Pineapples are those one fruits you enjoy once in a while.
I think that’s why most people allergic to ever take notice that they can easily grow it on their own with their kitchen scraps that they’d otherwise toss into the garbage.
Pineapple is overlooked. It can be grown from the crown that you usually twist off then toss into oblivion.
It’s one of those fruits that can be regrown from scraps- as in, the scraps you’d be throwing out! It doesn’t get any more profitable than that.
Plus, it’s super easy to grow. So it makes a good project for the DIY enthusiast.
Free fruit means pineapple anytime you want for your smoothies, ice cream, or pizza (gross).
Let’s dive in and learn how to regrow pineapple using scraps at home.
Can you regrow pineapple?
You sure can, but your success rate depends on the pineapple itself (sterilized ones won’t produce fruit) and the growing conditions you place it in.
However, if you choose the right one and give it a bit of TLC, it should be relatively easy to regrow.
You’ll be using the pineapple top (AKA crown) to do this. It works nearly every time as long as your pineapple isn’t sterile and you provide it the right conditions. It’s easy. Anyone can do it!
Note that some plants can’t be regrown legally unless you have permission from the owner.
You can see this by looking at the plant’s labels. If you’re regrowing a patented pineapple, that’d be illegal.
So make sure you’re only planting legal pineapples from the grocery store. Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But that’s how to be lawful.
Can you regrow pineapple from the grocery store?
You don’t need to special order one online. You don’t need to shop around. You don’t even need to go to a nursery for it.
You can use the store-bought pineapple you find at your regular grocery hauls. The key is to pick one that’s likely to produce fruit.
Find a pineapple that’s large, dense in color, and has plenty of leaves coming out of the top. The more layers of foliage you have, the higher chance of rooting.
Avoid smaller, disfigured, or pineapples with the top cut off. These won’t fruit. You only need one to start, but if you want to maximize your chances of success, buy a few.
This will also produce more yield since they grow slowly. Pineapples are cheap and can be had for just a dollar if you know when to shop.
Basically, just pick the one that has the most leaves that are variegated. Lots of green. Minimal yellow.
How to regrow pineapple
So you should have a virulent pineapple you selected from the store. The first part is the best part. Eating it!
Remove the top
Go ahead and grab a sterilized knife and then cut the top off.
Cut about 1” from the bottom of the last layer of leaves. This should be right around where the last layer of new foliage is growing from the fruit and usually has a few dried leaves that may be orange or yellow.
The leafy top should be cut below the leaves, not at the leaf level. Trim it until you see the buds of the root, which look like small brown bumpy parts on the stem’s perimeter.
You can also just grab and twist the top by turning the leaves. It’ll come off without much force. Remove the bottom layer of leaves so that some of the crown is exposed. The roots will come from this area.
Eat the fruit however you wish. When you’re done enjoying it, prepare to grow some of your own as you savor that flavor.
Clean the crown
Next, we’ll want to do a little maintenance to the top cluster of leaves.
Do a gentle wash under the kitchen sink and rinse off any debris. This will help reduce the possibility of transmitting a plant virus or bacteria.
The fleshy part should be clean and evenly sliced. If there’s any debris, clean it off by rinsing it. Use a soft scrub for stubborn dirt.
Drying it out
So now it should be clean. Next, we’ll dry it out.
Place it somewhere nice and warm for up to a week until it’s completely dry. If you need to put it in sunlight, that’s fine. Use indirect, partial light to reduce the chance of mold or fungus.
Don’t put it somewhere damp or dark where there’s no light.
This may introduce bacteria or rot. You can tell when it’s dry by the look of it. It should be slightly wrinkly and wilted at the flesh.
Or you can touch it with clean fingers. It should be dry to the touch. Put a napkin or towel under it so your furniture doesn’t get ruined.
You can dry it out in the sun directly if you wish. This speeds it up and only takes 2 days or so.
How to root pineapple
Next comes a part where you can decide what you want to do. There are multiple ways to root pineapple from cuttings and the choice is yours.
We’ll cover all of the popular ones here and you can pick whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Rooting in water
Rooting a pineapple over water is probably the most popular way to root it because:
- It looks awesome
- It’s easy
- You can watch the roots grow
Note: If you want to maximize your chances of it rooting, planting directly into your garden is preferred. Rooting in water has a lower success rate.
All you need is a jar or container wide enough to fit the crown in. The crown is the fleshy part where the leaves are stemming out of. The crown should be submerged in the water, but the leaves are above it.
Don’t worry if the crown doesn’t fit perfectly- it just needs to be submerged. Use toothpicks and stick one end into the crown with the theater end jutting out.
Be careful not to harm yourself as they’re sharp. Put about 6-8 toothpicks around the crown in a circle until you have them sticking out in all directions.
When you have toothpicks in place, put the crown over the jar mouth with the toothpicks holding it in place so it “floats” over the jar.
