Balcony Update (Pineapple Seedling!)

I just wanted to give a quick update on all the great happenings on my balcony!

First off, I'm very excited to say that I have officially germinated a pineapple seedling. Last year I bought a yummy pineapple that was apparently grown in Costa Rica, and found seeds along the edges of the pulp.  Most pineapples at the grocery store come from Hawaii and don't have seeds, since there are no hummingbirds to pollinate the flowers.  There are plenty of hummingbirds in Costa Rica though.
I hurriedly planted the seeds in a communal pot for epiphytic fruit, alongside my dragonfruit and rhipsalis seeds.  (rhipsalis berries are edible)  The dragonfruit sprouted in fall along with the rhipsalis, but I had just about given up on the pineapple seeds when I found a tiny rosette of stiff leaves the other day!  I didn't plant anything else in there, but after I double checked some photos online, I can say with certainty that it is a pineapple!  I know that planting slips is the easiest and quickest way to grow pineapples, but you don't understand!  I sprouted a bromeliad seed!  And pineapples are supposedly hard to grow from seed too, but it seems that all you have to do is wait a year or so.  Heres a blurry picture.

The pineapple seedling is the green speck out in the open.  Amazingly, it already has five leaves unfurled at that miniscule size.

You can see that my pink velvet banana seedlings are really taking off too!

I also decided to plant my pre-bonsai creeping fig in a carved out chunk of coquina limestone.  That way I can train it as a lithophyte, and make it cling to the rock as if its at the edge of existence.  Once I sculpt it into a gnarled tree form I can even plant it with some tiny orchids or bromeliads!  This will be one awesome centerpiece.

This is caterpillar grazed passionflower "lavender lady" that I got for a buck.  One day later and it was already starting to leaf out!  Although this variety only bears empty "maypop" fruits, I can still use it to pollinate my other passionflowers.  It will look pretty too.

This was labeled as "Thai ginger" but is actually alpinia galangal, the galangal of southeast Asian cuisine!  Its also one of the few gingers that actually blooms every year even if its been frozen back, so maybe I'll get flowers too!  This one's going alongside the culinary ginger and lemongrass in my courtyard garden.

Something else that's pretty cool but unphotographed is that my snake plant leaf cutting has finally sprouted too!  It won't have the yellow margins that its mother plant had, but I'm just excited that I managed to salvage a snake plant that got crown rot! 

Coming soon... Cold Hardy Palms at the Palm Arboretum!


  1. Congratulations ... what successes you've had. It will fascinating to see how your creeping fig bonsai develops ... that certainly will be a treat.

  2. Oh my...congratulations!!! I wish you were my neighbor. It would be so much fun to get to see all of these happen in 'real life'...

  3. That was interesting information on the pineapple. I had no clue seedless varieties were grown in Hawaii because there were no hummingbirds. That bonsai is a great idea. How fun to start something like that and watch it develop.

  4. You are very lucky to find some pineapple seeds! I grow several varieties of pineapple and have lots of hummingbirds, but I've never found a seed in any of my fruit. I guess the hummers have plenty of other things to feed on around here.
    It will be exciting to taste your new variety of pineapple in a few years! Good luck with it!

  5. Your balcony garden is really looking good. The bonsai idea is fascinating. I can't imagine being patient enough to accomplish it.

  6. Good luck with the pineapple, I didn’t know they would grow from seeds. Since I am fascinated by bromeliads, pineapples are next on my list.

  7. Bernie: I can't wait to see the results either! I would grow a banyan if I could acquire one, so creeping fig seems like the most appropriate substitution.

    Danger Garden: I wish that there was a single person in Jacksonville who got as excited about gardening adventurously like you and our fellow bloggers. My coworkers are polite, but it would be cool to get to show off the progress in real life.

    Floridagirl: The pineapple seedling has already gotten bigger! I didn't know either until I found the seeds and wanted to plant them. Maybe someday I can use what I learn to hybridize broms.

    Grower Jim: I suppose that costa rica has plenty of hummers that have adapted their beaks to the pineapple's flowers. I don't know that it would be a new variety, but I'll be sure to try and make one by hand pollinating later!

    NanaK: You're too humble. You do "patient" things all the time in your garden! Besides, its so rewarding to keep track of every little leaf and shoot on a daily basis. I get to find joy in every little moment!

    Rusty: There are lots of more ornamental varieties, but I'm determined to root a slip from a store bought fruit one of these days. I've seen inexperienced gardeners have great success with pineapples too, so I'm sure you of all people will have no problems whatsoever. I liked your latest post!

  8. Is that a ficus lyrata in the top right hand corner of the last pic in this post? If you prune it, will it branch out?

    Nice plants on your balcony. Good luck with the pineapples. I used to grow pineapples several years ago. Would get tops from Publix. Seems like the racoons would get the pineapples the night before they were perfectly ripe.

  9. SiestaSister:
    Why yes it is! I love its glossy leaves and bulky nature, and I'm actually letting the trunks get to a better branching height before i tip prune them. Yes, they will get bushier!
    Those are brave raccoons! It sems to me that they're a little too spiky to mess with, but raccoons are pretty audacious. One jumped on the picnic table in the middle of the night at our campsite and stole a bag of hot dog buns from right in front of my fiance!
    Thanks for visiting!


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