Here's How to Grow Pineapple Houseplants With Store-Bought Pineapples

Start saving those pineapple tops!

Pineapple plant indoors in black and white pot on white table, pink back
Photo: Adobe Stock

Pineapples are delicious, but have you ever heard of a pineapple houseplant? The fruit is part of the bromeliad family and is easy to grow once established. The good news is that you do not need to live in a tropical environment or build a fancy greenhouse to grow pineapple plants indoors. Although growing edible pineapple fruit is more complicated and time-consuming, it is worth the time and effort to grow pretty pineapple foliage because it makes attractive houseplant decor. Here's how to grow pineapple tops indoors so they flourish into a beautiful, leafy houseplant.

How to Prepare the Pineapple

  1. Pick your pineapple. Purchase a ripe pineapple from the store that still has a healthy-looking top with plenty of green leaves. The top of the pineapple is the most important factor, so avoid any pineapples with rotten-looking tops.
  2. Cut off the top. Use a sharp knife to slice off the top of the pineapple, staying fairly close to the crown. Trim off any fruit still clinging to the crown to prevent rotting later. Next, peel away some of the lower leaves from the crown base to expose some of the stem and possibly, little bumps called root primordia. The bumps are actually baby roots that will grow into a new plant.
  3. Dry the stem. The stem needs to callous over before you can plant it in a potting mix. Pineapples are highly susceptible to rot, so it's essential to allow the cut end to dry before planting. This part can take a couple of days. Then, when the bottom of the pineapple top is dry to the touch, you can pot it.

How to Plant the Top

  1. Fill a container with soil. A 6- to 8-inch pot is perfect for growing a pineapple plant. Fill the container with a fast-draining container mix, such as succulent and cactus mix, and leave an inch or two of space at the top.
  2. Apply rooting hormone. To help the plant root faster, dip the calloused end of the pineapple in rooting hormone before potting it. For best results, follow the instructions provided with the hormone.
  3. Plant the pineapple top. Place the stem about an inch deep into the potting mix, and pack the soil firmly around it. Add more potting soil until the pot is nearly full, but make sure that no more than an inch of the pineapple top is covered in soil.

Rooting Timeline

It can take up to two months for the roots to grow. Once the roots are established, you will see new growth at the top of the plant. If you do not see new growth, wait a bit longer and resist the urge to tug on the plant to check for roots. If the base of the plant looks brown or mushy, it has rotted, and you will need to start over again with a new pineapple.

How to Care for a Pineapple Houseplant

Water

The soil should be kept slightly damp until the roots develop. To help reduce moisture loss from the rooting plant, you can place the plant in a large, clear plastic bag that you loosely seal at the top. The plastic bag keeps the humidity high while the plant establishes its roots.

Sunlight

As far as light needs, place the plant in a room with bright, indirect light. Don't place a rooting or established pineapple houseplant in direct sunlight because the harsh light will burn the plant.

Established Plants

Once the plant is established, you can repot it into a larger pot, using the same succulent or cactus mix. After about a year of growth, the pineapple plant will need to be planted in a larger, 5-gallon container.

Place the plant in an area that receives at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily. Water the plant only when the soil dries out, and fertilize it twice a month with general indoor plant fertilizer. You can even place the plant outdoors in a shady area that gets good ambient light for the summer. (The plant will need to overwinter indoors.)

Indoor Fruit Production

It can take three years for your indoor pineapple plant to produce fruit. However, the pineapple will not be as large as a store-bought fruit. Nonetheless, it makes a lovely houseplant and will add an exciting pop of color and texture to your home.

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