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How to grow pineapples at home in Wales or anywhere in the world

Updated on December 19, 2012

Home grown pineapples

Several years ago I was on the Xmas edition of HTV Wales News in a report for the "And finally..." ending of the program. My story was all about how in the cold and darkness of winter in Wales, I was dreaming of a tropical paradise and helping make my dream more of a reality by harvesting a home-grown pineapple (Ananas comosus) I had cultivated in my living room.

I sent my idea in to the TV company feeling confident they would want to use it and they did. They opened with a scene of a tropical beach and palm trees and then cut to my house, while the narrator explained what I had been doing. I then went on to say how I grew a pineapple and then the report cut away to an expert from the Welsh Botanical Gardens in Carmarthen who said that growing a pineappple as I had done is very rarely done and that I was probably one of the first people in Wales to have achieved this.

HTV made a temporary online video of it too and there was a caption which read: "Steve Andrews Welsh pineappler grower." It was a claim to fame I felt proud of!

Pineapple pics

Pineapple flower
Pineapple flower
Pineapple in windowsill
Pineapple in windowsill
Press cutting of Bard of Ely in South Wales Echo
Press cutting of Bard of Ely in South Wales Echo
Home-grown pineapple
Home-grown pineapple

The South Wales Echo

The South Wales Echo also did a story about my homegrown exotic fruit. It is the sort of subject you could expect the local media to want to cover so if you ever fancy seeing yourself in the news this is a way that worked for me and there's a good chance it will work for you.

So how did I go about growing a pineapple? It is actually a lot easier than you may think although you need patience because it will take a few years before it is big enough to flower.

All you need is a fresh pineapple and you simply twist off the top spiky rosette of leaves and remove some of the bottom ones to leave a short stump about an inch long. If you are lucky you may find roots already to start around this base but if not they will soon develop.

Fill a pot with compost, although I just used soil from my back garden, water it enough so that it is damp but not sodden, and simply lightly push the pineapple stump into the earth. Keep it on a windowsill with plenty of sunlight and make sure it doesn't dry out and in about a month you should notice new leaves starting to sprout at the top. Once the pineapple is firmly rooted and growing new leaves you are well on your way to future success.

All going well your pineapple plant will keep on getting bigger and bigger, and will of course need bigger pots as it does so. The leaves on mine were about 4 ft long when it flowered but they can get even longer than this. They are very spiky so you need to be careful when tending to your pineapple and you need somewhere with enough room for a large plant.

I grew mine in a south-facing bay window, and as I explained to the reporter, I just used to water it when it looked dry and that was it - no special care or plant food. Because the pineapple is a tropical plant from the bromeliad family, which incidentally also includes the Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), you have to keep it indoors, although if you live in a warm climate where there is no danger of freezing it could be grown outside. It is important not to overwater though because if the soil stays wet it will probably rot your pineapple plant.

The flower forms as a cone with pretty little bluish-violet florets around it in rows right in the middle of the rosette, which may go an attractive rosy-red colour around it. Eventually the fruit starts to get bigger and bigger and looking like a real mini pineapple. It will keep growing until eventually you end up with an unmistakeable fruit. It will take a couple of months before it is ripe enough to eat but it is exciting watching it develop and will make a great talking point for you to discuss with friends and family.

After you have harvested your fruit you can then produce daughter plants by starting a new one from the crown of your pineapple, and also the original plant will produce a shoot or shoots on the stem you have cut and this can be removed and rooted as well. It is possible to allow the mother plant to grow another pineapple but you will need to wait again for it to do so.

Growing your own pineapple at home gives a real sense of achievement and it makes an attractive and unusual houseplant. It may start you wondering what else you can grow. I followed up with Kiwi fruit in my back garden but that's another story!

Copyright © 2010 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

Bard of Ely's first Welsh home-grown pineapple

Comments

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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Pineapple is good for the health I know so probably good for IBS but I haven't checked!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I am going to try this! Is it true pineapple is good for IBS?

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      That's interesting and a good use for them!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Nice Post! At my native place we have pinapple plants planted like fence or to mark the boundary.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      That is brilliant news! I am so glad they allowed you to have the tops! Just imagine how many pineapples there could be if everyone grew them from discarded tops! lol

    • profile image

      purplenurple 

      10 years ago

      Loved reading about your success growing pineapples! I am in the process of growing some myself! I have one that is about 2 yrs old -has yet to produce a pineapple, one that is about 8 months and then about 2-3 months ago I obtained 7 pineapple tops from my local grocery store produce dept. for free....they just throw them away!!! I planted all 7 in individual clay pots and now am the proud owner of 4 "baby" pineapple plants!!! I love watching them grown and can't wait to see the flower!!!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Good luck pineapple growing, Amy!

    • profile image

      amy 

      10 years ago

      wht a great idea. home grown pineapple. let you know how my one progresses. who knows you maysoon see a pineapple grove in kent . thanks x

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for the feedback! I am surprised they don't grow more here where I am now.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      When I lived in Africa, I used to live not far from whole fields of pineapple. Your photos of the plant brought back memories of sitting in the nearby pub - you had to keep your hand over your beer or wine glass all the time, or it would be full of swimming fruit flies in 5 seconds flat! I never thought of trying to grow one myself.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for posting, Shaye! Pineapple growers of the world unite! lol

    • The How To Hub profile image

      The How To Hub 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Wonderful hub. Don't they just have the most beautiful flower! An old neighbour friend of mine, he's past now, but he grew pineapples in his backyard every single year and always shared. Just the other day we were talking about starting a garden for the kids, so sounds like the signs are pointing to us growing pineapples : )

      Thanks

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your feedback, Jeff! Yes, the home grown method is the way to go!

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Freshly grown pineapple - in my own home? What is the world coming to! Hopefully to locally grown and produced fresh fruit, vegetables and grains that we can often grow ourselves! Great article, Bard, and please let us know more about things we can grow ourselves!

      I saw where a small bread baker in New England is growing his own wheat, and his customers are helping him by planting small plots in their own yards! They are trying to convince local farmers that there is a local market for wheat, and that they should put their land to use for local consumption. What a novel idea LOL!!!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting, Zsuzsy!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks, Karen! No, fortunately I have had longer spells of fame, although I am still looking for that elusive big break! lol

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great hub. Pineapple's my fave.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      10 years ago from Central Oregon

      Beautiful. I love fresh pineapple.

      I hope that wasn't your 15 minutes of fame.

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