One of my many hobbies is gardening and growing houseplants. I’ve filled my sewing room and quilting studio with plants as well as the AnswerLine office. We have some really good growing conditions in our office and we have successfully grown a wide variety of plants. We have started seven avocado plants and a sweet potato vine. The avocados (all but one) have gotten too big and spindly for the office. Our sweet potato vine grew and grew until the vine was up in the ceiling tiles. We had to dispose of those plants.
I’m always on the lookout for something new and fun to grow. I was at my local quilt shop a couple of weeks ago and saw this pineapple plant growing. The owners have some seriously green thumbs; I’ve never seen a potted pineapple with fruit growing on it. Guess I’ll have to buy a fresh pineapple when I am at the grocery store this weekend.
If you, too, are thinking of starting a pineapple plant, follow these directions from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Hortline.
Cut off the top of the pineapple about 1 inch below the cluster of leaves. Trim away the outer portion of the pineapple top, leaving the tough, stringy core attached to the leaves. Also, remove a few of the lowest leaves. The pineapple top then should be allowed to dry for several days. The drying period allows the moist core tissue to dry and discourages rotting. After drying, insert the pineapple top into perlite, vermiculite or coarse sand up to the base of its leaves. Water the rooting medium. Keep the rooting medium moist, but not wet, during the rooting period. Finally, place the pineapple top in bright, indirect light. Rooting should occur in six to eight weeks.
When the pineapple has developed a good root system, carefully remove it from the rooting medium. Plant the rooted pineapple in a light, well-drained potting mix. Water well. Then place the plant in bright, indirect light for three to four weeks.
After three to four weeks, the plant can be placed in a sunny window. Keep the potting soil moist with regular watering. Using a soluble houseplant fertilizer, fertilize the pineapple once or twice a month in spring and summer. Fertilization usually isn’t necessary in fall and winter. The plant can go outdoors in late May, but must come back indoors before the first fall frost.
I’m looking forward to getting our pineapple plant started.