“I want my baby pineapple!”

Six years. That’s how long it has been since I lopped the top off a fresh pineapple and planted it in the ground. For six years, I’ve dreamed of eating pineapple grown with my own two hands. It’s not an impossible dream. Remember… I live in Houston, and we’re considered a sub-tropical zone. I grow bananas in my back yard. It shouldn’t be a stretch to grow a pineapple. Logistically.

I have a special relationship with my pineapple plant. I’ve nurtured and protected it for six long years. I’ve babied it. I’ve watered it. I’ve even moved it inside when temperatures dipped close to freezing and wrapped it in a warm blanket. I’ve treated my pineapple plant better than some people treat their pets (shame on them, by the way). I also talk to my pineapple plant. In the beginning, it was “Good morning, pineapple plant!” After a few years, it was “Lookin’ good!” But for the past year, it has been “I want my baby pineapple!” Someone (me, I guess) failed to tell my pineapple plant that the average wait time – from planting to producing – is about 20 months. That’s what the Ag Department for the state of Hawaii says. And when held to the Hawaiian standard, my pineapple plant is a late bloomer. A very late bloomer.

And that makes this announcement even sweeter. On Easter Sunday, The Complete Package looked down into the center of the pineapple plant and declared it “with child.” That’s right, friends. We are expecting! We kept the faith. We kept watering. We never gave up. And after 6 long years, it may finally happen. We appear to have a pineapple bloom sprouting. Check this out:

I’ll be posting occasional photos as our baby grows. If you’re a pineapple expert and this bloom is NOT a baby pineapple, please feel free to leave a comment telling me I’m an idiot. It won’t be the first time. Or even the second. But until then, I remain eternally optimistic.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to ““I want my baby pineapple!”

  1. “With child” made me laugh out loud. That’s just funny stuff. I don’t think I could wait 6 years for a fresh pineapple! Hope the delivery goes well. ;)

    • I guess my whining finally paid off. I got my baby pineapple! My local HEB grocery store carries fresh cut pineapple year round, but I really wanted to see if I could grow one. I had no idea when we started that this would be a 6+ year process. Once we had invested the first few years, I wasn’t about to give up. We’re a little stunned at how fast it’s growing – about an inch a week. According to the Hawaiian Ag Dept. website (my go-to source), it will be approximately 5-6 months before we’ll be able to harvest and eat it. That means September or October. I can hardly wait!

    • I didn’t laugh aloud at that, but I laughed inwardly and went back and read it again! :) Great post.

  2. You are a patient woman! I hope it’s the sweetest reward ever!

  3. Amy

    Will you be able to pluck the baby pineapple without killing the mother? After 6 years, I would be awful attached to that plant.

    • Good question, Amy. I went back to the Hawaiian Ag Dept website for the answer, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that YES, your plant will continue to grow and sprout after you harvest the pineapple. In fact, you can cut off root stock to make new plants AND the old plant will fruit again. According to the website, second and third fruits take only 12 months to bloom. That means 4 years for my pineapple plant instead of 6. Good news indeed.

  4. THAT is so cool! I can’t even dream about growing anything even remotely tropical. I was giddy thinking about your ability to grow bananas in your yard. A pineapple might just push me into giggle fits. It’s the little things that bring joy… ;)

    • I wonder if I can ship bananas to the 45th parallel later this summer. Are there any USPS rules against that? We actually had multiple days in a row of below freezing temps this winter, so we’ll have to wait to see if our banana trees fruit this year. So far, they look pretty healthy, and our fingers are crossed. That said, I still have at least 6-8 bags of banana mush from last summer in my freezer. The bad news: it’s impossible for 2 people to eat 130+ bananas in one summer. The good news: it freezes well so we can have banana nut bread all year long from the trees in our backyard. We also have a lime tree (for margaritas, of course)., so you’re right…. it’s the little things that bring joy!

      • 130 bananas? Could you ask your trees to spread out the harvest a little? We go through 8-10 bananas each week, so if your trees were cooperative, y’all could keep me in bananas all summer long. With all that banana puree, I think you need to branch out from banana bread. Have you tried my banana chocolate chip waffles, yet? ;)

        And yes, it may be a tad morbid anticipating your baby pineapples demise for the love of pineapple upside-down cake. Although, for the record, fresh pineapples are the only way to go.

