Thursday, August 11, 2011

How To: Planting Pineapples

1. First you need a beautiful ripe pineapple from the grocery store.  You want it to be yellow, to smell like a pineapple, and you should be able to easily pull one of the leaves from the center of the top.
Purchased at the grocery store for .39/lb about $2.25 total.

2. Get a firm grip on your pineapple with one hand and with your other hand grab the leaf end and twist until the whole top pops off.
This removes the leaf portion with very little meat.
 Cut your pineapple as you desire.  A Chef friend taught me to prepare it this way if I want it in chunks.
Cut off the top and bottom

stand the pineapple on end and slide your knife through the pineapple from top to bottom removing the skin from the meat.  Turn and repeat until all the skin is removed.

When skin is removed cut the pineapple into quarters (half and then half again).

Cut the core off of each quarter. My kids like to suck and chew on the cores.

Slice or chop or dice the pineapple to the desired size and shape.  If you want it in rings you cannot cut it this way, you have to have a corer.

3. Back to the pineapple top.  Pull off about 3/4 of an inch worth of leaves from the bottom to expose the root buds.
Just start pulling

The bottom should look something like this when you are done. ( I also cut all the meat of the bottom off this one.  It is not necessary to cut it though.)

4. When it is peeled then leave it out on the counter to dry for a week or so. You want the end to be completely dry.
Here's my collection of pineapple tops.  The one on the far left has been sitting there for about 9 days.

When your pineapple top is completely dry it should look something like this.  I forgot to peel back some of the leaves on this one before drying it so I will have to peel them back now and let it sit for a couple more days.

5. Place your dried pineapple top in a cup of water so just the bottom is immersed in water.  Let it sit for a few weeks. Check the water every few days to make sure that it is still touching the bottom.  If the water gets stinky change it.
This pineapple top has been in water for 1 week.  You can see that the root buds are swelling

This pineapple has been in water for 2 weeks and it has one root now.

This pineapple has been in water for 3 weeks and has a lot of roots now.  It is ready to plant.
 Depending on your weather and your pineapple tops it may take longer for the roots to grow.  About 1 out of every 3 pineapple tops that I have started have rotted instead of rooting. Just be patient and keep trying and make sure that it is in a warm humid spot.

6. Plant your rooted pineapple in potting soil.  Pull off any leaves that are loose and make sure that the soil is firm around the base of the pineapple so it doesn't fall over from the weight of the leaves.  Place it in a warm sunny spot and water when the soil is dry.
This is my very first pineapple that I purchased when we moved here.  It is beginning to grow new little green leaves on the inside. It is currently sharing a pot with some strawberries and a tomato plant but will need to be transplanted within a few months. It will need a pot all it's own, at least 2 feet by 2 feet.

7.  Wait for 2 years.  Yes, it takes two years for a pineapple to grow in ideal conditions!

This is my neighbor's pineapple plant.  Her predecessor planted it when they moved in.  They moved out this spring before her first pineapple ripened (very sad).  The pineapple grows on a stalk that will flop over if it isn't supported in this windy area that I live in.

It is possible to get more than one pineapple from a bush but it takes another 9-12 months for a second to grow after the first AND it will be a smaller pineapple than the first was.

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