I love pineapple and I think most people do, that is why I decided to share my knowledge and make this complete guide on how to grow pineapple indoors.
There is nothing better than eating a pineapple I have grown in my apartment in the middle of the city!
Most people don’t realize it is possible and is actually really simple to grow pineapples without a garden.
Grow it on a windowsill or even as a simple table plant or if you have a conservatory you could grow a bumper crop, it’s so simple anyone can do it, pineapples are perfect for growing as a simple houseplant.
To grow a pineapple indoors simply cut the top off a store-bought pineapple and plant it in a pot about 1 inch deep in soil and water it. Place the pot in a south-facing window or conservatory. Keep it between 65F and 95F, use a LED grow light if you get less than 12 hours sunlight.
What sort of pineapple is best for indoor growing?
If you are growing your pineapple plant from a pineapple you bought out of a store make sure you choose a healthy looking ripe pineapple.
If you are looking for a more exotic variety of pineapple that is good for growing indoors you should check out the Smooth Cayenne, Red Spanish, Queen and Sugarloaf varieties.
Should I grow a Pineapple from seed or buy a young plant?
It is really simple to grow a pineapple from the top of a fresh pineapple.
If you do decide to grow a pineapple this way then it does take patience as they grow really slowly.
If you persist then it will normally take 2 – 3 years before your plant starts to produce fruit.
How to start growing a pineapple plant
Pineapples are one of the easiest fruit plants to grow indoors. There are 2 methods you can use to get them started:
Method 1: Cut the top off a pineapple off leaving about half an inch of the fruit attached to the leaves.
Method 2: Grab hold of the leaves and twist the pineapple fruit and the stalk should detach from the fruit. It’s the stalk with the leaves you plant to start a new plant.
Plant the resulting top about an inch deep in the soil of your pot or container and press the soil firmly around it and give it a water, using a spray is ideal.
Place the pot in a sunny window to start the growing process. It will take 2 – 3 months for the roots to start growing.
What sort of pot should I use for a pineapple plant?
When you first plant your pineapple plant you want to use a flower pot that is around 6 – 8 inches.
Keep it in this pot until it has grown roots, test this by giving it a gentle wobble after 2 – 3 months.
If it feels like there are roots holding it in the soil it is time to re-pot your pineapple plant.
At this stage re-pot your pineapple plant into a pot that is around 12 inches, keep it in this pot for around 12 months.
The final home for your indoor pineapple plant will be a 5-gallon container or pot.
You could, of course, skip straight to a 5-gallon pot or container but this will reduce the chances of growing a healthy pineapple plant.
What sort of soil should I use for a pineapple plant?
Pineapples don’t like waterlogged soil as they come from a tropical climate so drainage is important.
Place a good layer of stones or pebbles at the bottom of your pot to encourage good drainage.
The ideal potting mix would be light sandy loam soil.
You could make your own soil mix by using 2 parts humus (yes humus) 1 part sand and 2 parts soil.
How much light does a pineapple require?
Because pineapple plants come from a tropical climate they do enjoy the sunlight.
Ideally, they require 12 – 14 hours of sunlight. This isn’t possible for most indoor growers unless you have a conservatory or a south-facing window.
I use an indoor LED grow lamp on a timer to make sure it gets the required light.
LED grow lamps really don’t cost much to run so don’t let this put you off.
How often should I water my pineapple plant?
Pineapples don’t like being in waterlogged soil but they are tolerant of drought conditions.
Water your pineapple plant with a spray and give them only about 1 inch of water per week keep the soil moist but not soggy.
When you are watering them make sure to spray the leaves as pineapples will absorb plenty of water through its leaves.
What temperature is best for indoor pineapple plants?
The ideal temperature for growing pineapple plants is between 65 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 – 30C.
If the temperature drops below 60F your plant will survive but the growth will slow down.
If the temperature gets to – 28F your pineapple plant will freeze and could even die.
What is the best fertilizer for a pineapple plant in a pot?
