The pineapple is another one of those fruits that gives us a special bonus – a plant that in time, and with patience, may also bear fruit. Here are some tips on how to grow a pineapple.
Any pineapple you are likely to select for eating will also be suitable for planting. The part of the pineapple that you plant is the top or the crown (where the leaves are). There are two methods for freeing the crown for planting.
- Trim the crown off when cutting up the pineapple and reserve. Carefully trim the excess fruit off the bottom of the crown (or it will rot and kill the whole plant)
- Or grab the entire set of leaves (be sure to use gloves) and twist hard. The leaves and a core of the crown will come free. Again trim off any excess fruit or it may begin to rot.
- Strip off a few of the lower leaves exposing about an inch of the base of the crown
- The small brown-colored bumps below the leaf scars are root primordia (baby roots waiting to grow) and there may even be a few short roots at the base of the crown, try not to damage these.
- Hang or set the crown aside for 3 or 4 days this will permit the cut end and the leaf scars to heal and prevent rot.
- Place the crown in a glass of water away from any temperature extremes.
- Change the water every few days
- In about 3 – 4 weeks or so you’ll see roots growing from the base of the crown
- After nice cluster of healthy white roots appear you can plant the crown into dirt.
- Use a bromeliad or cactus mix with at least a third perlite in a porous clay pot at least 8” in diameter.
- Tamp the soil firmly around the base of the crown at planting. Avoid getting soil into the central leaves of the crown
- Keep the pot moist (but not wet) and don’t allow it to ever fully dry out as the new roots are developing.
- Within about 2 months you should be able to gently tug on the plant without it pulling free from the soil. If it pulls free from the soil examine the roots, if they have dried or rotted get a new pineapple and start over
- By this point new leaves should be forming in the center of the crown and the older leaves may be drying up. Gently remove the dried leaves with a pair of scissors and continue doing so for the next year.
- Fertilize twice yearly in the spring and fall
- After one year re-pot
Pineapples are a tropical plant and frost or freezing temperatures will kill it. If you live in a colder climate, your pineapple may need to be a house plant or divide its time between your house and your porch or garden.
Pineapples need at least 6 hours of bright light each day and prefers a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees F (minimum of 60 degrees). If the room is warm enough for you to be comfortable, the pineapple will be at the right temperature.
With some patience your pineapple could bear fruit in about 2 – 3 years. In order to support a pineapple the size you purchase in the store the plant would be 5 – 6 feet in diameter so your home borne fruit will be much smaller.
Tips for Bearing Fruit
- Pineapple will be more likely to bear fruit if they are allowed to go outside during summer months.
- Placing the plant (in its pot) on its side between watering may stimulate blooming.
- Placing the crown in a plastic bag may stimulate blooming.
- Placing a cut apple inside the plastic bag around the crown may also stimulate blooming.