      • I have not tried your banana chocolate chip waffles yet! Sounds like something the grandkids would LOVE. I’ll have to try them. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Bananas!!! Ones from Wal-mart are just tasteless. (And they get rotten quickly ’cause they travel long and hard and no one cares if they get bumped up a bit–or even a lot.) I can’t grow any, though. :(

  5. Big Sis

    My congratulations on the baby announcement – baby pineapple!! You’ve been waiting longer than an elephant for that cutie patootie!! However, it is just a bit morbid to be talking upside down cake while rejoicing about the coming offspring! just a little!! hope is is a baby pineapple and not just a bloom that you will have to search the world over for pollen to mate it!!

    • I know, right? Six years seems like forever to wait for a baby pineapple. Jonah wasn’t even born yet when I planted it. In fact, My Baby & BamaBoy had just gotten married that same year. I think it may be too soon to hint at what’s to come for our baby pineapple. I don’t want to scare him or her into not growing! And I searched for photos of pineapple plants and their progress. It’s official. That’s a real baby pineapple!

  6. Great news! You have more patience than I do waiting for the little baby to arrive. Can’t wait to see what happens!

    • Thanks, Sandy. You’d think we were expecting a real live baby the way we keep going out there to check on it. It’s hysterical. Hubby: “Oh my gosh! It’s grown 1/2 an inch today!” Me: “No way! I need to get my camera!” It’s kind of embarrassing, but by golly we’ve waited a long time for this!

  7. Kat

    Oh, no way! That is just unreal! Please keep us all on pineapple watch – I’m deadly fascinated by this situation to be honest. Are you secretly growing any other exotic fruits/vegetables/plants in your yard?

    • Uhhh… no. Just bananas, a lime tree, and my pineapple plant. Other than that, it’s just the basics – knock-out roses, petunias, a hydrangea that’s not blooming right now, etc. I have thought about planting passion fruit vines on part of my fence or an apple tree somewhere in the back yard. I tried to grow an avocado tree from a seed, but it died early on. And I grew blueberry bushes once, but I can’t even tell you how nasty my back porch and driveway looked once the birds found them! That’s a stain that DOES NOT come off! Ugh. I’ll post occasional pineapple updates so everyone can see how it’s going. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones fascinated with this.

  8. I wish I had a green thumb.

  9. Toffee Marshmallows

    :L
    Good luck with the Baby Pineapple
    Will you name it? :P
    I hear its nearly Mother’s Day in the US (or just past it, I’m not sure) but anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to you and your pineapple tree :)

    • Actually, I was just telling The Complete Package that I am thinking of having a “Name the Baby Pineapple” contest on my blog. I guess great minds think alike. Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes. It was indeed Mother’s Day here in the states this past Sunday, May 8th. And now that I have a new baby pineapple, I have one more baby to be thankful for.

  10. Michael Heuerman

    I live in south west Florida and just moved my pineapple plants out to my garden today. I started with three but one didn’t make it. I wasn’t aware that it could take so long to grow a pineapple. I’m also attempting to grow bananas. I purchased a small banana plant from a guy on Craigslist and in the past few weeks it’s started growing new leafs about every week. I just moved to Florida from Ohio last year so growing stuff like pineapples and bananas seems strange. I will be following your pineapple and hope mine doesn’t take as long.

    • Technically, it’s not supposed to take 6 years. It’s usually closer to 2. Mine was just a VERY late bloomer. It’s amazing how fast a pineapple grows once the fruiting starts. I just planted a second one last week, so we’ll have a new plant as a comparison. Hopefully this new one won’t take six years. Bananas should be a breeze. It usually takes 2 years for banana trees to fruit. Once they take off and start blooming, you’ll need lots of friends and neighbors to share with. We had over 130 bananas in one summer off of two trees. I’ll have to post some photos soon so you can see what they look like when they fruit. The ability to walk into your back yard in the summer to pick bananas, limes and pineapples is one of the greatest perks about living in the sub-tropical south. I don’t know if you’re a papaya fan, but you should be able to grow those in Florida, as well. Cool, huh?

  11. Pingback: Pineapple Update: A Harvest Tale | Inside NanaBread's Head

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