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How to Grow a Pineapple Plant

Believe it or not, growing a pineapple plant is not really all that difficult. Itís a great science experiment. You could also use it as a botany lesson or with a unit study on Hawaii.

This really does work. My grandmother started a pineapple plant years ago. It never fruited for her, but after she passed on, my mother took the plant and it fruited for the first time last year. Check into a good book on tropical fruits to give you an idea on the best type of fertilizer.

Remember, it is a tropical plant and needs to be cared for accordingly. It will not tolerate cold weather at all.

Directions:

1. Use a fresh pineapple from the grocer or from a farmerís market.

2. Cut off the top of the pineapple, about two inches below the leaves, with a sharp knife so that the surface is level and flat, with no jagged edges.

3. Remove some, but not all, of the leaves and let the pineapple top dry out for a few days before planting it.

4. Start the pineapple in a shallow dish or container that has drainage holes.

5. Fill the container with a starting medium such as vermiculite to within a half-inch of the rim.

6. Push the pineapple one inch into the vermiculite (with half the fruit below the surface and half the fruit above the surface).

7. Place the container in a bright, but not sunny, window.

8. Keep the vermiculite just barely moist ó never soggy. If humidity is very low, put a plastic bag loosely over the top and remove the bag when new green leaves appear.

9. The pineapple needs bottom heat to grow properly. On top of the refrigerator is a good spot.

10. A few weeks after planting, new green leaves should start to appear. That's the signal to replant the pineapple. Pot in loose, porous soil.

11. If you use standard potting soil, add some sand - about a handful of sand to a 6-inch pot. Use 1/3 each packaged soil, sand and small pieces of bark for drainage.

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