Q: Six years ago I had a fresh pineapple for lunch. I put the top in a pot just to see what would happen. After five years I harvested a small home-grown pineapple this past April. My problem is that the stalk is still in the center of the plant and the leaves are now looking yellowish. Is there any way to bring it back or are pineapples a one time thing?
A: Pineapples, like all bromeliads, die slowly after blooming. The flower may last a long time but eventually the main plant will die. When grown outdoors in a frost-free environment pineapples will make several offshoots (called pups) at the base of the plant. The pups can be separated and planted to make new pineapple plants. This isn’t likely to happen with a houseplant pineapple.
Although your pineapple rooted just fine after you planted the top, there is a better way. After cutting off the top, which usually has a ring of flesh adhering to it, pull all of the flesh from the central stem. Next, carefully pull several individual lower leaves from the stem. You’ll see small bumps on the stem between the leaves. These are rootlets.
Expose at least an inch of stem and rootlets then plant the pineapple stem in very loose, quick-draining potting soil. Put the pot in a sunny window and water occasionally, keeping the soil barely moist. The pineapple will root in a few months. Given enough bright light, in a few years it will produce fruit for you to enjoy once again
Master Gardener Charlie Christian has specific suggestions here: Successful Pineapples in Georgia
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