Use clean, warm water and change it every other day if possible. Keep it fresh and clean. If the leaves turn brown, that’s OK. The roots will come out of the crown and look like tiny white feelers.
Here’s a video that roughly demonstrates the process:
Use fresh, clean water free of chlorine. If you have no idea about the water quality in your city, use a water tester. You can also use distilled water since it’s super cheap and everywhere.
Put the jar somewhere that receives bright light. It can be sunlight or ambient light. Don’t put it in direct sunlight or else it’ll evaporate, mold, or grow algae.
Keep a watch on the water level and water quality.
Do a complete water change once per week or when it gets murky or dirty. If you see mold or spores floating around the edges of the glass or on fruit, dispose of it.
On your next try, use less light because it’s probably helping the pathogens spawn.
Watch for roots. They should form within 3 weeks inside the water under the crown. When they come out, look for any mold growing on them.
If you don’t see any thin white strings pop out of the crown, continue with your water changes until they’re about 3-4 inches in length. They should be lengthy, thin, and float around when you move the cluster of leaves.
If you want to wait for them to grow a bit longer, that’s fine.
Just be sure to transplant within a month of them reaching 3 or 4 inches. Move the entire crown out of the jar and into a planter.
Fill it with a high-quality potting mix. I suggest using organic or natural mix since you’ll be eating this fruit, right? That’s about it. Wait for it to fruit and then harvest. We’ll cover this later in the guide.
Growing in soil
While directly sowing the fruit in the soil isn’t nearly as interesting or unique as planting in water, it’s easier because it’s straightforward.
You’ll need to be in the right USDA hardiness zone for this to work if you want to grow it outdoors. Pineapple grows in zones 10-11.
If you’re in a higher or lower zone, you have to bring it indoors or use a greenhouse. This will prevent it from getting too cold in the winter or too hot in the summertime.
Keep it in full or partial sun if it’s too strong. The soil should be moist, but not wet.
So now that you have your pot with soil, place the crown into the soil. The leaves should be sticking up with the crown resting on it. No need to push it down.
For those in other zones, sow indoors rather than out until the first frost is over with.
Pineapple will freeze in the cold and wither so don’t plant it in the cold until the springtime. If you’re in the south or west, you can plant outdoors directly into your garden.
This only applies if you have mild winters. If it’s too hot, the same goes for pineapple. It’ll burn. So you may want to plant it in partial shade if you have extreme heat.
You can check if the roots are established by gently tugging at the crown after 6-8 weeks. If it has resistance, then it is probably rooted.
If not, give it some time. If it’s been an extended period and your pineapple didn’t root yet, start over. There may have been a fungal or rot issue with the crown.
Note that if you’re doing this for fun, planting in water works. But if you’re doing this to get the highest chance of rooting, soil planting seems to have a higher success rate.
How to care for pineapple
Here are general guidelines on each component to maximize your pineapple’s yield.
Depending on your hardiness zone, this may vary. However, these tips and tricks should help you get a big, healthy pineapple fruit.
No need to get fancy with your soil, friend.
You can use a basic potting mix or just combine some perlite and sand. That should do it.
Pineapple isn’t picky, but it’s important to use the right pH. Try for a soil pH between 4.5-6.5, as pineapple prefers acidic soil.
If you’re in a zone that has wild temperature swings, put some mulch or compost to stabilize it and help with moisture retention. Opt for organic soil if possible.
Pineapples like full sun for at least 6 hours daily. If it’s too hot, you can plant in partial shade to help reduce scorching.
Provide sun without drying out the soil completely for extended periods. If you grow it indoors, grow lights can work. Pineapples will perish if it’s cold.
Keep the temperature between 70-80F for best results. 60F is too cold and will stop pineapple growth.
Likewise, temperatures above 90F are also too hot and will scorch it.
Keep it in its ideal range for the best growth.
You can use a high-quality plant fertilizer to help grow voluminous pineapples that are sour-sweet to the tongue. Use an NPK of 5-5-5 and use as directed on the plant food package.
The best time to add fertilizer is in the spring and summer as needed, usually 2-3 times per month as it grows rapidly during this period.
When the fall comes around, you can reduce it to just one feeding and then stop in the winter. Try to set up a tropical environment for your plant. Give it a partial shade if needed during scorches.
A balanced, slow-release organic plant food is recommended.
You’ll know that your pineapple is growing when new foliage comes out. That means you’re doing something right.
Pineapple grows extremely slowly and you may not see any new blooms for up to 3 years.
So be patient. You may even question why you’re not just buying it from the grocery store. But that’s no fun, right?
Water generously the first time you plant it into the soil, then reduce it. Let it dry out each time you water.
Don’t worry- pineapple is hardy to drought and will do fine for short periods with no water. Use your finger to feel the top 2-3 inches of soil and water when dry. It’s somewhat drought tolerant, but you should keep the moisture content stable.
