Growing Your Own

(It's easy and fun!)

If you love the sweet, tangy, unique flavor of this tropical fruit you may be surprised to learn that it is quite easy to grow pineapples at home. Most fruit grows on trees which require a large amount of space. Pineapples, however, are a member of the bromeliad family of plants, and can therefore be easily grown in containers or in the ground in a flower bed.

In addition to being delicious fruit, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality throughout the south. In days gone by, it was considered a truly generous act to share your pineapple with visitors or guests. This is the reason that concrete pina statues and decorative elements often adorn fine homes. 

This sweet tropical delicacy can be grown outdoors in warmer locations, or in a greenhouse in colder climates. They are easy to propagate, look attractive in pots or in the landscape, and (with patience) can provide delicious nutritious fruit to eat. 

Cut and De-core pineapple just like the grocery store does!

Propagation

How to grow them.

Pineapples are a type of bromeliad and the fruit is actually the flower. The flowering spike of the plant produces a single bloom, which creates the fruit we love, and the crown of a successive plant. To grow one of these treats from the store bought whole fruit, you need only twist the green growing top off, remove a layer or two of the bottom leaves, and plant in well drained soil.

The planted crown will do best in bright sunlight. This yummy fruit likes to be in well drained soil, and therefore, can also tolerate frequent watering. Once new growth appears it is safe to fertilize with any organic fertilizer.

You can also safely use any time-released fertilizer used for house or garden shrubs or plants. The plants will also benefit greatly from a monthly application of water-soluble fertilizer.

Pineapples are not picky and will thrive in most soil types, provided that the ground or pot drains well. Left to their own devices, you can expect a fruit from a planted crown to emerge in about two years. (But there is a trick to get blooms faster!)

3 vibrant plants in a 7 gallon container

Pineapple Plant in Container
Credit: (c) LesGoodrich.com / all rights reserved

These 3 pineapple plants benefit from a sunny location and drip irrigation.

New and established pineapples in pots
Credit: (c) LesGoodrich.com / all rights reserved

New and established pineapples in pots.

How to Force a Pineapple to Fruit

Since it takes such a long time for a pineapple to fruit on its own, you may be interested in a trick used by many who grow their own. Once the plant has reached a decent size (say after a year of growing) try this apple method.

Place two ripe apples at the base of the plant. Cover the plant and apples with a white or clear plastic bag. The bag need not be totally clear, just light enough to allow light to penetrate. Apples produce ethylene gas, which can instigate the pineapple to bloom. Leave the bag and apples in place for one week, then remove the entire affair.

Then the plant should bloom in about two months or so. If it does not, repeat the apple bagging process. 

Below is a short three minute video illustrating the procedure for growing your own pineapples at home in a tropical climate.

How To Video

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Show your pineapple pride!
Pineapples in a bed with other bromeliads.
Credit: (c) LesGoodrich.com / all rights reserved

Pineapples in a bed with other bromeliads.

Summary

Pineapples are easy to grow from the whole pineapples you buy at the grocery store or farmers market. They can be grown outside in warm climates, or in greenhouses in colder areas. They thrive in well drained soil and you can use the ethylene gas released by ripening apples to stimulate the plants to bloom faster. 

Growing your own pineapples at home is an easy, fun gardening project that can be deliciously rewarding.

Pineapples growing under potted parsley.
Credit: (c) LesGoodrich.com / all rights reserved

Pineapples growing under potted parsley.