How to Grow Pineapples as Houseplants

By: Julie Day
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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26 Comments on “How to Grow Pineapples as Houseplants”

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  • Ramona Says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I planted one last summer and know I have one coming out of the soil next to it.Should it be replanted and do you separate to two of them.what is my next step?

  • Mohan Says:
    February 26th, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    The shop bought pineapple top must not be sliced. Instead gripped firmly with a cloth and turned to dislodge it. Trim off the tips of the leaves and Keep it to dry upside down for a week or so depending on the climate. Remove one inch of the bottom leaves, dust it with sulphur powder and rooting powder and sow it two inches deep in a fast draining moist soil that is acidic say pH of about 5. Do not flood with water till roots are formed, which is evident from growth of new leaves in the centre. Best of luck

  • kd wilson Says:
    February 10th, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Have five planted, three in garden because we ran out of room in the house, the plant is beautiful even without fruit. It is now winter and the two in the house, one 5 years old and the other 3 years old have blooms on them. Did very little fert. Water sparingly daily…place outside when late spring hits.

  • Ed Pietila Says:
    December 5th, 2015 at 9:03 am

    In July 2012 we simply twisted off the crown and set it in soil. It grew like crazy and now (December 2015) a fruit is growing out of it. No special treatment just indoors in winter (we live in Michigan) at a south window and it just keeps growing!

  • nastia Says:
    November 23rd, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I have one and it is my first time, and I don’t what to kill it. I live in Livingstone, MT.

  • Omars Says:
    November 19th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    My pineapples plant is growing fast in my 12″ pot the plant about 22″n high. I planted it about 5 month ago, it in the house right now. Does it need to be by a sunny windows, because most of the tips of plant are turning brown? Should I trim off brown end on every leaf?

  • joann dixon Says:
    November 15th, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I bought a pineapple plant from the store with a tiny pineapple already growing. After reading these articles, I think I have over watered and need a bigger pot. I am very hopeful.

  • Gina Says:
    November 2nd, 2015 at 8:53 am

    The fruit on my pineapple plant has gotten very top heavy and the stalk is leaning to one side. Should I add a stake to the plan to keep it upright? It is still very green and not ready for picking. Thanks in advance for your help! I look forward to hearing back.

  • judy Says:
    October 18th, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    i have a pineapple plant growing in my home from planting the top in soil. It took a long time but finally i saw some growth. Oh sorry i forgot to mention i did place it in water first, til i saw some rooting on the bottom. My question is, my plant is growing nicely in the sunny window. Only one thing, it has some sort of plant growing along side of it but seems to be connected to it. It doesn’t look like any pictures i have seen. I only see the thin leaves growing and getting bigger in the pictures. Mine has a growing buddy or something. Actually its a nice looking plant that’s growing along with the leaves but what is that? i don’t see that with the pictures i’ve seen. thank you. i anxiously await your answer.

  • Moses Stirewalt Says:
    October 12th, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Have been growing plants for 6 years. Currently have four large pots, fill of plants that need to be divided. Have harvested 2 pine apples each year last year and again in 2015. Have shared over 20 plants with friends. Live in piedmont section of NC, so must move inside before frost begins.Should I divide pots before I relocate them to spend the winter under “grow lights” or should I wait until Spring? Appreciate suggestions.

  • Joanne Denice Says:
    October 9th, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Once my pineapple has produced a pineapple what do I do with the plant? Will it reproduce or not.

  • sourav kmar Says:
    October 3rd, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hi, I am from Ranchi, Jharkhand, India. Sir I want to seek information regarding my a pineapple plant. It is about 3 year old, but there is not a single fruit. What can I do to get fruit in my plant?

  • G W Pelletier Says:
    September 17th, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I have a Pineapple Plant that is a couple of years old. I keep it outside in the summer in Georgia. Doing well and getting bigger. It will need more space inside once it gets too cold out. How low a temp can this plant tolerate? Thanks for your help.

  • Tina Jones Says:
    September 15th, 2015 at 10:13 am

    After your plant yields its first plant what should you do with the bottom of the plant that’s still in the pot? Will it grow another pineapple?

  • shirley wagner Says:
    August 20th, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    i need to know once you cut the pineapple off, will another one grow from the same plant? i know that the sucker plant will grow one, but does the one that just made a pineapple make another one again?
    thank you will be look for your answer in my email

  • Vee Chiulli Says:
    July 29th, 2015 at 10:34 am

    When should it be put in bigger pot? Please

  • terence Says:
    June 18th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I love your information. I have just started a pineapple from Hawai that i bought about two months ago and trimmed the cutting by removing bottom leave and inserting into a open mason jar with water, and see the roots grew longer. I trimmed another row of leave, and finally yesterday I potted the plant and placed it in our sunny north side porch where it gets the morning to noon sun. The pot is about six inches diameter and deep with a drain collector at the bottom. I’ll send a picture if you like. tell me how and where.

  • Jen Says:
    June 17th, 2015 at 10:18 am

    My Pineapple is about 17 months old. It is in the same pot. i have added fresh soil this year. it is outside for the warm season…loves its partial shade and is growing everyday. My question is…do they prefer to be root bound in the pot or would they rather be transplanted in larger ones as it grows?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Official Comment:

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

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

  • 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

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