Pineapple is the most common edible member of the bromeliad family. Pineapples originally came from southern Brazil and Paraguay, then were domesticated by native Americans who brought it to Central and North America. A traditional symbol of hospitality and friendship, this tropical fruit is loved for its sweet flesh and strong fragrance. Many gardeners cultivate pineapple just for its beautiful foliage, but often you can harvest your own fruit from the mother plant.
Select a pineapple that has a green, healthy-looking top. The crown, which is the leafy area, should not have many broken or bruised places.
Use a knife to cut the crown from the top of the pinapple, getting as close to the fruit as possible. Remove lower leaves to expose 3/4 inch of stem.
Place the crown in a warm, dry area for three days so the cut area can develop a callus.
Fill a 1-gallon container almost full with all-purpose potting soil. Add 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer according to the manufacturer's directions.
Place the pineapple crown in the soil just deep enough to cover the exposed stem. Firmly tamp the soil down, removing any air pockets. Extension.org recommends placing two or three pencils around the crown to hold it in place.
Water thoroughly, then place the pot in a lightly shaded area of your garden. If you are planting the crown in cold weather, place the pot in a window that receives bright light. Set the pot outside in the spring.
Move the pot gradually into full sun after two weeks. Keep your pineapple well watered, giving it at least 1 inch of water per week.
Repot your pineapple in three to four months when it has outgrown the original pot. Pot it in a 3-gallon container with fresh potting soil and feed again with slow-release fertilizer.
Bring your pineapple plant indoors if the temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Look for your pineapple to flower by the second summer. According to Extension.org, the first sign will be a bright red spot in the center of the plant. Then lavender flowers will appear on a stalk, which will eventually form a small pineapple fruit. Harvest your fruit when it has turned gold and the fruit gives a little when pressed.