How to Grow a Pineapple Tree
It’s very easy to grow a pineapple tree. The first thing you need to do is go to your local supermarket and buy a pineapple. The great thing about growing a pineapple tree is that you get to eat the pineapple plus you also have everything you need to grow a new plant. When you do choose your pineapple, make sure to look into the leaves growing out of the center, because to successfully grow a pineapple tree, you need to have new, little bright leaves growing and not just older ones that may be dying and falling off the plant.
When you are ready to plant (inside in the north, inside or outside in the south), get a nice, sharp knife and cut the top (crown) off of the plant. Leave as little fruit as possible attached to the crown because it can rot and kill your plant. You also need the fruit part to dry out before planting your pineapple tree, so set the crown in the sun for a couple days until scabs have grown over the fruit on the surface where you cut it off.
An eight-inch pot is just the right size for planting your crown. You need some good soil that is mixed with plenty of organic matter. You also need a pot that has lots of drainage so try to put some stones or broken clay pieces in the bottom and then add a little gravel to the mix. Next, cover with your normal soil and plant your pineapple crown. Pack your soil in gently around the crown. Water when you’re done.
A pineapple tree does require fertilizer if you want it to grow a pineapple. Any regular indoor plant fertilizer will do as long as you fertilize it every two months at a minimum. Pineapple plants do not need very much water at all. Then water only once a week or when the sand is dry to your touch. A pineapple tree actually absorbs water through its leaves and not through its roots, so when watering, pour the water into the cluster of leaves in the center of the plant.
The next step is just to wait. It takes a very long time for a pineapple tree to grow. Don’t give up just because nothing has been happening for months. In fact, even in the tropical temperatures of Hawaii, where they grow tons of pineapples, it takes around 20-24 months for the pineapple plant to produce a pineapple. Your plant should start growing its first fruit by the time it is two years old. If the plant is healthy, it should be in the neighborhood of two feet high by this time.
The first thing that happens is that you will see a little, red cone forming. The cone will next turn into blue flowers. Several rows of blue flowers will open over the next 10-14 days. When the buds have died, the fruit will begin to grow. It will be six more months before the fruit becomes full-grown. The fruit will be edible but don’t expect it to be anywhere near as sweet as one of the pineapples grown in a tropical climate. There are seeds you can buy to start pineapples that will produce a sweeter fruit.
If your pineapple tree never starts to produce a fruit, you can force the plant to do just that. Place your pineapple plant in a clean plastic bag with an apple or two. Seal it and leave the plant and apple together for three to four days. Next, take the pineapple plant out of the bag, and set it in a sunny spot. You should have a fruit develop in about six months time.
Most people are happy to just watch their pineapple tree grow and are not concerned with trying to get it to have a fruit. A pineapple plant, after all, makes for an interesting conversation piece and a nice-looking plant, if nothing else.