in my kitchen windows, which provide dearly the only consistent fairly direct sunlight downstairs, plus being close to the kitchen sink for easy watering the way I usually do the watering, which is periodically to inundate them thoroughly. Most of my happiest non-succulent plants which thrive on this care are Peace Lilies and good ole standby, ivy, though gifts have expanded my green things and most of them have accepted my care methods. When I began with the Peace Lillies, I named them and talked to them a lot!

When she didn’t respond to having her roots kept wet by being daily watered in her pot on its saucer or having them get too dry when I held off watering too often, the one I named Claudia taught me how & when to water her and her friends, which is my method to this day on an individual plant basis when each tells me it’s thirsty. I usually waste no time responding if their leaves have started drooping noticeably. But at first, I really thought Claudia had died or was well on her way ‘out’, but (maybe from some buried information from George about plant care) I conceived of my watering method still in practice, inundating them while the water is simultaneously draining through the pots & out the holes into the sink, leaving the soil completely moist but never standing-wet, as daily watering them while plugged up by left on their saucers causes.

I was so worried about Claudia that I also learned to encourage my plants to thrive and to thank them for the pleasure they bring! She and the others I brought home one cold January day nearly 4 years ago are still thriving under just that treatment. I probably should repot and give then new soil, but haven’t so far. I’m still not ‘that’ universally green-thumbed, by any means, but am pleased to have maintained a good collection of greenery which emit vital oxygen and use up the nasty CO2 while they look fresh & seem to be responsive. Perhaps it is our exchange of chemicals involved, but whatever it is, I count my blessings! :-)

Since there already is a hub about this plant experience available, if you’d be interested and if it’s not too bold of me, here is a link to that hub: http://hubpages.com/living/My-Greener-Thumb...


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for sharing, Nellieanna. I just commented on your hub. As I mentioned there, our watering methods seem to be very similar, though I'm afraid I am just neglectful and forget rather than it being out of necessity due to a schedule. Truth be told, I probably could forget to feed the pets too if they didn't make it known they were hungry. ;) \lkjhjkklgfcxdz Speaking of pets wanting attention. ..Oreo just left you a message of gibberish as he walked across the keyboard. A cat must always be in the way, it seems.

I used to have a peace lily plant and have actually been wanting another one, but I put them in a vase filled with water and let a beta fish live in the water. I've seriously been considering doing that again. I'm just not sure how long the fish will last before a cat goes fishing. But, other than a cat, beta fish are hard to kill. If you're curious, he lily and fish look like this: http://www.foundus.com/betta/betta.htm. I haven't had a fish since college years, though. The lily and fish both do well like that, so long as one does not let the water turn green.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Studies show that singing to your plants will help them grow. They really do respond. The plants in my singing studio are amazing and my thumb is anything but green :) Great hub and sharing.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Interesting. I sing with the radio quite often. Maybe I should move the plants over by me when I do.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Interesting experiment on growing a pineapple in water. Mine is doing beautifully from cutting the crown straight off and placing it into the dirt. I'll probably have to bring it in tonight as we're expecting a light freeze here in Texas. Luckily, I have it in a portable container. Another one is still living (by a stroke of luck) inside after two or more winters. Yea pineapples!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

You live in Dallas? You aren't far from me. I still have not pitted mine yet. It sounds as if placing it in a pot straight off would have worked just as well. Thanks for the visit, PegCole!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

shanmarie.....Growing a pineapple would have never occurred to me! Your hub has encouraged me to give it a try. I love pineapple and they're so expensive, I will only buy one to treat myself. Thanks for this interesting info!...UP+++


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

You're welcome, but it seems a pineapple will still only be a rare treat. They only produce a pineapple every two years!

As of now, mine is still alive and seems to be healthy, but I am not sure how long that will last. I potted it, but one of the cats knocked it loose trying to get to the fish behind it.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I'm back again to review your tips for growing a pineapple. Thought I might give this a try. Wish me luck. :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Good luck! I've got two now. Apparently they are pretty hardy. I finally potted the one in the picture here and the cat kept knocking it loose in efforts to get the fish behind it. I had to put it back in water for now. And thanks so much for the return visit.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 2 years ago

A radical project. I hadn't thought about it. I might give it a try sometime.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

I hope you do poetryman. Plants are good to have around.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 months ago

I love tips on growing plants..Here goes.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 5 months ago from Texas Author

Ha, Michael! This isn't even one of my best articles. But thanks. The dog destroyed that pineapple after it was finally looking all healthy and.pretty again. Now I have two more. One is quite small but healthy and the other may not make it. But my cactus is healthy again. LOL At least I can grow something.

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