Summertime = summer fruit. Such bountiful, beautiful fruit! Berries, stone fruits and all manner of tropical delights are being devoured daily but what do you do with the "scraps"? Does everything go in the bin or do you feed it to your compost heap? Have you heard of watermelon rind pickle? How about growing your own pineapple plant? Wait, what!? I know, you're thinking, "Kate, I can't grow pineapples, that is straight up crazy." It sure is crazy, my friend. Crazy like a fox who can grow pineapples.
This fun little planting guide has just four simple steps so is easy enough to get kids involved. Pineapple plants are bromeliads with the added benefit of producing fruit, though it can take 1-2 years for your plant to do so. In the meantime you get a really nice houseplant to brighten up your home! Ok, let's get started...
Step 1. Remove the pineapple crown (the part with the leaves). You can twist it off or chop it, removing as much of the flesh as possible. Twisting it off is actually much easier than I thought it would be, you just need a firm grip.
Step 2. Sit the crown upside down and let it dry out, up to a week. This allows the base of the crown to form a bit of a callous, similar to succulent propagation.
Step 3. Peel away 2-3cm of leaves from the base of the crown and place it in a glass of water by a sunny window. You only want to submerge the exposed part of the crown (toothpicks can be used to keep it in place). Change the water every few days and soon roots will sprout from the base of the crown.
Step 4. Once the roots are at least 1 inch long you can plant your pineapple crown! A light garden soil with roughly 30% organic matter will do nicely. Pineapple plants love the sun so keep it in a sunny spot, indoors or out. If you live in a cooler climate, bring the plant indoors for the winter and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight. A good misting to keep the humidity up also helps.
Et voilà! Your very own pineapple plant! Now, be sure to keep that pineapple flesh handy as I'll be using it to mix up something tasty for a little Friday treat. You've earned it :)