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How to Grow a Pineapple from its Top

I’m not sure what it’s like in the rest of the world, but here in Australia, finding a pineapple in the shops with a top on is becoming harder to find than hen’s teeth. Why? I guess growers are realising that many gardeners are growing their own pineapples from them and have chosen to keep their proprietary safe. 

If you didn’t know that you could grow a bush from its own top, here are the directions on how to do it from Tim Featherston.

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How to Grow a Pineapple from its Tops

How to Grow a Pineapple from Top
  1. Cut the top off the pineapple and remove all of the fruit. If you leave some fruit on it will rot the top.
  2. Remove the bottom 1" or 1 and 1/2" of leaves. The stalk will root but the leaves will rot.
  3. (The secret) Dry the top for two days or until a callus forms. Depending on the humidity, this could be as short as a day or as long as a week. Do this somewhere cool and dry. If you don’t do this the stalk will rot.
  4. Dip the stalk end in water and then into a rooting hormone. This makes rooting faster.
  5. Lay the stalk in a pot of fast draining potting soil so that only part of the stalk is touching the soil. Don’t put the entire stalk in the soil. In other words DO NOT plant the stalk in a vertical position.
    If you do then it is highly likely the stalk will rot. If you live in a very dry climate then put the pot and stalk in a plastic bag (e.g. dry cleaning bag) to conserve moisture.
  6. Mist frequently to keep the soil moist but not wet. Roots on your pineapple bush should appear in 2 or 3 weeks.
  7. Once roots appear, repot the pineapple (this time in the vertical position) in a fast draining potting soil (e.g., half potting soil half perlite). 
How to Plant a Pineapple Top

Remember, pineapples are actually bromeliads. Hence they like tropical conditions. High light, constant humidity, and constant lite fertiliser in the summertime. In 2 or 3 years, your pineapple bush will grow another pineapple.

In order to pick a few fruit each year, just replace the picked pineapple with its top and the cycle will continue. There you have it! Now you know how to grow pineapple from tops! 

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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  1. No tops on the pineapple? They won’t work for table decorations that way!
    I did get one rooted and growing some years ago – but not since we moved to TX. This might be fun to try again.
    Annie

  2. Yes. It’s a bit rude really. I didn’t realise this was possible to do until producers had already ceased to sell them with their tops on.
    I’d love to hear how it goes for you Annie.

  3. Ah-ha! Now I know why this never worked for me—I always just put it into soil right away. Next time I do this, I will definitely let it dry for a couple of days. I better do it before they start selling top-less pineapples here 🙂

  4. I tried this once. The plant grew very well, but I never got a pineapple out of it. 🙁
    How sad to hear that growers are starting to sell them with their tops cut off.

  5. no comment just a ? after you grow the pineapple does the sme bush regrow another one and do they grow more then one at a time thanks

  6. Yet another great post. I was searching google and here I am. Getting ready to start my pineapple. Thanks Gary!

  7. I started growing my own in Dec 07, by cutting the tops and dipping them in rooting hormone. I have 7 at the moment in pots, and waiting for some fruit to appear. They’re very hardy and grow easily in Perth.

  8. Pineapples, don’t water them if you want the plant to fruit, let natural rain do the watering (free draining if in a pot). Pineapples collect moisture from the air and do best with minimum watering. Much depends on the climate and season in your district. New Zealand .

  9. Hey i have a question, I tried to follow the steps and everything started to turn out great until.. The center of the plant fell off, just died out. I was wondering if the plant will create a new center or die, since the “heart” fell out the plant has been doing good, its roots have doubled in size and the plant is starting to look greener.. I also heard if it cannot grow the plant will just send off a shoot

  10. Don’t doubt your pineapple! I was given a pineapple as a birthday present. It was small, but already had a fruit. The stalk died and so did the fruit (Silly me forgot to water the plant since it was indoors. I usually keep my plants outside.) I cut the stalk off, cut the top off (didn’t even do it right, just took a pair of scissors and cut straight across). I planted the top and replanted the original. The original grew a new shoot from the side that eventually pushed the old plant out of the way. It’s currently growing its pineapple! The top rooted and I gave that to a friend. She almost killed it by watering it. I live in Florida, so I have yet to water my pineapple. Hers looks better once I told to stop and let nature do the work. My plant has just started to grow another shoot while still growing the fruit. I’m going to wait until the fruit is ready or the shoot endangers the main plant before I separate the two. But my advise is wait. Tend to plant, but many times due to our heat and droughts, I’ve lost plants. But I never thrown them out, and they always seem to come back. (I killed my Gardenia three times now when I forgot to water during our droughts and with some hard pruning and water, it’s back.) Your pineapple will probably grow a new shoot and push out the old one like mine did. Best of luck!

