This page may contain affiliate links designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to other companies. Those fees help keep this site running.
My 6th grade son needed a science experiment to get a prize at our home school co-op. It needed to be set up like a traditional science fair project with a board and everything. We ate a pineapple recently, and he decided to find out how to grow one using the top. After doing some research, we found out that the project wouldn’t be complete for a few more years, at least not if we wanted the plant to produce fruit. We decided that we would see if we could get the top to grow roots in time for the science fair.
Table of Contents
So, here we go, a science fair project:
Hypothesis: A pineapple top from a typical pineapple purchased at the store will grow roots in one week.
Objective: To follow the instructions below to get the top of a pineapple to root.
- While holding the leaves of the uncut pineapple, pull the top off. Make sure that no fruit is still attached because that will kill the plant when it rots.
- Remove enough leaves so that about an inch of the stalk is visible.
- Let the stalk dry out for a few days.
- Place the crown into a glass (not a plastic cup, because you will want to see the conditions of the water and plant) of water, making sure that the stalk is covered.
- Put the cup on top of the fridge or other non-drafty location.
- Change the water every few days. The plant will have roots in 2-3 weeks.
- The remaining steps are to make a pineapple plant. Obtain a pot that drains quickly and prepare it with 1/2 inch of pebbles, sand, or rocks. Then cover with soil suitable for cactus mixed with 1/3 perlite.
- If there is a hole in the bottom of the pot, cover it with a pottery shard.
- Plant stalk and water before placing in a sunny spot
- Keep the soil moist. Do not over water so that the soil is constantly wet. Do not under water and let the soil be dry either.
- The leaves will brown and die as new ones appear. This is how you know that the roots are developing properly. The plant may even appear to be dying, but do not fret. Give it a few more weeks before throwing in the towel. Water once a week (about 20″ per year).
- Replant the plant when the pot becomes too small.
- Proper maintenance includes regularly repeating steps 11-12, keeping your plant at room temperature, providing sunshine 6-11 hours per day during the summer or using a grow lamp during the winter (we’ll probably put it by our aerogarden w/ a timer), and fertilize once a month during growing season (summer) following the directions on the package.
5 April 2012
See this tip that is cone-shaped at the bottom of the pineapple? I shouldn’t have left that there. I should have cut it off and made it be flat on the bottom. However, the pineapple was forgiving and allowed me to correct the problem a few weeks later. The roots still grew, even thoughI made this mistake.
11 Jun 2012
The pineapple continued to forgive me by allowing me to forget about it. While I was growing the roots on top of a kitchen cabinet, all the water was either absorbed or evaporated. I don’t know how long the pineapple sat there without water. A few days ago, I soaked it again and planted it on 11 June 2012.
I know this picture is out of focus, sorry about that! On the edges near the bottom, there are some little tube like things that are yellowish brown. Those are the roots.
Before I used Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus soil in my pot, I put the same grit (gravel) I use for my chickens at the bottom of the pot. The grit packaging said it would be great for planting as well as for chickens. Then, I dumped the entire package of soil on top of the gravel.
I chose a large pot so I could, if I’m lucky, skip out on replanting a couple of times.
Then, I dampened the soil before making a place to plant my pineapple. I could see that I had great drainage, which is very important.
If you’re wondering how to fertilize the pineapple, Miracle-gro also makes Cactus Food in liquid form.They need to be fertilized every four weeks.
I have 6 kids. So, I got distracted and left my plant right where you see it in my picture all day and night. The temperature was in the 60s Fahrenheit. Everything looks just as good as when I planted it.
Upon further research, I discovered that pineapples grow best in full sunlight in temperatures ranging from 68-86 degrees F. Wait a couple of weeks to expose it to direct sunlight. Bright, indirect sunlight is best during this time along with damp soil.
Today seems like it will get into the upper 80s or 90s, so I should move my plant since it is not used to these temperatures or direct sunlight.
*Update 9/26/2013: Our Pineapple plant is still thriving. It is growing much slower than we expected. I’ll post another picture soon!
Have you tried to grow a pineapple plant? I’d love to see your pictures and read about your experiments.