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Pineapple

pineapple - top part

If you like to eat pineapples, you might want to grow your own plant. Growing pineapples is a bit tricky and doesn't work everytime (see below). This means you'll have to like them a lot, because you may need a constant supply of fresh fruits if one doesn't grow...

Keep the top part of the fruit, including the leaves. However, the less leaves there are, the better, because all those leaves need water and nutritive substances, and these are difficult to get if the plant has no roots. So if you buy the fruit, take one with small leaves. Dry the top part for a week or so. This is done to prevent rotting if you plant it.

pineapple in pot

After it's dry enough, put the plant into a pod with a sand-soil mix. Give it water, but not too much. If the plant doesn't seem to use the water (i.e. if the soil remains wet for several days), it may be because the plant doesn't grow. Don't worry if the leaves start to get grey at the tips; this is because the plant cannot get enough water to support all the existing leaves.

If you're lucky, you'll see new leaves growing within the old ones (red arrow in picture). Now make sure you provide enough water, but not too much - still the plant may start to rot.

pineapple - view from top

The pineapple I planted has reached the stage described above, but has done nothing more for several weeks now. I have no idea what will happen later (if anything will happen at all).

... several weeks later ...

So much for the theory. Even though the leaves were growing a little bit, the part in the soil started to do anything but make roots. The new leaves started to dry and became brown or even black. I don't think this is what you'd call a successful attempt :-(

Several more weeks later, the plant looks still the same. It doesn't dry, it doesn't grow, and it doesn't rot. I removed the obviously dead parts at the bottom of the plant (the part that was in contact with soil), and I re-planted it into new soil and a new pod. It seemed that over time, the plant's to-be roots lost contact with the soil because water washed away the soil. This should now be repaired, and I'm waiting anxiously if anything will happen now...

pineapple with new leaves

Finally! Look at that! What do you guess how long it took the pineapple to reach this stage, from when it was first put into soil? Today is 2003-08-18, and I planted the pineapple last autumn, so it took nearly a year! Anybody who isn't patient will have a hard time trying to make pineapples grow...