Beginning with a few facts about pineapples, things that may dispel some myths or misinformation surrounding the fruit with the funny hairdo: They do not grow on trees, nor do they grow underground. They do grow in Hawaii and are now extensively farmed there, but they are not native to the islands. They are native to South America, but nowadays most of the rest of the world’s pineapples come from Southeast Asia. Pineapples do not ripen any further after being harvested, so there is no need to wait to eat one. The pineapple core is edible and, in fact, is known to have tremendous health benefits. The eyes and skin of the pineapple are not poisonous; however, eating an unripe pineapple, which you’ll not likely find in the supermarket, can have some fairly serious toxic effects.
We’ll get to more pineapple facts later, but we do need to get started or else this future pineapple we are growing will never see the table. Oh, okay, one more: It can take nearly three years for pineapple to reach maturity. In other words, we best get going. Oh, yeah, and don’t worry if you don’t live in a tropical climate because pineapples make great, low maintenance houseplants.
Few things taste so fine as a slice of fresh pineapple. Amazingly, it’s not so difficult to grow one. In fact, for every pineapple eaten, therein lies the potential to start another, which works out great because it’s yet another excuse (as if we need one) to buy a fresh pineapple.
Once the pineapple is on the cutting board, it’s important to handle it correctly if we want to grow another one. The next and possibly most important step is to cut — not pull — off the foliage up top, leaving a bit of the pineapple attached.
Without this bit of pineapple attached, the whole project is a wash, and another pineapple will have to be purchased. Of course, for those of us who are looking for as much pineapple as possible, this may seem a good idea. However, realize that the next pineapple can — nay, should! — be a new plant, too.
Okay, so eat some of that fresh pineapple so that you won’t be distracted, and we’ll move on.
Now, after indulging in a little snack, we should find ourselves left with a sort of pineapple scalp on the counter. We have to trim the excess bit of pineapple we left, slicing it away until we discover a collection of brown spots around the outer ring pineapple flesh, at the base of the leaves. These are where the new roots will come from.
Next, it’s a good idea to thin out the remaining leaves a bit, pulling away the outer ones until there is a good inch of exposed stalk. This will help the new plant, as it will have less vegetation to try to support as its roots develop.
Then, the whole thing needs to dry out, so we just sit it in a sunny windowsill, or wherever it won’t get wet, for a few days. Pineapples are susceptible to rot, and drying them easily prevents this from happening.
Putting It in a Pot
The next goal is to get this sucker to root, which can take a month or three. Opinions vary on how best to accomplish this, but the idea is to give the stalk just enough water without causing it to rot, the best option being to use a pot of soil or in an empty cup. Just make sure it has a little water and if you do use soil, test for the roots by give it a gentle tug so as not to break them.
Once the roots are rolling, it’s pretty smooth sailing. Put it in a pot with a fast-draining soil mix. It will eventually need about a five gallon situation but you can start with a twelve inch pot if replanting later. Just always remember, pineapples do not like to sit in water, but they don’t like being in a completely dry either. A happy medium works best here.
Pineapples do like a lot of sun and grow best when they are warm, say in the vicinity of a nice window. Be aware that the plants do get big. Even more pineapples can be grown from a pineapple plant by locating small buds that look like tiny pineapple tops around the base of the fruit and rooting them. Oh, yes, and look for the pineapple (after a couple of years) growing right out the center of your plant.
Ready to use your pineapples and eat them? Try them in:
- Raw Vegan Pineapple and Goji Berry Tart
- Mango Sorbet with Pineapple and Banana
- Pineapple Guacamole
- Vegan Pineapple and Strawberry Bread
- Pineapple Island Vegan Kabobs
- Grown Up Antioxidant Slushie
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