Don’t let it go dry for extended periods then suddenly shower it. Don’t let it get too wet and then suddenly go dry.
Drought will slow the plant growth and the leaves will turn light green or yellow. If they curl, drought is happening and should be stopped.
Overwatering will do the same and kill it. If they turn brown, it’s a water issue. Prune the brown off and then watch your watering. If the middle of it turns yellow or brown, the pineapple is suffering and intervention is needed.
You can lay the pineapple on its side between waterings. This may help it produce ethylene gas, which helps benefit its yield.
Some people put the pineapple wrapped in a bag with apples, which produce ethylene. This helps speed up production.
During the period when the fruit is growing, you’ll have to prune off the wilted leaves. Keep watch of the soil nutrients and add plant food as needed.
If you’re growing in a pot, upgrade it as needed. Replenish with fresh substrate. Use macro-nutrients on the regular and micro if needed. For most people, generic plant food should do fine.
Keep it watered, add plant food, prune foliage regularly, check for pests, and monitor the soil conditions. That’s all the TLC pineapple requires in a nutshell.
When you see a fruit emerge from the center of leaves, it’ll appear as a small bloom on top of the leaf pile. It’s small at first and will grow into a full pineapple.
The right time to harvest is when the outside layer changes from brown to a light yellow. This is ripeness. Harvest immediately before pests feast.
Pineapple is vulnerable to rats, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, monkeys, and bugs. So be sure to harvest it on time. This will take years though. If you have wildlife in your yard, you’ll need to fence it off and use natural repellents to keep them out.
The last thing you want is to wait years for your fruit to harvest only to have a pesky squirrel eat it up overnight.
So don’t be ansty. If you grow it indoors, it may never even flower. This is why planting outdoors in the soil is recommended.
Pineapple takes a very long time to produce fruit, which is 2-3 years on average. The plant will also outgrow its pot if you’re planting using a container.
So you’ll need to report it with a larger one to provide the necessary nutrient profile for it flourish.
If you’re in a colder zone, you’ll have to bring it back into your house or put it in a greenhouse so you don’t kill it in the cold. Warmer zones can just leave it outside all year round.
Do this in the fall before the winter comes, not during the wintertime. Pineapple doesn’t like the cold.
Fresh cut pineapple can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before it browns.
Don’t put a whole uncut pineapple in there. Put it somewhere dry and out of sunlight.
For liquified juice, you can do the same. You can also freeze it if needed.
The only use is to eat it! Slice it fresh and eat it. Add it to salads.
Bake a pineapple butter cake. Blend a smoothie. Use it as a puree. Bake an upside-down pineapple cake. Or juice it. Eat it as dessert.
There are so many pineapple recipes online. Just search.
Other common questions
Here are a few commonly asked questions by readers that you may find helpful.
How can I make my pineapple grow faster?
Provide it with plenty of balanced fertilizer and use it correctly. Avoid cold temperatures that dip below 60F or high temps above 90F.
Keep it growing with regular waterings and use organic, rich soil.
Other than that, it’ll need regular sunlight daily for 6 hours and avoid planting fruits in the same genus to minimize competition.
Remove any weeds. Keep pests out.
Don’t let wildlife eat it. It’s not really difficult. Pineapples will take time to grow by nature.
So there’s nothing you can do other than provide it with your best TLC.
How long does it take to grow a pineapple from a pineapple top?
In ideal conditions, you should expect it to be ready within 2 years or 3 at the most. Be patient.
Can pineapple grow from seeds?
Yes, you can grow them from seeds as with any other fruit.
But if you’re not patient, start with a crown. It’s preferable since pineapple already grows so slowly. If you’re in for a rewarding experience, then you should consider it. It’s quite a challenge though.
How to transplant a pineapple plant
Transplanting it to the outdoors is easy.
When the chance of frost has passed, use a fertile plot of soil and just dig out a space that’s as deep as the crown and slightly wider around in a circle.
Then gently place the crown with its roots going in first. Put soil around it so that the crown is covered, but the leaves aren’t.
You don’t have to fully cover it. It’s OK to just add 1” of soil around it and leave it partially exposed. Just be wary of pests.
- Growing pineapple – Houzz
- How to grow your own pineapple – Reddit
- Pineapple – Gardening Solutions – University of Florida
Enjoy your homegrown pineapple!
Now that you know exactly how to plant a pineapple from atop you got at the grocery store, you’re “golden” like a ripe fruit.
Ready to harvest and watch it grow from a tiny cluster of leaves to a big, glorious sweet-sour piece of work?
Do you have any questions, tips, or tricks to share? Post a comment and let us know!
I’ve always been interested in gardening, but I never took it seriously until I was forcefully gifted an orchid. This was what got me into the hobby and I’ve never looked back. I enjoy writing about it, but not nearly as much as getting into the dirt and sculpting the perfect decorative ornamental to enjoy for the times.