Want to grow a Pineapple from the fruit you bought at the grocery store or market?
Do you like pineapple? Great! Is one of your hobbies gardening? Mine, too! Do you like the idea of having a tropical plant that produces the most excellent fruit?
We knew you would! Our Pineapple growing guide will help take you from buying a fruit to eating that fruits fruit!
Pineapple, or Ananas comosus, is part of the Bromeliaceae family. These flowering plants store water in their overlapping leaves, making propagation a breeze for producing pups, or offsets from the plant.
With the proper care, you could be eating the berries of this tropical fruit you grew in three years time. Sure, that is quite a bit of a wait, but I am optimistic you will be pleased once you start witnessing the flowering on your plant.
Professional and amateur gardeners can try this at home, as the pineapple plant is absolutely easy to care for. Greenhouses, backyard gardens, including those with raised beds, and planter pots all make great ways to start growing your plant.
Before we begin there are a few pieces of gear you will need to grow you new plant!
To get started we will need:
A Sharp Knife
We will use a sharp knife to cut away parts from our pineapple to get to the inner crown. Don’t have a knife at home? We recommend the Global GS-14-6 inch. It is super sharp and perfect for carving your fruit!
Fast Draining Soil or Cactus Mix
A Large Planting Pot or Grow Bag
Step 1 – Buying a Pineapple
Start this journey out by buying a pineapple. Treat this like you are at a nursery looking for a plant. Observe the leaves, and make certain they are well and healthy. Avoid those fruits that are overripe, with browning to dead leaves.
Check for mold and mushy spots, or any deep cuts that expose the fruit. I recommend you buy three to four pineapples at a time so that you can plant more than one, and just in case, failure.
Step 2 – Cutting off the Crown
To grow a pineapple as a houseplant, you will need to cut off the crown of the pineapple, the section of spiked leaves. Be careful while handling these leaves because it is possible to get a splinter or two.
I start by taking a safe hold onto my knife, then cut through the top portion of the pineapple, removing any excess fruit left on the stalk. Set your pineapple aside to cut out the berries later, or now, your call!
Step 3 – Remove Leaves from the Stalk
Beginning with the bottom-most leaf, remove them one by one. Take the top of the leaf and pull in a downward position until the leaf is completely removed from the stalk. Do this until you have two inches of bare stalk.
Step 4 – Dry out & scar the stalk
Depending on the environment you are in, you should allow the stalk to dry out and scar for about five days, but this could take up to seven days. Do this by leaving the stalk of the pineapple in a cool, dry place, and also away from any possibility that it could be considered trash.
Pineapples rot fast, so keep an eye on the health of the stalk while drying out and remove the leaves that show signs of rot.
Step 5 – Planting a Stalk
You will want to purchase a fast-draining soil, one similar to cactus mix, or make your own with a mixture of sand, peat and perlite. I recommend using recycled plastic pots, but any clay pot will do the trick.
Get a 4” to 9” pot, big enough to hold your plant while it grows, and fill it with soil. Plant your pineapple an inch deep, pressing firmly on the soil around it to keep the pineapple in place. You can add skewers to help support the plant if that is your thing.
Step 6 – Watering your Plant
It is always good measure once you have potted or repotted a plant, to gently water it. This allows the new soil to set in around your plants roots. Being that this plant is in the bromeliaceae family, it retains water in its leaves.
Water only when the top two inches of soil are dry. You can check by sticking your finger into the soil. On account of root rot, remember not to let your pineapple sit in water, drain excess water from the plant tray.
Step 7 – Rooting a Pineapple
Once your pineapple is potted, you will want to take proper measures to ensure growth in the roots. While I have picked up so many useful tips in gardening, by far the best one is cutting the tips of leaves to promote healthy growth in roots.
When you cut the tips of the leaves, it’s easier for oxygen to get into the leaves which will provide moisture straight to the root. This process should take anywhere from one to three months. You will know for sure if your pineapple has roots by gently tugging on the top of the plant, so as to not break any of the roots.
You will also notice new leaves forming from the center of your plant. This is the stage where I most hoped you would be pleased. Up to this point was the hard part, so give yourself a good pat on the shoulder for sticking with us!
Step 8 – Repotting your Plant
When your pineapple plant has grown a set of healthy roots, repot in a larger pot. Get a planting pot that is between 8” to 12”, and depending on the size of the original, choosing a rich, fast-draining soil from now on. Once your plant outgrows its pot, usually in a year, repot to its final resting spot, in a large 3 to 5 gallon pot.
Step 9 – Caring for your plant
Caring for any plant is real simple. Paying attention to water, proper soil, and sunlight. Your role as a plant parent is to immerse yourself in the knowledge you need to help your plants survive! Here are some tips vital in the life and growth of your pineapple plant.
- Keep your pineapple plant in partial to full sun. Shade is not necessary.
- Bring inside during the winter months, it cannot handle freezing temperatures!
- Do not let your plant become bone dry, keep the soil moist, careful to not overwater
- Regular feedings of fertilizer on a monthly schedule.
- Start your fertilizer a month after you repot when the roots have grown.
Step 10 – Blooming & Harvesting
With luck and a great green thumb, you could see fruit flowering in two to three years. The flowering process to fruit will take only a few months. Once this process starts to take place, make sure that you keep pests away.
Mealybugs and scale love pineapple and suck on the leaves in hard to see places. You can keep pests away by practicing good feeding and watering. Pick the fruits when ripened, and golden yellow.
It’s not recommended you keep this plant forever, due to the chance of a pest intrusion, so once it fruits, throw the plant out.
However, you should have been lucky enough to get several shoots from your pineapple plant to start this process over again, many times over.