Midwest Grown Pineapples
My sister made me grilled pineapple and chicken for my birthday. I fell in love with grilled pineapple. I can just think about grilled pineapple and a smile comes to my face. That takes care of the pineapple now, what to do with the top of the pineapple.
Have you ever tried to grow a pineapple from the top of a pineapple fruit? Well, I did and guess what. It worked. All this happened before I had the internet and access to what everyone else was doing regarding growing pineapple plants.
GROWING EXOTIC PLANTS IN THE MIDWEST
I have lived in Oklahoma and Missouri most of my life. It was in these Midwest states of Oklahoma and Missouri that these pineapples were grown. Cold weather begins arriving in September and warm weather doesn’t show up until April or May. Only four months of sunshine and warm weather to grow a pineapple. Not really, they grow all year that is just when the pineapples get to enjoy the outdoors.
GROWING A MIDWEST PINEAPPLE
My first pineapple top was started in 1978. I cut the top off the pineapple I had just eaten and put it into a pot of soil. The pot was six inch in diameter and eight inches in height. I placed rocks in the bottom of the pot to give it drainage and sat it in the middle of my kitchen table. I faithfully watered it and it soon began to die. Yes, I said “began to die.” I kept watering it because I was hoping I could revive it. The table was open to the patio and there was not good lighting. I thought this was the reason for it death. The pineapple top rotted in the pot and I kept watering and hoping. Trial and error for I had no internet to go to get information. I watered once a week on Saturday mornings. I gave it about ½ cup of water each watering. Much to my surprise, after about a month of watering, there was new growth.
About two years later, a baby pineapple showed up in the crown of that pineapple. It took six to eight months for the pineapple to grow into a small pineapple about four inches in height. It started turning yellowish/orange like it was ripe and then I cut it off the stem. I had about two, one inch chunks to eat. It was not completely ripe, so this was not the best of bites but, it was my first pineapple. If I had the internet I would have known to wait a little longer.
TEN YEAR WAIT
I kept that pineapple plant, thinking maybe it would produce again. Some time later, it put out a slip from its roots. That grew into another pineapple top. When it became too heavy for the original plant I cut it off and planted it. I moved overseas and my father took my two pineapple plants. Shortly, after I left in 1989, my father wrote me that one of the plants had put on a baby pineapple. My father began then putting the pineapple plants outside in the summer and bringing them into the house in the winter months. I have continued this practice. My father, being a little more in tune to planting, growing, and harvesting kept the pineapple on the plant until it was ripe. He said, the pineapple was delicious but, that there wasn’t much of it.
My father passed away in March, 2010 and I took the pineapple plants back to my house. My father had started some new tops trying to replicate the process. I did not know which top was which, but I keep them alive.
TWENTY FIVE YEAR LATER
Then this last December, 2014 I started to water the plants and there it was, a small pineapple growing in the crown of one plant. Then about a week later another of the plants had a small pineapple growing in its crown.
I have a Amaryllis plant and for two Christmas’ it has bloomed some beautiful flowers. I had been looking forward to those blooms in the long, cold winters. Alas, I had moved them to a new area in my home and they don’t like change. No blooms from the Amaryllis this year, but there are two small pineapples coming into my world.
Maybe you have wondered if you could grow a pineapple from the top of a pineapple fruit. Yes, it can be done. Wait, wait, and wait, it was ten years for the second one and twenty five years for the third pineapple, grown here in the Midwest states of Oklahoma and Missouri. Then when you least expect it, one, or if your lucky, two baby pineapples will make it into your world.
All of this was experienced without the aid of the internet. This makes me think of Einstein, Edison and other great inventors. The many trials and errors before successes. Thinking how much easier it would have been for them and me with the aid of the internet.
In December I had two new arrivals and it is now April. It is just about time for me to move the pineapple plants outdoors. The first of the pineapples to arrive is now 7 1/2 inches in height and 3 inches in diameters. This plant is in a much bigger pot. I have added soil and fertilizer to both plants. Plant number 1 is in more direct sunlight. The second of the pineapples to appear is 6 1/2 inches in height and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. I think they are as excited about warmer weather and getting into the outdoors as I am. We have just had a cool spell, hopefully the last for the season.
Pineapples in August 2015
The end is near for both of my pineapples. The first pineapple is 17" in height. the fruit is 4 1/4 inches and 2 1/3 inches in diameter. It is a beautiful golden color and smells like fresh pineapple. About a week ago the stem holding the pineapple drooped to the side. The second pineapple is 10 inches in height, the fruit is 3 3/4 inches and 3 inches in diameter. It was about a month ago that the stem on this pineapple drooped. I have looked on the internet and am unsure why they drooped to the side. The first pineapple to arrive has survived. It appears that the second pineapple is ripened and was eaten.
In 2016 these pineapple plans were moved to Florida in April. They are growing rapidly now. I will be watching to see if they produce more quickly.
Update June 2019. The pineapples did produce more rapidly in Florida. I moved from Florida to California to research a book. Two of the plants were taken at the border, one of them had a two inch pineapple on it. The two remaining plants thrived but did not produce in California. In 2018 I moved back to the mid-west. The two remaining pineapples have died.