[Guest Post from Joseph Tame, Tokyo-based freelance marketing manager, new media producer, entrepreneur, performer and marathoner.]
As a child, pineapples were one of those rare treats that we’d have on special occasions. They were pretty expensive, and I had a habit of eating them in no time. Because of this I’ve always dreamed of growing my own pineapples – and so when I saw a plant for sale at our local plant shop I just had to buy it. It was doing pretty well, with a baby pineapple sitting atop a stiff stem that emerged from the centre of the crown.
A few weeks after buying the plant, it was harvest time.
When cutting the fruit I was careful to leave about 1cm of yellow flesh attached to the crown – this would serve as fuel for the new pineapple plant I was hoping would emerge.
And sure enough, a few weeks later it was clear that the baby had taken.
Several months later, and with the pineapple overwintering in a large pot right next to the glass doors of our veranda I noticed that the leaves were gradually drying up. The plant was getting plenty of light, and being inside it was warm enough. Water was not an issue either. It was only when one night I slept with my head close to the tub that I heard a clear munching sound – there was something in the soil feasting on the roots.
The following day I repotted the pineapple, in the process finding a colony of vile bugs about 2cm in length. The roots were almost completely gone, and there followed a period of a couple of months when I couldn’t be sure if my pineapple would live or die.
Thankfully the story has a happy ending – the pineapple lived, and this summer has put on a huge growth spurt, establishing a new crown adjacent to the original. Fingers crossed that next year it will produce another baby pineapple.