  11. hello i live in australia and i live on a pineapple farm. i hope all you guys achieve what you are trying to achieve. if it doesnt work the first time keep trying. just remember to plant more than one topp cause not every topp produces a pineapple.
    if you have any questions about them i am very happy to try to awnser them. 🙂 my email address is [email protected]

  12. l want to know more about how to grow pineapples and also the best type that is like most in europe and other countries.l will want to to into pineapple production in the near future.l am 22 year and a male from ghana.hope to hear from you soon.thank u

  13. I am trying to grow a pineapple plant for the very first time. I am hopping I did everything right. I really am not looking for my tree to bear fruit, I just want the neat looking plant…I will let you know how it growes.(or goes)…get it…

  14. Have a pineapple plant now 8 years old. Has never bore a fruit. Was told (8 years ago,I’m a bit slow) to force the plant to fruit, place quarted apples around the base and cover the entire plant with a loosely fitting black plastic bag; loosely fitting around the leaves but tight around the pot’s base. What do you guys think? And you tic_tac, from the beautiful land way under my own?

  15. Uncle Hal, it takes around 14 years of pinapples to harvest. My dad who expired 10 years back planted few pinapple plants when he was 20s, which has just started fruiting. All in all, if you have planted a pinapple tree, maybe your son will reap the reward. The pinapple we usually eat are from 50 years~ old plants. Hope this helped.

  16. go to LOW’S they have pineapples with the fruit for under $10!! im still gonna do the top thingie but i bought one anyways 🙂

  17. Hi, when my pineapple topp came off it had already started to form some roots, do i still need to form a calluos and start from step 7 or right from step 1?
    Thank you

  18. Hi,
    Pineapples will take a couple of years to fruit so you need to be patient. Make sure all the fruit is removed from the top and let a dry for a few days. Pull off say the 10 small leaves at the bottom of the top, you may see root buds already forming!) Do not put it in water. Any soil with a bit of sandy loam is great, dig it a bit, plant your top in a hole press and water it in. Planting depth depends on the size of the top, a large top can be planted 2-3 inches deep. If you must grow pineapples in a pot please be kind and make the pot a large one of at least 10-20 liters. The bigger the pot the larger the fruit will be and visa versa. The other advantage of pots is that if you are transient it goes with you. Full sun or partial shade it doesn’t matter. Give them a splash of water once a week if your in a dry area. If its planted outside pee near the plant once a fortnite (not one for the ladies mahaha, rough leaves and neighbours!)
    Pests like rabbits will eat your newly planted tops, keep the weeds at bay till they get established. We have approx 150 pines growing around our houses and in the orchard. The fruit taste great, just let them ripen on the plant (you may need to stake the fruit if its a good size). If you let it get too ripe it will probably fall off the plant. Any questions feel free to email me at [email protected]
    Russ

  19. I have planted several Pineapple tops from store bought fruits here in Houston/Katy, Texas and theyt are growing wildly. In fact they heve outgrown the pot that I currently have two planted in. Can anyone advise me as to whether it is safe to replant these in the ground without risk shocking them to death ?

  20. I have two growing for the last 2 1/2 years the plants are huge, but no sign of fruit.
    Can I force it to produce?

  21. Most pineapples will fruit if left to mother nature to do the watering. The stem is an anchor root so it will not require fertilizers, it’s the leaves that gives the plant nourishment and if left the leaves should turn copper / green in colour. If the plant is watered the leaves will turn green and it will not fruit and too much water will cause root rot and you will lose the plant. This information was told to me by Professor Wiseman of the Golden Circle Cannery in Queensland Australia.

  22. Hi Kevin, pineapples are a member of the bromeliad family a tough plant that require little watering. Use a sharp knife to remove the suckers/pups and let the wound dry for a few hours before replanting them. Roughen up or till the ground 6 inches depth and push the sucker/pup into the ground. If the plant is larger dig a hole large enough to contain the root system, (being a bromeliad they will produce roots within a few weeks).

  23. Advice from Prof. Weisman of Golden Circle in Qld, Australia; if you water your pineapple too much its will remain green and won’t fruit. Allow the plant to absorb moisture through its leaves and the colour will go copper/brown, thus the sign that the plant is ready to fruit. Should you wish the plant to fruit (for hobbyists) place a near ripe apple in the centre of the plant crown & the gas from the apple will enhance fruiting.

  24. A friend of mine gave me two pineapple tops. She put them in dark plastic bags, tied them up and put in fridge. When I brought them home I forgot and left them on the table for about two days. I put them back in the fridge and forgot about them again. About a week later I brought them out to see if there was any hope of saving them. When I went to pull off the leaves there were roots already growing. I just put toothpicks in them and set them in water. I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m wondering if leaving them in plastic bags refrigerated had anything to do with the root growth.

  25. Hay, yesterday i decided to plant a pineapple, but i saw one man on yt doing it differently,so i decided ti give it a try. So,thats how i did it: cut off the top of the puneapple, rip away some bottom leaves(just a few), then i put some(3) toothpicks in the bottom(like you do when you plant avocado) ,and put it in the glass of water(the toothpicks hold the leaves out and the bottom side in the water) .so,that guy on yt sad that when the roots came out, its ready do plant. I hope its gonna work,but i just did ut for fun. And today im gonna buy another one and try that version that Gary did(:
    Peace & love,
    Tara from Slovenia

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