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Image by Justine Alipate

Grow your own pineapples

You don't have to live in the tropics to grow your own pineapples. As long as the climate is temperate and frost-free and you have a sunny spot — even a balcony with plenty of sun will do — you can be in the pineapple business.


I live on the east coast of Australia and have grown them since 2010 (see images below). They do take a while, up to two years from planting, but if you plant them in the right spot, you'll be well-rewarded. There is something inexplicable about eating a naturally-ripened pineapple; there's a sweetness that is worth the wait. And it's quite easy.



After you've eaten most of your pineapple, set aside the top plus about 20mm of the flesh left. That bit isn't as tasty as the rest anyway.



Prepare a well-draining spot in the garden, preferably north-facing (southern hemisphere) or a large pot (20cm diameter will do) for that sunny balcony or patio or deck. Use a well-aged composted soil or organic potting mix.



Place the cut flesh part of the pineapple top in the soil and water in. Water for first few days, then leave to dry out a bit, then water. Emulate the tropics, or if you grow bromeliads, use them as a guide. Once established, that is, new leaves appear, they pretty much look after themselves. (Some growers say you should dry the cut piece for a day before planting; I've not done that and it works: just plant the fleshy part straight into the soil.)





1 Starting out: pineapple at flowering stage  

2 Pineapple after about five months growing through the summer into autumn

3 The fully-ripe pineapple  

4 Harvested

How to grow pineapples from tops

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