The Pineapple Garden

Grow a pineapple garden from your store-bought fruit.

Growing a pineapple in your home garden is a fun, cheap educational project with kids. Most store-bought pineapples will take quickly to Florida’s sandy soil and produce fruit in12-24 months.

Choosing the right pineapple

Picking the perfect pineapple at the store starts with choosing a ripe fruit. Choose one that has good top folliage and smells, well, like a pineapple. Pull at the leaves at the top. If the leaves remove easily with just slight pressure, put it back and try again.

Preparing the top

Don’t let that pineapple sit on the counter too long. The best time tip in getting that pineapple to root is using a ripe and healthy specimen. Use a sharp knife to remove the top. Remove all the fruit from the step of the foliage and cut it back so there is no rot. Remove some of the small bottom leaves. Expose approximately 1 1/2 inches of the stem. This helps the stem to sprout roots easily. Plant the stem into sandy soil in a sunny location. Pineapples can easily take Florida’s summer heat they love bright sunny days.

Pineapples like space. If you’re growing your pineapple in a pot, choose one that gives it room to grow. The pineapple’s root system is tiny, but the plants can grow large, and too small a pot will cause it to become unstable.

Caring for a pineapple

This may be the easiest plant in the yard. Pineapple plants can survive on little water and they hate wet feet. The pineapple takes in water from the roots and the leaves, so if you are in a drought area, be sure to water both. The plant will absorb all nutrients through its leaves initially while roots develop so skip the slow-release pellets and go directly to a diluted fertilizer. If the leaves show a red or purple tinge on the tips, the pineapple needs more nutrition.

Pineapple patience

You can tell the pineapple is growing within two months when new leaves appear at the top. Most pineapples will fruit from the center of the crown in the second year. The pineapple is simply the flower of the plant. Offspring plants are typically smaller in size and should be harvested when they are fully ripe — the color become dynamic yellow and the fruit can be removed easily with a twist.