The pic here is of a pineapple plant. I grew it myself from the top of a pineapple from the shops – no special equipment involved.

If you don’t know, you can start your own pineapple plant by collecting the top and leaves sliced off any regular pineapple. You plant the material below the leaves just below the top of the soil, put the plant into the sun, and water and fertilise the plant via the leaves for the next year or so.

I fed this plant roughly fortnightly and would water it when I watered the rest of the garden. It’s now about fifteen months old; pineapple plants grown this way take about two years to start producing fruit. I’m advised there’s a way to start them from runners which takes only a year, but you do need someone to provide you with the runners.

I find it really interesting that you can start a plant this way – if someone asked me, I would have expected that the pineapple planted this way would rot. There isn’t any root system initially and without feeding the leaves, the plant would die off. It makes me wonder under what conditions the plant would have evolved to have this capacity; I assume it must have been an environment in which copious plant material would fall down onto the leaves, feeding the plant. I can’t see how else the plants would be able to suvive.

The other plants you can see in this pic are lemon balm, which I use to make a non caffeinated tea, and nasturtium, which I plant because it encourages the presence of good bugs in the garden. I don’t know how successful it is – I do get some butterflies, but most of the insects in my garden are bees and aphids. Kale is like catmint to aphids, I can’t seem to get rid of them.


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