IT had sat – resolutely not fruiting – in her conservatory for 10 years.
So Tracey Aldridge was stunned to discover a pineapple finally growing this spring.
Now she’s hoping it could be the start of an annual harvest.
Speaking to The News, the 56-year-old said: ‘It all started when I had my friend from Florida come over – we were having fruit salad and I was chopping some pineapple.
‘She told me to keep the top because another pineapple would grow out of it.
‘I’ll be honest, I was a little sceptical, but I popped it into the conservatory anyway.
I suppose having a conservatory does help it to grow, but nonetheless it does seem quite bizarre.Tracey Aldridge, pineapple grower
Tracey says that after that, she forgot about the pineapple.
But now, a decade on, another pineapple has grown.
Tracey, of Gosport, explained: ‘I suppose having a conservatory does help it to grow, but nonetheless it does seem quite bizarre, because of where pineapples are usually grown.’
Typically grown in South American countries, the growth of a pineapple in the UK is relatively rare.
The News gardening expert Brian Kidd said: ‘You can get pineapples to grow if you are lucky enough to be able to get one with green growth on the top, that the retailer hasn’t removed.
‘You can get them to grow quite well during the summer months, but the big problem is in the winter, because pineapples are very tender and if the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant can suffer.’
Tracey said she had not been giving her pineapple plant much attention during the winter, as she has a holiday home in the French Alps.
Brian went on to say that Tracey has – perhaps inadvertently – presented a masterclass in British pineapple growing.
He explained: ‘She has done everything correctly and deserves a lot of credit for that.
‘I would personally like to send Tracey my congratulations.
‘If she can get growth again next year then she could end up with another baby pineapple – if she does that, it will be quite the achievement.’
But Tracey has bigger plans. ‘Well the first thing to do is, of course, eat it,’ she said.
‘From there I don’t quite know what will happen.
‘I could end up with a pineapple farm at this rate – that would be quite remarkable!’
Top pineapple facts
1. Planting pineapple leaves will grow a new pineapple.
2. A third of the world’s pineapples are produced in Hawaii.
3. The biggest ever pineapple was 8.28kg and 32cm long.
4. They ripen faster upside down.
5. Traditionally, pineapple juice was used to induce labour.
6. It can live for 50 years in the wild.
7. Viral pineapple song PPAP reached number one in Japan.
8. In Australian slang, ‘the rough end of a pineapple’ means an unfair deal.
9. The name comes from it looking like a pine cone.
10. Pineapple has been linked to preventing some cancer forms.