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pineapple seeds

How to Grow Pineapple Plants From Tops, Seeds or Plants

Learn three methods of growing pineapples, including from grocery store fruit. Plus, get pineapple planting and growing tips for outdoors and indoors, in-ground and in containers.

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Pineapples aren’t hard to grow but they do take a time commitment; depending on the method, it may be several years until the plant flowers and produces fruit. If you want to grow your own pineapples, there are three ways to get started. The first and cheapest method is to start from the green top of a fresh grocery store pineapple. Second, you could purchase a pineapple plant and grow it until it produces fruit . The third and hardest option is to try growing a pineapple plant from seed.

Pineapple Growing in Garden

A small pineapple grows from a plant stalk in a garden.

Photo by: Maiapassarak/Shutterstock

3 Methods for Growing Pineapples

Method 1: Starting a Pineapple From a Top Cutting

Starting a pineapple from a green top is possibly the cheapest and easiest way to begin. Buy a well-ripened fruit with the healthiest looking top you can find. Some rough leaves are okay, but try to find the best one of the lot. Simply remove the top by grasping the fruit in one hand and the top in the other and twisting it off in one steady motion (like wringing out a towel). Remove the lower half dozen or so leaves from the bottom of the green shoot, then set it aside and allow it to "cure," or dry out, for about a week. Set the top in a shallow bowl of warm water. Change the water every few days, and observe as roots grow over the next few weeks. Then plant the cured pineapple top in a 10-inch pot filled with a coarse potting mix, and fertilize it with a balanced liquid fertilizer (shower the liquid right over the top). The plant will grow indoors like a tropical houseplant with moderate light and can be moved outdoors in warm weather.

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Method 2: Buying a Pineapple Plant

Photo by: Shutterstock/EQRoy

Pineapple plants may be available in your local garden center or there are also sources online. When growing pineapples, remember that their roots do not like to stay wet. In fact, they like similar soil conditions as cacti: well drained and on the dry side, but with an acidic pH of 4.5-6.5. To determine when to water, the soil should be dry and you should check inside the junctions where the leaves meet the plant. If there is water in those little pockets, then skip watering. If there is no water, then water over the top of the plant. Fertilize monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer (5-5-5, 10-10-10, etc.) mixed according to the manufacturer’s directions, and showered over the plant just like a normal watering.

Method 3: Starting Pineapples From Seed

To start a pineapple from seed, you will first have to obtain the seed. Occasionally there will be seeds in a store-bought pineapple. Buy a yellow-ripe fruit. As you cut the fruit, look for the small black seeds about three-eighths of an inch in from the outside edge. Rinse the seeds. Germinate the seeds by lightly wrapping them in a wet paper towel and placing it in a plastic zipper bag. Keep the bag in a constantly warm (65-75 degrees F) place. It takes about six months for the seeds to sprout, at which time the baby plants can be carefully planted in temporary growing containers (1-2 quart size) where they can be babied until they are large enough to plant in the garden or a permanent larger pot.

Do Pineapples Have Seeds?

Did you know that pineapples have existed since the 15 th century?

Yes, this juicy fruit has been part of the human diet for over 5 decades and is currently consumed in almost all parts of the world.

Most people love pineapples for their outstanding nutritional benefits such as hydration, acting as an antioxidant, and increasing immunity. While you consume it, rarely do you think of whether it has seeds or not – you just peel and enjoy a few slices.

In fact, it’s possible you may not have seen pineapple seeds. But, since it’s a fruit, it has seeds. Scientists have impacted the breeding of pineapples so much that the ones you buy at the grocery store or supermarket vary significantly from the indigenous pineapples.

That said, do pineapples have seeds? Yes, pineapples have black or dark brown seeds spread on the inside part of the fruit. However, pineapples are self-incompatible, meaning that they prevent self-fertilization to encourage outcrossing. This explains the occasional production of seeds in pineapples.

Why Commercial Pineapples Don’t Have Seeds

It’s clear that pineapples have seeds, but genetic modification and hybridization have resulted in fruits that lack seeds. These are not the original fruits but have been customized to suit the needs of the consumers and also allow mass production.

This genetic process was even more critical since pineapples in their natural setting are self-incompatible. This means that even with plant mutations, pineapples will not produce seeds to maturity. These seeds are not necessary for the formation of the fruit. The original fruit required cross-pollinators such as hummingbirds to complete the process.

Through hybridization, pineapples are juicier, sweeter, and can grow in various weather conditions. Modern pineapples have a better experience with humans as they also have a longer shelf-life.

While it’s possible to see some tiny black or brown pineapple seeds, their purpose is almost obsolescent.

Do Wild Pineapples Have Seeds?

Wild pineapples exist, but they are rare to find them. And when you see them, they look quite different and are not as sweet as the modern ones.

The wild pineapples have trough-like leaves that direct nutrients and water down the center of the plant, where they are absorbed and utilized. This water is known to be so acidic that it eats up mosquitoes, adding to the nutrient variety. The leaves also have savage hooks that can point away or towards the base of the plant. And each plant produces about 10 to 75 yellow fruits on a spike.

So, yes, the wild pineapples have seeds – about 30 to 50 black seeds per fruit. But compared to the modern pineapples, these have more seeds and look different from the ones we buy from the stores.

Compared to our usual pineapples, the wild ones will appear unattractive. Most people would even wonder whether these are edible fruits. But even with unappealing looks, these wild pineapples are significant as they have seeds that can be used to reproduce new fruits.

Can You Eat Pineapple Seeds?

If you saw the pineapple seeds in your fruit, you may be concerned whether it’s okay to eat them, whether they are digestible or not, or there’s any toxicity in them.

Well, yes, you can eat pineapple seeds. Whether the fruit is ripe or not, eating its seeds is considered non-toxic and safe. But, wild pineapples should be taken with caution. Eating them raw and undiluted can cause a burning sensation on the lips, tongue, and throat because of their high acidic levels. Even when diluted or cooked, wild pineapples are not tasty. They aren’t worth eating though safe.

Unless you are too adventurous, there is no point eating the seeds of wild pineapples.

Can You Eat Wild Pineapples?

While its clear that wild pineapples have seeds, you may be tempted to think that the seeds are too big to prevent you from eating the fruit.

So, can you eat wild pineapples?

Yes, you can eat wild pineapples. The taste can vary depending on the variety and location of the fruit. While some are quite bitter and needs diluting to consume, others are quite delicious, although rarely.

Although you can eat, you need some caution. In some situations, it’s best to cook the wild pineapple to reduce the acidic levels. This may sound weird, but it’s necessary if you don’t want to experience a crazy hurt burn. But some may not experience this negative oral effect.

Something else, you need to remove the stinging hairs before consuming the fruit.

This acidic wild pineapple juice has some exceptional benefits that modern pineapple juice cannot provide. For example, it’s used for its medicinal value to treat ulcers, fevers, or internal parasites. It’s also an incredible and natural meat tenderizer.