Let me preface this by saying I DO NOT have a green thumb…Rosemarie does. She started growing pineapples a few years ago (it takes that long!). We currently have a crop of three honest-to-goodness real, growing pineapples in pots in the backyard. Three other plants are just sitting nearby watching how it’s done. My role? I do some of the dirty work, like repotting the plants that have outgrown their pots, or cleaning out all the alien plant life that “moves in” and starts taking over. Clover is very good at doing this. When it comes to weeds and clover, that’s when I have a green thumb.
So here is our humble pineapple farm. Last week the pots sat in two year’s worth of weed growth and assorted weird things that just seem to collect in a neglected area in our backyard. I personally plowed all that stuff out and then lugged all ten bags of river rock, eight cement squares, five bags of mulch and two timbers from Lowe’s to the backyard and made it all look pretty. When I do these kinds of things there are usually two results. First, I cannot move for two days afterwards and, second, the plants that were once thriving in the weeds….die. So far, the first is true.
As for pineapples, I am not as much a fan of eating them as I am enthusiastic about growing them. They are an interesting fruit to grow…and not a lot of work. They take time, however, so you have to be patient. Oh, did I mention that it helps to have a warm, tropical climate, too?
To get started, slice off the top of a nice existing pineapple, like one you got at the supermarket. You only need about a quarter-inch and don’t cut away the leaves. Put this in a container with potting soil. Cover the top of the pineapple, leaving just the leaves exposed. If the pineapple gods are with you, your pineapple slice will send out a preliminary root system and you’re on your way–simple, huh? If you are not there already, move to a warm tropical area and put your plant outside. Water it every so often and check back in a year or two to see if you have a pineapple.
At worst, you will probably have one or more offshoots from your original plant. This is a good thing. The more offshoots, the more potential for fruit. Before they get too big, gently separate the offshoots and plant them solo in individual pots.
What you do next is, keep looking down into the center tunnel from whence all the plants leaves originate. It you are lucky, one day you will see the magic. At first it looks like a little flower as pictured on the left.
In a few months it begins to take on an appearance that slightly resembles a pineapple, like the one in this picture on the right.
Still another month or so, we finally have a miniature pineapple! Now all we have to do is sit around for another two months and it’ll finally be ready to cut from the plant. Don’t forget to save the top and start all over again.
So that’s my pineapple story. All the credit goes to Rosemarie for figuring out how to do it without the help of Dole. As for me, I cannot help but mention that we met in 1963 which happens to be the same year that Mouseketeer, Annette, released a hit song titled Pineapple Princess with these memorable lyrics that Rosemarie is so grateful that I have never sung to her…
I love you, you’re the sweetest girl I’ve seen
Some day we’re gonna marry
And you’ll be my pineapple queen