When you are picking fertilizer for a pineapple plant make sure to choose one that is nitrogen rich.
A good way to fertilize pineapple plants is to choose a liquid fertilizer and combine it with water when applying and make sure to not get any down the center of the plant.
Apply the fertilizer monthly, pineapple plants really don’t need much fertilizer to grow healthy and produce fruits.
Check out my full article on the best fertilizers for fruit grown in containers.
Pruning an indoor pineapple plant in a pot
Pruning a pineapple plant is all about how you want your plant to look rather than having anything to do with encouraging growth or fruits.
Pineapple plants cannot be pruned during the winter months so that leaves 2 options.
Spring pruning – only prune lightly during the spring and take care not to chop off any new shoots that might be about to produce fruit. Trim as little as possible at this time of year.
Late summer – 2 months after harvesting is another time you can prune your pineapple plant.
Again pruning doesn’t improve plant health or growth, it’s all about appearance.
Whenever you are pruning you will want to remove any shoots that spring up from the soil as they compete with the main plant for food etc.
How to cheat and make your pineapple plant produce fruit
When your plant is 2 or 3 years old and you think it is time it should be producing fruit there is a way to encourage it.
Place your pineapple plant in a large clear plastic bag, chop an apple in half and place it in the bag with your plant and move it to a shaded area.
The apple gives off ethylene which somehow signals to the plant that it is time to produce fruit.
Four days later remove your plant from the bag and put it back in its sunny position.
A few months later a small fruit should start to grow and this will take about 6 months to fully develop.
When to harvest pineapple from a potted plant
The easiest way to tell if your pineapple is ready to harvest is the color of it.
When your pineapple is ripe the skin will change from green to yellow, after one-third is yellow it’s time to harvest.
Also, tap the fruit and if it sounds hollow leave it on the plant until it sounds solid when you tap it.
When you cut the pineapple off with a knife leave it at room temperature to fully ripen.
How to store fresh pineapple picked from a plant
Uncut pineapples are best kept stored in the fridge this will keep it good for 4 – 5 days.
If you want to extend the time you can cut the pineapple up and place it in a sealed container and put it in the freezer this will keep it good for eating for about 3 – 5 months.
To grow a pineapple plant outdoors
To grow a pineapple outdoors simply chop the top off a store-bought pineapple leaving about half an inch of the fruit attached.
Find an area with good drainage and plant it about an inch deep in soil up to the leaves but not covering the leaves.
Give it a good water at this time and there it is, good to go.
You do have to be in an area with suitable climate with the temperature between 60F and 90F and lots of sun is ideal.
It may take a few years for your plant to produce any fruit.
Common pineapple plant problems and how to solve them
Pineapple plants are hardy plants when kept at the right temperature but like all plants, there are problems that may occur.
If you notice any problems it is best to take action quickly as it will be harder to save your plant the longer you leave it.
Some problems that can occur are:
Nematodes – Nematodes are basically earthworms, they are extremely hard to get rid of when they have become attracted to the soil around your pineapple plant. Not such a big problem when you are growing your pineapple in a container or pot.
Make sure you always use clean sterile soil when you are planting your pineapple and you should avoid this problem.
Top rot and root rot – These are the two most common fungal diseases that can affect pineapple plants. Top rot will show up as dead leaves around the center of the plant. If your plant suffers from root rot it will show as your plant starting to look like it needs to be watered with drooping leaves. Both of these problems are caused by overwatering and poor drainage.
To solve these problems reduce the amount of water you are feeding your pineapples and you may have to re-pot your pineapple plant in fresh, well-drained soil to make your plant healthy again.
Crookneck – This occurs in mature pineapple plants that are 12 – 15 months old, it is caused by a zinc deficiency in the soil. The signs of this are if the leaves start to become brittle and twisted and turn a yellow/green color, the plant may even start to bend over. In severe cases, if left untreated blisters may start to appear on the plant and develop into gray/brown sunken spots.
To solve this problem but a specialist zinc sulfate solution for plants and apply this to the soil at the recommended dose.
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