Growing Pineapples in your home garden

Don’t remember where, but I ran across a random thread on the interweb about a guy who’s grandfather collected pineapples tops from the produce department at a supermarket. He started planting them in the yard at his house and it turned out that he could grow them. Intriguing, if he could could do it, why can’t I?

The pineapple traces it’s roots back 500 years when Columbus found them being grown by West Indies natives and brought some back to Spain. For more on that check out the Bromeliad Society International site. A pineapple is a bromeliad, it’s a member of a tropical plant family with over 3100 varieties (incidently, Spanish moss is also a bromeliad), and is the only member of that family that is edible, but enough about that, you want to know how you can grow them at home.

A word of advice, if you plan on trying this, patience is the name of the game. Pineapples can take up to two years to flower and then another 6 months to produce fruit, provided the conditions are right. The plants themselves don’t require a lot of care, and the flowers will last for a long time, but they are sensitive to freezes. Being in zone 9A, that might be a problem, but only time will tell.

Here are two that I started the one in the back has been in the ground several weeks longer than the other. There was a third but it didn’t take. Anyway, I started by cutting the top of the pineapple off along with about an inch of the fruit, dug a hole, covered the base with dirt, and there you have it. I haven’t been lavishing any special attention to them and you can clearly see both have new growth, so that’s encouraging. They’re in the “food forest” next to the patch of sweet potatoes. Long term I’m not sure whether they’ll make it, but it will be interesting to see whether they’ll flower. Stay tuned.

Happy gardening.


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