Chop off the top!


Next time you’re shopping for a houseplant, stop by the produce section at the grocery store, and pick up a pineapple. Yes, you read that correctly. If you have a pineapple, you can grow another one. Once you’ve chopped up the edible flesh, don’t toss the remnants away. Recycle the pineapple’s top—if replanted, it can regrow into a houseplant that will produce fruit. This easy indoor gardening method is a fun project for the whole family to take part in. Follow the steps below for cultivating this tropical houseplant at home.

First, prep your pineapple. Twist off the leafy top, and strip off some of the lower leaves so a few inches of the stem are exposed. The root bud should be visible. Set the pineapple crown aside for several days to allow the cut end to dry out before planting (which will help prevent rot).

Try one of two common planting techniques. The first method is to place the dried pineapple crown in a cup of water, so that only the stem is submerged. Put the cup in bright, indirect sunlight for about three weeks while the roots begin to grow. Be sure to change the water every couple of days. When the roots have grown about 2 or 3 inches long, it’s time to transplant the pineapple crown. Choose a container with good drainage, and fill it will a mixture of potting soil, sand, and perlite. Plant the crown so that the lowest leaves are just above the soil. Pack the soil tightly around the stem to keep it standing upright. Place the pot in bright, indirect light; choose a humid spot that will mimic the plant’s native tropical environment. For best results, give the houseplant six hours of sunlight per day. Water it regularly. Feed the plant a water-soluble fertilizer once a month in spring and summer.

Or, you could skip soaking step and directly plant the dried pineapple crown into a container. Fill it with the same soil mixture and give the same amount of water and light as listed above. About two or three weeks after planting, new leaves will begin to emerge from the middle of the pineapple crown. Be patient—it could take around two years for the plant to start blooming and a few more months after that for a fruit to start growing. But when you see a tiny pineapple start emerging from the leaves, you’ll know it was worth the wait.