Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Grow Pineapples as Houseplants

Pineapple plant with pineapple growing on top

Pineapple plants grow well in containers.

Who says you can’t have a taste of the tropics in your own living room? Pineapples are easy to grow as houseplants, and you can start one with a pineapple crown from your own kitchen.

Rooting takes a couple of months, and it’ll likely take 2-3 years to get fruit, but in the meantime you can enjoy the spiky tropical foliage and the fun of growing a tropical treat. Here’s how to root and grow pineapples indoors in your home.

Pineapple with crown cut off

You can root the crowns of store-bought pineapples.

About Pineapples

Pineapples are a type of bromeliad, which makes them a cousin to Spanish moss and the colorful bromeliads commonly grown as houseplants. Like other types of bromeliads, pineapples are able to absorb some water and nutrients through their leaves in addition to their roots.

A mature potted pineapple plant will be several feet across and tall, and a mature plant will need a five-gallon planting container. It will take at least a year of growing to get a plant to this size. You can put the pot outdoors during the summer, but you need to bring the pineapple plant inside before the first frost of fall.

Cut end of pineapple stalk

Primordial roots on pineapple stalk waiting to grow.

How to Root a Pineapple Crown

Follow these easy steps to get your pineapple plant started:

Step 1: Buy Fresh Pineapple

The next time you buy a fresh pineapple to eat, make sure to choose one that’s evenly ripe, with a nice healthy set of green leaves at the top. Avoid ones that are overripe or that have dead or sick-looking leaves.

Step 2: Slice Off Pineapple Crown

Using a sharp knife, slice off the top of the pineapple fairly close to the crown. Carefully cut away the rind and remaining fruit – it’s important to remove any fruit flesh that will rot later. Then, make very thin slices in the stalk, until you see a ring of brownish dots. These are the “root primordia,” the unformed roots that you’re about to grow.

Dried stalk with rooting hormone

Dried stalk with rooting hormone.

Step 3: Remove Leaves from Stalk

Pull off some of the lower leaves on the pineapple stalk, exposing about an inch of bare stalk.

Step 4: Allow Stalk to Dry

Set the pineapple crown aside for a few days to allow the wound to dry. Pineapples are very susceptible to rot, so it’s important to dry out the cut end before planting.

Step 5: Plant Pineapple Stalk

Fill a 6” to 8” flower pot (clay is best, but any pot will do) with a light, fast-draining mixture – such as cactus potting mix – or a mixture of peat, sand, and perlite. If you like, you can dip the end in rooting hormone before planting. Plant the pineapple crown about an inch deep, gently firming the soil around it.

Pineapple crown planted in pot

Planted pineapple crown.

Step 6: Water Pineapple Stalk

Water the pineapple stalk very lightly, just enough to moisten the soil – a spray bottle works well for this. Put the pot in a bright window, and water the plant when it’s dry, just enough to keep it moist. Don’t use any fertilizer yet. To keep from over watering, some people put the pot in a terrarium, or in a lightly sealed plastic bag, to allow the plant to recycle its own water.

Step 7: Wait for Pineapple to Root

It’ll take about 1-3 months for your pineapple to root. To test the progress, very gently tug on the crown to see if it is taking hold in the soil. Don’t pull hard enough to break the roots.

Step 8: Repot Pineapple Plant

Once your pineapple has firmly rooted, it will begin growing new leaves from the center. At this point, you can repot the plant in a 10” to 12” pot, using a rich but fast draining potting mix. After about a year of growing, you can move it to its final home in a large 5 gallon planter.

How to Care for Your Pineapple Plant

  • Plant Location: Your pineapple needs bright light or full sun for most of the day. It can handle a little bit of shade as long as there’s plenty of light. Keep the plant away from freezing temperatures. The large pineapple plant in the photos spends the winter in an unheated North Carolina basement, in a warm sunny nook created by a large south-facing window.
  • Sprawling pineapple plant in yard

    Sprawling pineapple plant.

  • Water and Fertilizer: Overwatering and overfeeding are the two best ways to kill a pineapple plant. Water only as needed, and feed the plant about once a month with a balanced organic fertilizer at no more than regular strength. Keep your pineapple plant lightly moist, and never let it become waterlogged or bone dry.
  • Pineapple Growing Season: Your pineapple plant will do most of its growing during the warm seasons and will slow down when the days get short.
  • Pineapple Blooming: Like other bromeliads, it can be very difficult to get a pineapple to bloom, and it’s not likely to bloom or produce fruit for 2-3 years. If it doesn’t bloom on its own, one popular way to induce blooming is to expose the pineapple plant to ethylene gas by enclosing your pineapple plant in plastic with a few overripe apples for a few weeks during the winter. As the apples decompose, they release ethylene which stimulates flowering.
  • Harvesting Pineapples: Once your pineapple plant flowers, it takes several months to grow fruit. Smaller plants will produce smaller pineapples, but they’re just as yummy! Pick the pineapples when they are evenly ripe and golden yellow.
  • Growing More Pineapples: All of those new pineapples can be rooted to make more plants. When you harvest your pineapples, look at the base of the fruit for small baby shoots. Harvest your pineapple carefully, leaving these shoots to grow a little. They can then be gently removed and planted in their own pots.

Further Information

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8 Comments on “How to Grow Pineapples as Houseplants”

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  1. mike Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    We cut the crown off and leave the rind on it.The grand kid’s then plant them around the Koi pond, at this time we have 3 growing, my bride planted on a 2 falls ago and sets it on top of the water heater NOT blocking the exhaust stack, each winter it has grown

  2. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the feedback on your experiences growing pineapple plants!

  3. Tracey Marshall Says:
    June 21st, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Growing one for about five years and nothing. It’s big but no fruit. It’s in a pot.

  4. Margaret Mauldin Says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    My plant is putting out leaves from the center however the old leaves are brown and look dead. Do I leave them or cut down to where there is a little green left on the old leaf? Thanks for your help.

  5. candy rains Says:
    September 22nd, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I’m just starting mine wish me luck hope I don’t ruin it

  6. donna Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I find them easy to grow. I have several pots that need to be separated and 4 or 5 separate plants that I have repotted. I got several fruit last year and 3 on 2 plants this year. They were small but delicious. The ones that fruited were in direct sunlight for 3-4 hours a day. Water sparingly from the top and let it run down, and fertilize every 6 wks. I turn all of my plants weekly for more even growth..Good luck!

  7. alphonzo yates Says:
    March 22nd, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    i ve been growing my pineapple plant for about 18 months and 2 days ago I noticed the bloom coming up. I can’t wait for my pineapple to appear. thanks for your help

  8. gina Says:
    March 29th, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    My pineapple is almost a year old and I plan to re-pot it as soon as the weather warms enough to put it out of doors. It has two pups on it. Should I leave them be or try to remove them? And if I remove them, how is it done?

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