Welcome to the first in a new series here at UrbanFig that focuses on ways to use your kitchen scraps to grow new plants.
By now we hope that we have adequately stressed the importance of composting, so the fact that you can compost your vegetable and fruit scraps goes without saying. In some cases though, you can salvage a part of the plant and get new growth out of it. Such is the case with the pineapple.
How to Remove the Pineapple Top
More often than not, people will cut the crown from the top like you see in the photo to the left and while that may seem like the right thing to do, you risk losing some of that golden sweet deliciousness inside.
The best way to remove the crown is to grasp the pineapple at the base of the crown and twist firmly. The entire crown will break loose from the rest of the fruit easily and completely intact.
Once you have the crown free to work with, peel away a few of the lower leaves to reveal about half an inch of the stalk.
Next, using a sharp knife, trim the base and the sides of the stalk to reveal tiny brown dots along the outer rim. These dots will soon become the root system of your new pineapple plant.
Once trimmed, set your pineapple crowns aside and allow them to dry for 2 days. This allows the plant to scar where it has been cut and will prevent rotting.
How to Root a Pineapple Top
After drying, place the pineapple top into a jar of plain water. change the water out every 2 or 3 days to keep it clear. In a few days, new roots will begin to appear. When the roots are well-established, plant your new pineapple in an 8-inch terra cotta pot (or another pot of similar size and drainage) with a soil mixture that is excellent for drainage.
When the plant matures you will need to transplant it to a larger pot (I use 12” terra cotta). In most cases you will see the telltale signs of a new pineapple baby when a bright red cone shoots out from the center of the plant, usually after about 1 year. If it hasn’t happened in 18 months, Dole Plantations tells us that you can force nature’s hand by sealing the entire plant into a plastic bag with a ripe apple. Move the plant into a shady spot for 3 days, then remove the bag and return it to its sunny home. After forcing, the red cone should appear within 2 months.